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Athletic Bilbao
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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Gareth Bale rumoured to be talking to Man United about summer move

Would Gareth Bale look good in red? According to some U.K. media outlets, the brass at Manchester United think so.

Some people think the festive season is about counting down December's days until Christmas morning, but we all know the real fun begins Jan. 1. Keep connected with all the build-up with Transfer Talk.

It's back ... Bale to United

There are some things -- like bright, shiny objects or a really nice Bordeaux -- that, try as you might, are powerless to resist. The persistent rumours that Gareth Bale is headed for a Premier League return to Manchester United is the Transfer Talk equivalent to...

Player Ratings: Griezmann hat trick caps Atletico's memorable year

Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone was full of praise for his players ahead of their final game of the year.

What a difference 15 minutes in a room with Diego Simeone can make.

Atletico Madrid went in trailing 1-0 at halftime to a greatly superior Athletic Club at San Mames on Sunday evening. Los Rojiblancos had wobbled and were outplayed by their host, which did not let them settle into any kind of rhythm. They were outfought and unusually sluggish in defence and did not look worthy of the tag La Liga champion.

Yet 45 minutes later they had won 4-1 and played quite possibly their best half of football...

 By Jim Daly

A little bit of luck would go a long way for Palace

Crystal Palace manager Neil Warnock criticised referee Phil Dowd for disallowing James McArthur's goal in Palace's 3-0 defeat to Manchester City.

They say there are two things you need to be successful in life: hard work and a little bit of luck. Palace have the first thing in spades but seem to be seriously lacking in the other at the moment.

In recent weeks, the team has played fairly well but has come away from games with little to show for it. The reason for that has been a combination of some poor finishing, a bit of sloppy defending and just some good old-fashioned bad luck.

Against Tottenham two weeks ago and in the second half...

 By Lee Ryder

Christmas cancelled on Tyneside after Toon's hurtful loss to Sunderland

Adam Johnson struck late as Sunderland inflicted more derby day misery on Newcastle.

Things can only get better for Newcastle United going into the festive period, but let's be honest: After another gut-wrenching defeat to Sunderland, it can't get much worse.

The Magpies were supposed to put things right in the Tyne-Wear derby when they headed to the Stadium of Light in September 2013 after Paolo Di Canio's team had trounced United on home turf.

Well, in a fixture United fans hate losing, we're still waiting for that revenge mission from Alan Pardew. The Newcastle boss was once...

Liverpool, Arsenal frailties all too familiar in sloppy draw

ESPN FC analyst Craig Burley breaks down all the drama at Anfield, which culminated with Martin Skrtel's stoppage-time equaliser that earned Liverpool a draw against Arsenal.

LIVERPOOL, England -- The significance of the injury time referee Michael Oliver was adding would become apparent later, but as Martin Skrtel had his head bandaged, the travelling Arsenal fans turned their attention to another of the Liverpool defence.

They addressed Kolo Toure, a stalwart of Arsene Wenger's most famous team. "You are Invincible," they chorused. Indeed Toure was, as part of an Arsenal side that completed the 2003-04 season without a league loss.

A decade on, both Toure's current...

 By Max Hicks

Swansea must get Gomis up to speed ahead of Bony's exit in January

Swansea City manager Garry Monk hailed his side's resilience after a 1-0 win against Hull City.

Hull's misery continued Saturday as Swansea chalked up their first-ever win at the KC Stadium. Here are three observations from the game:

All change

It was a surprise to see Swansea coach Garry Monk make seven changes to the team that battled so hard in the 2-1 defeat to Tottenham last week. Apparently three players who started in that match -- Jefferson Montero, Gylfi Sigurdsson and Leon Britton -- all picked up minor knocks and weren't risked against Hull.

Hull had a makeshift team of their own,...