REVEALED: How Arsenal lured Cech from Chelsea after just one conversation with Wenger had keeper hooked on move to Emirates

Petr Cech chose Arsenal because of Arsene Wenger while he bypassed Jose Mourinho chat at

SAMI MOKBEL: In the end, it was a case of third time lucky for Arsene Wenger and Petr Cech. The Arsenal manager first tried to lure a young Cech from Rennes before he signed for Chelsea in 2004. Then, in 2013 when Arsenal believed Thibaut Courtois was heading back to Stamford Bridge to become Chelsea's No 1, they made enquiries again. This time, Wenger sealed the deal - and Jose Mourinho was powerless to prevent it.

Van Gaal has 'told United board to sell De Gea to Real Madrid' as Spanish keeper sets sights on move back home

Manchester United boss Louis van Gaal has told the board to sell David de Gea to Real

CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST: Louis van Gaal is ready to end David de Gea's drawn out transfer saga and has instructed the Manchester United board to sanction his sale to Real Madrid, according to Spanish reports.

Perez pulled plug on Ramos move to Old Trafford because he knew he would have to resign if defender left

SHANGHAI, CHINA - JULY 30:  (CHINA OUT) Sergio Ramos #4 of Real Madrid scores the fourth penalty kick at the penalty shootout during the International Champions Cup football match between AC Milan and Real Madrid at Shanghai Stadium on July 30, 2015 in Shanghai, China.  (Photo by ChinaFotoPress/ChinaFotoPress via Getty Images)

Real Madrid president Florentino Perez told Sergio Ramos he couldn't let him leave the club and sign for Manchester United because if he did, he would be the next one through the door.

TRANSFER NEWS LIVE: All the latest news from around the world as clubs race to add to their squad

Everton's John Stones during the pre-season friendly at Dens Park, Dundee. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Tuesday July 28, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Dundee. Photo credit should read: Andrew Milligan/PA Wire.

The new season is just a week away but there is still plenty of business to tie up in the transfer market with some big moves still to be made. Sportsmail brings you all the deals as they happen through the day.

England call-up Plunkett and uncapped Footitt for fourth Ashes Test

SCARBOROUGH, ENGLAND - JULY 21: Yorkshire's Liam Plunkett bowling during day three of the LV County Championship division one match between Yorkshire and Worcestershire at North Marine Road on July 21, 2015 in Scarborough, England. (Photo by Richard Sellers/Getty Images)

England have named uncapped Mark Footitt and the returning Liam Plunkett in a 14-man squad for the fourth Ashes Test at Trent Bridge.

Chelsea closing in on Augsburg left back Rahman with clubs locked in negotiations over Ghana defender

BERLIN, GERMANY - FEBRUARY 28:  Abdul Rahman Baba of Augsburg runs with the ball during the Bundesliga match between Hertha BSC and FC Augsburg at Olympiastadion on February 28, 2015 in Berlin, Germany.  (Photo by Boris Streubel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Chelsea are getting closer to signing Augsburg defender Baba Rahman. The return of Filipe Luis to Atletico Madrid after just one season at Stamford Bridge means Chelsea want a replacement.

Sky Sports surrender La Liga rights, leaving door open for BT to pounce and add yet more live football

Guillem Balague,  Sky Sports Spanish football expert.

La Liga - Spanish Football
November 2010
©Sky Sports/Justin Downing

CHARLES SALE: A further sign that Sky Sports massively overspent in paying £11million a match for their Premier League coverage is the fact they ceded the Spanish football contract to arch-rivals BT.

Jovetic glad his Manchester City troubles are at an end after Inter move

New Inter Milan signing Stevan Jovetic has fired a parting shot at former club Manchester City, stating that he wasn't the only player to experience issues at the Etihad during his two-year spell.

Liverpool boss Rodgers confident that £32.5m man Benteke will be viewed as a 'bargain' when he hits form 

DOMINIC KING IN HELSINKI: Brendan Rodgers has predicted Christian Benteke will prove himself to be a £32.5million 'bargain' but will not rush the start of his Liverpool career.

New United, new kit, new stripes: Old Trafford stars model 2015-16 strip following record £750m deal to launch new adidas era

Manchester United launch new adidas kit following world record £750m deal

Manchester United have gone back to the future with their new adidas shirt. The first jersey made by the German sportswear giants after they signed a £750million world record deal with the club may have some fans harking back to the 80s. That is because the simple design, with a white v-neck and classic three stripes down the sleeve, is not a million miles away from the adidas kits of 30 years ago.

United and PSG close to agreeing deal for Di Maria as Pastore admits winger wants to move to French capital

It would appear that Angel di Maria's Manchester United nightmare is nearly at an end, with Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Javier Pastore admitting the player wants to move to the French capital.

United will speed up deal for Barca's Pedro once Di Maria's £45m switch to PSG is signed and sealed

Barcelona's forward Pedro Rodriguez celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match FC Barcelona vs Cordoba CF at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona on December 20, 2014.   AFP PHOTO/ JOSEP LAGO        
(Photo credit should read JOSEP LAGO/AFP/Getty Images)

Manchester United will press Barcelona to allow Pedro's move to go through in time for the start of the season should Angel di Maria complete his switch to Paris Saint-Germain

PROFILE: 'Who is Pedro?' asked Ronaldo. Well, he's a Barca hero who will offer United more than Di Maria

PASADENA, CA - JULY 21: Pedro #7 of Barcelona takes a shot on goal during the International Champions Cup 2015 match between FC Barcelona and Los Angeles Galaxy at the Rose Bowl on July 21, 2015 in Pasadena, California.  Barcelona won the match 2-1 (Photo by Shaun Clark/Getty Images)

PETE JENSON: If Manchester United pay his £22m buy-out clause the son of a petrol station attendant from Tenerife will become someone else's 'Mr Reliable' after years of the role at Barca.

England humble Australia as they win by EIGHT WICKETS inside three days in front of raucous Edgbaston to take Ashes lead

Ian Bell and Joe Root guide England to victory target of 121 as Australia are beaten

PAUL NEWMAN AT EDGBASTON: The chance was simple but one of the safest catchers in world cricket shelled it and allowed Ian Bell to lead England home gloriously in this classic Edgbaston Test. Has Michael Clarke dropped the Ashes? Well, he has certainly handed Alastair Cook a precious advantage in this compelling series.

'I'll keep him out the Walkabout tonight!': Broad's joke at Root's expense

England ban Joe Root from celebrating at Walkabout after third Test victory

Joe Root has been banned from celebrating England's latest Ashes victory in Birmingham's Walkabout bar. Root was punched by David Warner in the city's Antipodean theme bar following England's Edgbaston success over Australia during the 2013 Champions Trophy.

MARTIN SAMUEL: Bell settled nervy England and found cruise control to see Cook's boys home

MARTIN SAMUEL AT EDGBASTON: When England needed him, Ian Bell arrived with the confidence of a man chasing a mediocre total in a Sunday league game.

NASSER HUSSAIN'S RATINGS: England bowling near perfect but Johnson proves he's still Box office

Sportsmail's Nasser Hussain rated the players' performances in the third Test after England hammered Australia by eight wickets to seize a 2-1 Ashes series lead.

England have a headache replacing Anderson but rollercoaster Ashes series is poised for Trent Bridge epic

NASSER HUSSAIN: It's been an incredible series so far, especially the way that once a side has been down in the course of a Test match, they have not been able to change the momentum back.

Courtois or Cech? Arsenal and Tottenham legend Jennings gives his Wembley verdict

Thibaut Courtois vs Petr Cech: Pat Jennings offers his insight on goalkeepers ahead of

Petr Cech will face his former Chelsea team-mates for the first time in an Arsenal shirt on Sunday, with Wembley hosting the Community Shield. And the 33-year-old will also come up against the man who replaced him between the sticks at Stamford Bridge, Thibaut Courtois. Here, former Arsenal and Tottenham goalkeeper PAT JENNINGS shares his views on which stopper dominates each department ahead of the game.

Edgbaston's electric Ashes atmosphere could lead to Birmingham hosting Britain's Davis Cup semi-final

Joe Root of England celebrates hitting the winning ball to seal the win for his team during Day Three of the Third Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

CHARLES SALE: After Edgbaston produced easily the best atmosphere of the Ashes, Great Britain's Davis Cup semi-final against Australia could be heading to Birmingham as well.

West Ham confirm Valencia suffered 'significant' knee and ankle injuries in Europa League clash against FC Astra

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 30:  Enner Valencia of West Ham United is down injured during the Europa League Qualifier between West Ham United and FC Astra Giurgiu at Boleyn Ground on July 30, 2015 in London, England.  (Photo by Arfa Griffiths/West Ham United via Getty Images)

West Ham striker Enner Valencia suffered an apparently 'significant' injury to his right knee and right ankle in the Europa League clash with Astra Giurgiu, the club have announced.

Ivanovic calls on Chelsea fans to respect Cech with former Blues keeper in line for Arsenal Wembley debut

Branislav Ivanovic knows there will be no loved lost when Chelsea face Arsenal in the FA Community Shield on Sunday, but the defender hopes Petr Cech is given a warm reception by all fans.

'Rooney is a fighter... he punched me in the head once!': Big Dunc on former team-mate as pair are reunited for his testimonial

Duncan Ferguson and Wayne Rooney reunited for Scot's Everton testimonial... can they exact

DOMINIC KING: There is a grimace as Duncan Ferguson remembers the moment a young Wayne Rooney made a lasting impression on him. Ferguson, the Everton icon who will play in his Goodison Park testimonial alongside Rooney on Sunday, enjoys reflecting on how the teenage Rooney would bamboozle defenders with his dancing feet and swaggering talent. But there is another story he wants to tell. Ferguson had a fearsome reputation during his playing career and it was common knowledge on Merseyside that the powerful striker would spend a significant amount of time at Bellefield, Everton's old training ground, pummelling a punch bag in a style that suggested he was not to be messed with.

Bristol Rovers 0-4 West Brom: New signing Lambert scores twice in win over his former club

Bristol Rovers 0-4 West Brom: New signing Rickie Lambert returns to haunt former club as

Rickie Lambert got life at West Brom off to the perfect start as he scored twice in an easy win against Bristol Rovers on Friday night. The striker, who completed his move from Liverpool earlier the same afternoon, took just 23 minutes to get his name on the scoresheet against the League Two side. Craig Gardner then got in on the act in the 34th minutes with Lambert grabbing his second just after the restart and Victor Anichebe sealed a comfortable win with a late fourth.

Just a year after completing dream move to Anfield, Lambert leaves Liverpool for West Brom in £3m deal

West Bromwich Albion ?@WBAFCofficial  10m10 minutes ago
NEW SIGNING: We are delighted to announce the arrival of Rickie Lambert from Liverpool

West Brom have completed the £3million signing of Rickie Lambert from Liverpool on a two-year deal, following a successful medical at the club on Friday. 

Newcastle fans furious after 720-mile trip to Bournemouth is moved to lunchtime kick-off for BT Sport

Newcastle fans sing before kick off of the English FA Cup third round football match between Leicester City and Newcastle United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on January 3, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ADRIAN DENNIS\n\nRESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.        (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)

Newcastle supporters have reacted with anger to the decision to switch their trip to Bournemouth to a lunchtime kick-off on a Saturday. The Magpies will face the newly-promoted Cherries live on BT Sport.

Bournemouth 2-3 Cardiff: Revell strikes twice as Bluebirds come from behind to sink Cherries at home

Football - AFC Bournemouth v Cardiff City - Pre Season Friendly - Vitality Stadium, Dean Court - 31/7/15
 Cardiff's Alex Revell celebrates scoring their third goal with Joe Mason
 Mandatory Credit: Action Images / Tony O'Brien

Championship side Cardiff City came from behind to edge Premier League new boys Bournemouth 3-2 in a pre-season friendly at the Vitality Stadium. Tokelo Rantie scored the opening goal for the Cherries.

Rousey set to defy her mum and humiliate Correia as pair go head-to-head at UFC 190

Ronda Rousey ready to defy her mum and humiliate Bethe Correia at UFC 190 

Ronda Rousey is prepared to defy her mum, and prolong Bethe Correia's punishment for as long as possible on Saturday night. The UFC women's bantamweight champion defends her title for the sixth time in her rival's backyard of Rio de Janeiro. And the American, who is fiercely close to her mum, believes the challenger took the pre-fight hostilities too far when she said she hoped Rousey 'didn't commit suicide' when she lost. 

20 years on from their historic Champions League final win over AC Milan, where are Van Gaal's brilliant team of stars now?

Ajax's 1995 Champions League winners: Where are they now?

May 24 1995, Vienna. The 40th edition of the European Cup final saw AC Milan take on Louis van Gaal's Ajax, in a match that turned a group of little known Dutch youth team players into some of the most recognisable players from their era. With all but four of Van Gaal's side coming from Ajax's fabled academy, the Dutch side were once again the envy of European football. Patrick Kluivert's 85th minute toe-poke secured a 1-0 win and the league and European cup double. Twenty years on, Sportsmail looks at where the members of that legendary side are now.

Terry saved Chelsea Ladies, says vice- captain Flaherty as they prepare for first Women's FA Cup final at Wembley

John Terry gatecrashing big-stage celebrations has become a hugely popular internet meme, but his influence in helping out the Chelsea Ladies team mean he could quite justifiably intrude this weekend.

GARY NEVILLE: Wilshere swearing on bus was best thing I've seen in years!

File photo of Arsenal's Jack Wilshere during their FA Cup victory parade through London on 31 May 2015. 

PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday June 4, 2015. Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere will find out next week the cost of his foul-mouthed anti-Tottenham chants during the FA Cup victory parade after being charged with misconduct by the Football Association. See PA story SOCCER Arsenal. Photo credit should read Scott Heavey/PA Wire.

Gary Neville is a man of many talents: musician, hotelier, England coach and football pundit. The 40-year-old former right back was interviewed by Sport magazine and it was extremely revealing.

Blind: Arsenal tried to sign me as a youngster and Henry was my idol

STANFORD, CA - JULY 27:  (EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE) Daley Blind of Manchester United signs autographs for fans after a first team training session as part of their pre-season tour of the USA at Stanford University on July 27, 2015 in Stanford, California.  (Photo by Tom Purslow/Man Utd via Getty Images)

Manchester United defender Daley Blind has revealed Arsenal tried to sign him when he was 16-years-old. Blind's idol growing up was Gunners legend Thierry Henry.

Three clubs, five coaches and 58 player transfers... Watford's Italian owners have come a long way since the Elton John era

Three clubs, five coaches and 58 player transfers... Watford's Italian owners have come a

MATT BARLOW: Almost three decades have passed since Watford started a top-flight season which did not end in relegation. It was 1986-87, the final campaign of the first Graham Taylor era. They finished ninth and reached an FA Cup semi-final. It also happened to be Giampaolo Pozzo's first season in football. Pozzo had just bought Udinese, rescuing his local team, which was in financial disarray and engulfed by a corruption scandal.

Watford 0-1 Sevilla: Hornets beaten by Europa League champions but game is marred by head injury to Immobile

Watford 0-1 Sevilla: Hornets beaten by Europa League champions but friendly marred by head

Sevilla beat Premier League new-boys Watford by a single goal at Vicarage Road, but the pre-season friendly was marred by a seemingly serious head injury to Sevilla loanee Ciro Immobile. The striker, on a season-long deal from Borussia Dortmund, started up front for the Europa League winners, but was left needing oxygen after just six minutes of the match.

MailOnline Fantasy Football is back... here's the 10 new signings who could light up your season

MailOnline's Fantasy Football game is back and it is better than ever. Here we take a look at ten summer signings who could rake in the points in the upcoming campaign.

Fantasy Football euro stars: Are Ronaldo and Messi worth the gamble at £16m? Or does Neymar offer more?

Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 match between FC Schalke 04 and Real Madrid at the Veltins-Arena on February 18, 2015 in Gelsenkirchen, Germany.  (Photo by Dennis Grombkowski/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Fans embarking on this season's Mail Online Fantasy Football game will be scouring the Premier League as we speak - but they'll also need to find room to squeeze in their euro star.

Mourinho confirms Costa and Cahill are fit to face Arsenal in Community Shield

Football - Chelsea - Jose Mourinho FA Community Shield Preview Press Conference - Chelsea Training Ground - 31/7/15
 Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho during the Press Conference
 Action Images via Reuters / Andrew Couldridge
 EDITORIAL USE ONLY. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or "live" services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications.  Please contact your account representative for further details.

Chelsea pair Diego Costa and Gary Cahill are both fit to play for Chelsea in the Community Shield against Arsenal after overcoming their respective injury concerns.

Rafferty's Wembley dream: Meet the City banker who can win the FA Cup for Chelsea

Claire Rafferty is dreaming of FA Cup glory with Chelsea, but the city banker won't let

CRAIG HOPE: It is lunchtime in the City of London and a smartly-dressed woman dashes into the marble-fronted offices of Deutsche Bank. On her shoulder, however, she carries a kitbag, not a handbag. Claire Rafferty isn't late. Rather, she has already done a morning's work on the training pitches at Chelsea's Cobham headquarters in Surrey. From there, the 25-year-old has travelled via car, train and heels as she makes the daily transformation from international footballer to financial analyst for one of the world's most prestigious banks.

'The baddest woman': Joshua posts snap with Ennis-Hill

Anthony Joshua posts work-out snap with 'the baddest woman' Jessica Ennis-Hill as

Anthony Joshua may not have another fight lined up until he comes face to face with Gary Cornish for the vacant Commonwealth heavyweight belt in September, but the 25-year-old is still training like an Olympic champion. The London 2012 gold medallist has taken to Instagram to post a picture of him looking mean alongside fellow darling of the Games Jessica Ennis-Hill, who is gearing up for the World Championships in Beijing next month.

Liverpool flop Balotelli should 'recharge his batteries' and join me in Qatar, suggests Al-Arabi boss Zola

Al-Arabi head coach Gianfranco Zola believes that troubled Liverpool striker and free agent Antonio Cassano still have plenty to offer and urged the pair to come and join him Qatar.

Negredo insists he's 'happy' at Valencia despite club keen to sell striker

Valencia's forward Alvaro Negredo  (L)  vies with Getafe's Uruguayan defender Emiliano Velazquez during the Spanish league football match Valencia CF vs Getafe CF at Mestalla stadium in Valencia on February 15, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JOSE JORDAN        (Photo credit should read JOSE JORDAN/AFP/Getty Images)

Valencia striker Alvaro Negredo has quashed reports linking him with a exit this summer - insisting he is happy at the club. As revealed by Sportsmail on Monday, Valencia are keen to offload him.

How often will you watch your team on live TV? Sky and BT reveal latest picks with derbies on show


Juan Mata reacts to giving United a 3-1 lead 

Manchester United won the game 4-2.

Sky Sports and BT Sport have revealed their live Premier League matches for October and November, with highlights including the Manchester, Merseyside and north London derbies

Chelsea gear up for Community Shield as Mourinho heaps praise on Terry... but will Blues skipper still be smiling on Sunday?

Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho hails captain John Terry as 'phenomenal' last season as Blues

John Terry has been described as 'phenomenal' by Chelsea boss Jose Mourinho as the Blues captain and his team-mates gear up for their Community Shield clash against Arsenal on Sunday. The 34-year-old was an ever-present in defence for the west London outfit as they swept all before them to win their first league title since 2010 in May. Terry's displays also saw him named in the PFA team of the season for the first time since 2005-06 courtesy of the level of his performances - something that Mourinho was worried about ahead of his second spell at the club two summers ago.

Jovetic joins Inter Milan on 18-month loan from Man City

Stevan Jovetic joins Inter Milan on an 18-month loan from Manchester City

Manchester City have announced that striker Stevan Jovetic has joined Inter Milan on a year-and-a-half's loan, with a view to a permanent transfer. 'We are pleased to announce the arrival of Jovetic. This is another important player for our team, a dynamic player that will add even more value to our attack,' said Inter president Erick Thohir. 'Mancini will get the best out of him. Welcome Stevan and Forza Inter.'

Bayern's German Super Cup clash against Wolfsburg is an important first step as they battle for supremacy

KIT HOLDEN: On Thursday night, Borussia Dortmund played in their first European tie of the season. For now, at least, the days of playing Juventus and Real Madrid are over for Dortmund.

Southampton's rejuvenated Serb Tadic hopes to fire Koeman's side to another 'special' season on the south coast

SOUTHAMPTON, ENGLAND - JULY 30:  Dusan Tadic of Southampton celebrates after scoring from a penalty to make it 2-0 during the UEFA Europa League Third Qualifying Round 1st Leg match between Southampton and Vitesse at St Mary's Stadium on July 30, 2015 in Southampton, England.  (Photo by Jordan Mansfield/Getty Images)

Dusan Tadic believes he is getting back to his best after pushing himself too hard during his maiden season at Southampton and is adamant the club can have another special year.

Brazil midfielder Fred tests positive for banned drug during Copa America 

PORTO ALEGRE, BRAZIL - JUNE 10: Fred of Brazil stands for the national anthem prior to the international friendly match between Brazil and Honduras at Beira Rio Stadium on June 10, 2015 in Porto Alegre, Brazil. (Photo by Edu Andrade/LatinContent/Getty Images)

Brazil midfielder Fred tested positive for the banned substance hydrochlorothiazide during the June-July Copa America, the Brazilian Football Confederation (CBF) said on Friday.



Aussies hail Johnson after he becomes only their fifth star to take 300 Test wickets

Mitchell Johnson becomes only the fifth Australian to take 300 Test wickets after

Mitchell Johnson has added his name to an exclusive list of Australian bowlers to take more than 300 Test wickets after dismissing Jonny Bairstow on the second day of the third Ashes Test at Edgbaston. Johnson delivered a ferocious short ball in his very first over of the day that the Yorkshire batsman could only deflect through to Peter Nevill to bring up the milestone.

Bell delighted as England hammer Australia to take Ashes initiative

Ian Bell delighted as England hammer Australia to take Ashes initiative

Ian Bell hailed the 'amazing game' of Test cricket after the Ashes swung England's way once more. Hammered at Lord's after an impressive opening win at Cardiff, England turned the tables in equally decisive fashion to win by eight wickets inside three days at Edgbaston. Warwickshire batsman Bell made 53 and an unbeaten 65 on his home ground as he and Joe Root rounded off a chase of just 121.

Cook calls on Trent Bridge crowd to roar England to Ashes series victory

July 31st 2015 - Birmingham, UK - ASHES EDGBASTON - 
Eng Root  and Bell cele win at Edgbaston
PIcture by Ian Hodgson/Daily Mail

Alastair Cook called on the Trent Bridge crowd to match Edgbaston's decibel-levels as England go for Ashes glory in Nottingham next week.

Injured Anderson hopeful he will be fit to play in the final Test at the Oval

Cricket - England v Australia - Investec Ashes Test Series Third Test - Edgbaston - 31/7/15
 England's James Anderson on the field after England won the third Ashes Test match
 Reuters / Philip Brown

James Anderson is optimistic he will be over his side injury in time for the Ashes finale at the Oval. England's leading wicket-taker was forced off the field on Thursday evening in the third Test.

Clarke sets a new Ashes record... as biggest Aussie loser ever to play here

Captain Michael Clarke has become Australia's biggest loser in Tests on British soil since the start of the Ashes 133 years ago following England's emphatic eight-wicket win at Edgbaston on Friday.

Teams from the north used to dominate the Premier League, but now the season kicks off with the fewest number in its history

Premier League 2015-16 season will have the fewest-ever number of northern teams... we

With the upcoming Premier League campaign just over a week away, fans tribal urges towards their devoted clubs are bound to get stronger - excited for what the next campaign may entail. Tongue-in-cheek chants about the North-South divide too are expected to be heard throughout the course of the term as rival supporters pit their wits against one another at the 20 top-flight grounds. But for the first-time ever in Premier League history, this divide has grown further apart with southern teams significantly outnumbering their northern counterparts.

Villa unveil Veretout after midfielder signs from Nantes for £8m on five-year contract

Aston Villa unveil £8m Jordan Veretout as Nantes midfielder signs five-year contract

Aston Villa have signed French midfielder Jordan Veretout after the 22-year-old put pen to paper on a five-year contract to seal his £8million move from Nantes. Veretout, a France Under 21 international, also attracted interest from Leicester City but chose a switch to Villa Park where he was unveiled as Tim Sherwood's eighth new signing on Friday. Blackburn Rovers striker Rudy Gestede has also signed for Villa and Sherwood is closing in on Tottenham forward Emmanuel Adebayor as he looks to revamp his squad after last season's relegation scrap.

Manchester City stars all smiles as hen party flocks for photos with the squad on their way to Stuttgart

Manchester City stars all smiles as hen party flocks for photos with the squad on their

The Manchester City squad flew out to Stuttgart on Friday for their final pre-season friendly, but not before posing for some photos with a hen party on their way to Dublin. The opportunistic ladies managed to get a few snaps alongside City captain and centre-back Vincent Kompany as well as goalkeeper Joe Hart and left-back Aleksandar Kolarov.

Suarez: Barca are the best team in the world, but I'm not one of best players

SANTA CLARA, CA - JULY 25:  Luis Suarez of FC Barcelona during the International Champions Cup 2015 match between Manchester United and FC Barcelona at Levi's Stadium on July 25, 2015 in Santa Clara, California.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Luis Suarez has played down his status as one of the best footballers in the world, instead heaping praise on his Barcelona team-mates, calling the Nou Camp side 'the best team in the world'.

HOT OR NOT: Shaw has stopped his impression of a human beach ball, but Mourinho's early row was poor

CHICAGO, IL - JULY 29:  Zlatan Ibrahimovic of Paris Saint-Germain and Luke Shaw of Manchester United during the International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain at Soldier Field on July 29, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

IAN LADYMAN reveals what's been making him feel warm and what's been leaving him cold inside. This week features Jason Day, British golf and an ill-advised manager or two.

United's new goalkeeper Romero must adapt quickly, says Schmeichel

CHICAGO, UNITED STATES - JULY 29:  Sergio Romero goalkeeper of Manchester United the International Champions Cup match between Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain at Soldier Field on July 29, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images)

Sergio Romero must hit the ground running if he is to have any chance of claiming the No 1 shirt at Manchester United, according to Old Trafford legend Peter Schmeichel.

Rangers boss Warburton will not rule out third bid for Hibernian star Allan 

Mark Warburton has refused to rule out Rangers making a third offer for Scott Allan. Hibernian have dismissed a transfer request from the 23-year-old midfielder and do not want to sell to their rivals.

Woodman takes over as Crystal Palace goalkeeping coach after leaving Newcastle to be reunited with Pardew

Newcastle goalkeeping coach Andy Woodman is leaving St James' Park to join former Magpies manager Alan Pardew at Crystal Palace. The move was announced by Newcastle on Friday.

Villa complete Gestede signing as Blackburn striker joins in £6m deal  

Aston Villa have completed the signing of Blackburn Rovers striker Rudy Gestede for £6million. The 26-year-old Benin international scored 22 goals for Rovers last season.

TRANSFERS: Club-by-club guide to all the summer Premier League deals


With Premier League clubs up and down the country hoping to strengthen their squad and offload dead wood, Sportsmail has every summer move covered with this handy guide.

PRE-SEASON GAMES: Keep track of all your side's fixtures and results

Liverpool fans show their support during the match between the Melbourne Victory and Liverpool at the Melbourne Cricket Ground in Melbourne, Australia.  

(Photo by Michael Dodge/Getty Images)

The big kick-off in the Premier League may still be in August, but the hard work begins long before for top flight clubs across the country.

NEW KITS: The strips your team will be wearing next season...

Chelsea Away Shirt Hero Image.jpg

As Premier League sides unveil their new kits for the 2015-16 season, Sportsmail will keep track of them all as they are released and rate them out of 10.

Who will come out on top? As Arsenal face Chelsea in the Community Shield... we rank the London rivals against each other

Arsenal face Chelsea in the Community Shield... we rank the London rivals against each

The Premier League aperitif - Arsenal versus Chelsea in the Community Shield - will whet the appetite for the season ahead on Sunday. Many are saying this could be Arsenal's year after Arsene Wenger's succession of FA Cup triumphs, but Jose Mourinho will want his double-winners and league champions Chelsea to stamp their authority on English football once again. Sportsmail has pitted what we consider the full-strength sides against each other to see who comes out on top.

Highly-rated Arsenal teenager Crowley joins Barnsley in loan deal as he bids to prove his worth to boss Wenger

Arsenal midfielder Dan Crowley joins Barnsley on loan

Arsenal's teenage prodigy Dan Crowley will play at Barnsley's Oakwell stadium on loan until January. Crowley was wanted by a plethora of Championship clubs but Arsenal have faith in Tykes manager Lee Johnson to develop him.

Diaby reveals his regret at how his Arsenal career ended as he sets sights on unlikely comeback with France

Abou Diaby says he regrets how his time at Arsenal ended with injury hell

Former Arsenal midfielder Abou Diaby has spoken out about his regrets over the way his time at the club ended in repeated injury problems that saw him make just two appearances in two years.

Newcastle to continue their summer of spending as Toney closes in on move 

Ivan Toney, Northampton Town

Newcastle are finally set to sign Northampton striker Ivan Toney. The 19-year-old has scored 13 times for the Cobblers since becoming their youngest-ever player at 16.

World Cup finalist Stekelenburg: I know my level, I just hope I get the chance to show it at Southampton

30 July 2015 - UEFA Europa League - Third Round Qualifying - Southampton v Vitesse Arnhem - Southampton Goalkeeper, Maarten Stekelenburg - Photo: Marc Atkins / Offside.

Maarten Stekelenburg has gone from World Cup finalist to back-up goalkeeper over the past five years, making him all the more determined to prove his worth at Southampton.

Villa set sights on luring Lescott away from rivals West Brom in £1m deal 

Aston Villa have made an approach to West Brom to sign Joleon Lescott. An offer of £1million for the former England defender is understood to have been spoken about.

Rangers boss Warburton urges squad to maintain Ibrox feel-good factor

Andy Halliday celebrates his strike for Rangers.

One wall of the home dressing room inside Ibrox will soon carry a short, simple message that could form Mark Warburton's credo. His side's debut 6-2 win over Hibernian last weekend was a delight.

Aubameyang over the moon as striker signs new deal to keep him at Borussia Dortmund until summer 2020

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has committed his future to Borussia Dortmund after the striker signed a two-year extension with the Bundesliga club to end any speculation.

Benitez says he has already improved Real and hails impact of Bale as No 10

epa04866319 Rafael Benitez (C), head coach of Real Madrid during the pre-season soccer friendly match between Real Madrid and AC Milan in Shanghai, China, 30 July 2015.  EPA/Xi Ya CHINA OUT

Real Madrid manager Rafa Benitez believes he is already seeing improvements under his stewardship, less than a month after meeting his new charges for the first time.

Hamilton tries his hand at American Football with impressive slow-motion catch as he enjoys Formula One summer break

Lewis Hamilton tries his hand at American Football with impressive slow-motion catch as he

With the Formula One season on a summer break, championship leader Lewis Hamilton has taken the opportunity to enjoy a vacation of his own in Colorado. Jetting off to one of his 'Mega Zones' - a home he uses to escape from his hectic day-to-day life - the 30-year-old Brit tried his hand at a different sport... American Football. With a little help from one of his friends, Hamilton shows off an impressive dive into a lake with a slow-motion video, where he catches the football in mid-air before plunging into the water.

Leeds 24-14 St Helens: Peacock books Wembley finale for Challenge Cup holders 

Leeds 24-14 St Helens: Jamie Peacock books Wembley finale for cup holders 

Ageless warrior Jamie Peacock produced a vintage performance to ensure his final season as a player will be marked by another trip to Wembley as he helped Leeds to a 24-14 win over St Helens in an epic Ladbrokes Challenge Cup semi-final at Warrington.

Dettori the Qatar Hero once again as Dubday lands Glorious Stakes

Frankie Dettori the Qatar Hero once again as Dubday lands Glorious Stakes at Goodwood

Dubday made history when becoming the first horse trained in Qatar to win a race in Britain when landing the Group Three Betfred Glorious Stakes at Goodwood on Friday. The leading horse in his country, trained by Jassim Ghazali and ridden by Frankie Dettori, held off 15-8 favourite The Corsican by three-quarters of a length and initiated a memorable day for owner Sheik Joaan Al Thani, whose horses race under the Al Shaqab Racing banner.

Laugher claims second bronze to create British diving history

Britainís bronze medalist Jack David Laugher poses following the medal ceremony for the men's 3m springboard diving final at the Swimming World Championships in Kazan, Russia, Friday, July 31, 2015. (AP Photo/Sergei Grits)

Jack Laugher made history by becoming the first British diver to win more than one medal at a World Championships as he claimed three metres springboard bronze in Kazan.

Pettersen battles Scottish wind and rain to lead British Open at Turnberry

Norway's Suzann Pettersen set a testing clubhouse target and looked set to lead overnight in the Ricoh Women's British Open at Turnberry on Friday.

Counties hit out at Sky-backed plan for city-based Twenty20 league

Yorkshire's Gary Ballance plays a shot off Afridi of Northants in the T20Blast at Headingley
June 14th 2015 - LEEDS, UK.
Picture by Ian Hodgson/Daily Mail

CHARLES SALE: England's cricket counties have voiced their strong opposition to plans for a city-based T20 tournament featuring eight teams that the ECB would like to start in 2017.

Hughes confident of retiring aboard a winner at Goodwood on Saturday

CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 31:  Jockey Richard Hughes on day four of the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse on July 31, 2015 in Chichester, England.  (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Qatar Goodwood Festival)

Richard Hughes hopes his 'strongest book of rides of the week' will allow him to end his illustrious riding career on a high at Glorious Goodwood on Saturday afternoon.

Thompson: Boxing should legalise doping because it's so rife in the sport

USA's Tony Thompson enters the ring to face Great Britain's David Price during the International Heavyweight Fight between David Price and Tony Thompson at the Echo Arena in Liverpool, England. 

 (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Tony Thompson has called for doping to be legalised because he believes it has become so rife in the sport. American heavyweight maintains his innocence despite failing a drugs test in 2013.

Wales vs Ireland: WIN tickets to the Rugby World Cup warm-up match

Ireland captain Paul O'Conell (r) leaves the field dejectedly as Wales captain Sam Warburton looks on after the RBS Six Nations match between Wales and Ireland at Millennium Stadium in Cardiff, Wales.  

(Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

MailOnline has teamed up with T.M. Lewin to offer one lucky reader the chance to win a pair of tickets to the World Cup warm-up match between Wales and Ireland.

Solow holds off Arod to make it eight wins out of eight in the Sussex Stakes

CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 29:  Winner of the Qatar Sussex Stakes, Maxime Guyon on horse Solow, on day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse on July 29, 2015 in Chichester, England.  (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Qatar Goodwood Festival)

It was not quite the solo performance his 2-5 starting price had suggested but Solow won his eighth consecutive race with a half-length of Arod in the Group One Sussex Stakes.

SAM TURNER'S RACING TIPS: All the best bets for Thursday, July 30

CHICHESTER, ENGLAND - JULY 29:  General views on day two of the Qatar Goodwood Festival at Goodwood Racecourse on July 29, 2015 in Chichester, England.  (Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images for Qatar Goodwood Festival)

Sportsmail racing expert Sam Turner brings his best selections from Thursday's races at Stratford, Goodwood, Epsom Downs, Ffos Las and Nottingham.

Sir Peter O'Sullevan tribute: He was not just the voice of a sport but the voice of an era

Sir Peter O'Sullevan tribute: He was not just the voice of a sport but the voice of an era

JONATHAN McEVOY: Ah, that voice. The Voice. Silenced now. It never shouted at us, or hectored us, or bored us, or confused us or spoke down to us. Even at the two-furlong marker, its cadences rose in only the most mellifluous manner. There was still time for grammatical sentences. No 'h' was ever dropped.

LEE BOWYER INTERVIEW: Retiring with 99 goals and 99 bookings, former Leeds star reveals why he bought a carp lake in France

Lee Bowyer left football behind to run a carp fishing lake in France

JOE BERNSTEIN: Posing serenely in front of a fishing lake in France's Champagne region, Lee Bowyer can reflect that he hasn't done badly for a boy from Canning Town once rejected by Arsenal for being too small.

MARTIN SAMUEL: Lancaster has to be true to himself as he leads England at World Cup... he must do it his way

THE DEBATE: Stuart Lancaster talked through many issues during his recent interview with our chief sports writer and provoked plenty of reaction.

TACKLE KEOWN: Phil Jones? I find him unconvincing. He plays like a stuntman... he's so theatrical.

Image:  38517230    Manchester United defender Phil Jones (L) and Paris Saint-Germain defender Maxwell go for the ball during the first half of their match in the 2015 International Champions Cup on July 29, 2015 in Chicago. Paris Saint-Germain defeated Manchester United 2-0.   
PHOTOGRAPH BY UPI /Landov / Barcroft Media
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Former Arsenal and England defender and Sportsmail columnist MARTIN KEOWN returns ahead of the new season to answer YOUR questions on the biggest talking points in football.

Afellay was once one of Europe's brightest prospects... career at Barca stalled but Stoke could revive him

ATHENS, GREECE - FEBRUARY 11:  Ibrahim Afellay of Olympiacos in action during the Greek Cup match between Olympiacos Piraeus and AEK Athens at Karaiskakis Stadium on February 11, 2015 in Athens, Greece.  (Photo by Vladimir Rys Photography/Getty Images)

LAURIE WHITWELL: The baby-face of Ibrahim Afellay, now 29, cannot hide those memories of his bold emergence onto the European scene a decade ago. Yes, it has been that long.