Aston Villa 0 Liverpool 0: Stuttering Liverpool sweat over Torres injury

This was the Gareth Barry transfer saga caught in 90 minutes. Both teams set their stalls out early and refused to budge. And while Liverpool always believed their superior class would tell they also did not sufficiently account for Villa's energy, doggedness and growing ambition. A draw in both contests – even Martin O'Neill concedes he can only count on Barry, a pale performer yesterday, "for the foreseeable future" – although Liverpool will certainly feel like the losers after Fernando Torres limped off with a damaged hamstring. With Steven Gerrard already sidelined after his groin operation, that will have sent a shudder through their ranks.

Transfer news and speculation, 14 August

The expected loss of Dimitar Berbatov to Manchester United has been slightly softened by Gareth Bale agreeing new terms at Tottenham. Bale's deal until 2012 is thought to have extended his original commitment by a year but crucially it is a fresh contract from the one signed before the start of last season when he arrived from Southampton. The 19-year-old Wales left-back impressed in his rookie campaign in the Premier League before picking up a foot injury in December against Birmingham that sidelined him for the rest of the campaign. He joins Michael Dawson and Jermaine Jenas among the young players to agree new deals this summer. Berbatov has trained in London again but the 27-year-old has been targeted by United and the Spurs coach Juande Ramos will continue his search for strikers when the transfer goes through. Spurs held an interest in the Russia international Andrei Arshavin earlier in the summer and the Zenit St Petersburg forward is keen for a move to White Hart Lane. Interest in Roman Pavlyuchenko, his international team-mate, has cooled. Ramos has also experimented in pre-season with Darren Bent as a lone striker. Ramos also wants a defender and there remains uncertainty whether a deal can be struck for Manchester City's Vedran Corluka.

Cuellar completes Villa switch

Carlos Cuellar has completed his £7.8m move to Aston Villa from Rangers, signing a four-year deal with the West Midlands club.

Scolari has the means and men to foil Ferguson

It's depressing that clubs cannot join the magic circle but it will be fascinating to see if Chelsea can regain the title. By Steve Tongue

Chelsea confident of Robinho deal as Scolari trims squad

Wayne Bridge has signed a new four-year deal at Chelsea with the club, which, significantly, is steadfastly denying there are any plans to offer striker Didier Drogba an improved contract, increasingly confident that Robinho may eventually join him at Stamford Bridge.

O'Neill's Villa rebuild to continue with Guzan

Aston Villa are confident that the United States goalkeeper Brad Guzan will soon be handed a work permit and become their second summer signing. Yesterday the saga over captain Gareth Barry's transfer took another turn with Villa's manager, Martin O'Neill, denying that the club were close to selling him to Liverpool.

Rooney at the double as United hit stride

Wayne Rooney is back in action and using his head. Manchester United launched their build-up to the defence of their Premier League title with a comfortable 2-0 victory at Aberdeen, Rooney winning a penalty for the opening goal and nodding in the second himself.

Transfer news and speculation, 11 July

Liverpool manager Rafael Benitez made a bold declaration of intent to pursue Tottenham's Robbie Keane yesterday, in a move which Spurs may feel was designed to send a message to the childhood Liverpool fan. "We were in contact and we will see now," Benitez said. "Keane is clearly a player that has game intelligence. We are looking for players who can fit into our systems."

Sidwell seals Villa switch

Midfielder Steve Sidwell has completed his £5million move from Chelsea to Aston Villa.

O'Neill clears way for Barry to complete Liverpool deal

Gareth Barry is set to finally secure his £18m move from Aston Villa to Liverpool in the next few days after the two clubs re-opened negotiations yesterday. The impasse was broken following a letter submitted to Liverpool by Villa manager Martin O'Neill outlining how he wants the deal to be structured.

Villa agree Sidwell deal

Aston Villa have agreed to sign Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell - Martin O'Neill's first capture of what is expected to be a hectic second half of the summer.

Villa on brink of Sidwell swoop

Aston Villa are confident Chelsea midfielder Steve Sidwell will become their first summer signing - possibly within the next 48 hours - according to sources close to the midlands club.

Transfer News and Speculation, 24 June

Cristiano Ronaldo's future at Manchester United remains up in the air after the Portuguese winger went on holiday yesterday.

Chelsea reject complaints over Scolari

Chelsea yesterday responded angrily to suggestions they had derailed Portugal's efforts at Euro 2008 by announcing Luiz Felipe Scolari's appointment as their new manager. In light of bitter complaints from the Portuguese Football Federation president, Gilberto Madail, Chelsea were again forced to defend their behaviour.

Chelsea baulk at Barça's Deco fee

Deco is close to agreeing personal terms with Chelsea but there is still a wrangle over the fee being demanded by Barcelona. The Spanish club want €20m (£16.7m) for the midfielder even though they have declared he can leave and the Portuguese international turns 31 in August.

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Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – MS Swiss Corona - seven nights from £999pp
Lake Maggiore, Orta and the Matterhorn – seven nights from £899pp
Sicily – seven nights from £939pp
Pompeii, Capri and the Bay of Naples - seven nights from £799pp
Istanbul Ephesus & Troy – six nights from £859pp
Mary Rose – two nights from £319pp
Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment