Football transfer rumours: Bayern Munich to move for Rabbi Matondo?

22-01-2019

Today’s rumours are taking the strainRumours of players staying put are never that exciting, we know that. You come here for big-money talk, hot gossip of signings emerging from the leftfield. But we can’t just play to the gallery, and the top line today concerns Eden Hazard, who is now thinking of signing a new contract at Chelsea, perhaps buoyed by the impending arrival of Gonzalo Higuaín.Manchester United won’t satisfy your crazed lust for fresh meat either. They’re mainly concerned with tying down both Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial to new deals, you see, with the pair willing to talk now the gaff has been decontaminated. Scott McTominay has already put pen to paper on a spanking new contract as well, upping the current feelgood factor at Old Trafford to 11. Continue reading...



'Humble and generous, but a private enigma' - who was Leicester City's owner?

22-01-2019

Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha is revered in Leicester as the man who presided over one of sport's great triumphs - but who was the billionaire Thai businessman?



Championship promotion race: who’s heading up and who’s missing out? | Ben Fisher

22-01-2019

Leeds have set the pace but the chasing pack are closing and the race to reach the Premier League is hotting upEver since Marcelo Bielsa took charge last summer the fear, in some quarters at least, was that Leeds would fail to last the distance – or that ‘El Loco’, a headline appointment, might himself not finish the season in charge. The early pacesetters, Leeds now face the true litmus test given they have lost four of their last five games. They have coped admirably with injuries, strengthening their goalkeeping options with Kiko Casilla from Real Madrid, while the next generation have flourished, none more so than Jack Clarke. Until the turn of the year there were no blemishes but Bielsa’s spying revelations have brought with them even greater scrutiny. So far Bielsa and Leeds – a sleeping giant in every sense – have proved a match made in heaven, a glorious cocktail, though the next four gruelling months represent the final hurdle. Continue reading...



Emiliano Sala: Cardiff's new striker who was on missing plane – video report

22-01-2019

Cardiff City's new signing Emiliano Sala was aboard a small plane that disappeared over the English Channel, the French civil aviation authority has said.The light aircraft, which had two passengers on board, lost contact on Monday night off the coast of Guernsey as it made the journey from Nantes - where Sala had played since 2015. The 28-year-old striker had spent the previous hours saying farewell to teammates in the French city after Cardiff signed the Argentinian-Italian for a club-record fee, believed to be £15m.Nantes were due to play Entente Sannois in the French Cup on Wednesday but the third-tier club said it was postponed until Sunday 'following the disappearance of the plane of former player Emiliano Sala.'Cardiff City’s Emiliano Sala was on missing plane, French authorities say Continue reading...



Australian Open 2019: Petra Kvitova sets up semi-final against Danielle Collins

22-01-2019

Petra Kvitova reaches her first Grand Slam semi-final since being stabbed in a knife attack as she beats Ashleigh Barty at the Australian Open.



Sri Lanka v England: Pick your England team for first Test

22-01-2019

Who do you think should be in the England side for the first Test against Sri Lanka? Choose your XI and share it with your friends.



Hamilton would be world champion in a Mercedes or a Ferrari - Palmer column

22-01-2019

In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.



Rugby still has room for unorthodox magic to prevail in Six Nations | Robert Kitson

22-01-2019

Stuart Barnes’ latest book is a timely reminder before the 2019 Six Nations of how the unexpected can be decisiveThe language of rugby has changed hugely in the past quarter of a century. What used to be a tackle is now a big hit and wingers have wheels or gas as opposed to pace. The term dummy scissors belongs in a museum, along with garryowens and argy-bargy. Naughty feet, game-changers, taking the learnings and going upstairs are rather more commonplace now than sidesteps, replacements, mud-baths or players drinking bottles of red to help them sleep better on the eve of major internationals.It partly explains why Stuart Barnes’s new book, Sketches from Memory, is such a thought-provoking read. As a commentator and pundit, few wrestle with rugby’s modern lexicon on a more regular basis than Barnesy, never one to employ a cliché where a smart literary reference might do instead. The former Bath and England fly-half writes as he once played: dull orthodoxy remains his sworn enemy. His latest tome, typically, is not just any old rugby book. From Bob Dylan to Bath and Shakespeare to Sky, there is something for everyone in its honest, trenchant revealing and, occasionally, poetic pages. Continue reading...



Emiliano Sala was 'so ready' to join us, says Cardiff City chief executive – video

22-01-2019

Cardiff City chief executive Ken Choo has said that the club is in shock over new signing Emiliano Sala's disappearance. The 28-year-old striker was aboard a small passenger plane that lost contact on Monday night off the coast of Guernsey as he was flying to Wales from Nantes, French authorities have said.The Channel Islands air search chief officer, John Fitzgerald, told the Associated Press: 'After all this time the weather’s quite cold, the water is very cold out there ... I am not expecting anyone to be alive.'Sala completed his move from Nantes to Cardiff for a club-record fee over the weekend, but had returned to France to say goodbye to his teammates. He was set to train with Cardiff for the first time on Tuesday morning and expected to make his debut against Arsenal next week. Emiliano Sala: Cardiff's new striker who was on missing plane – video report Continue reading...



Marc Skinner: ‘Orlando Pride are mesmerising. It’s a different level’

22-01-2019

After leaving his beloved Birmingham, the young manager is relishing working with global stars such as Marta and Morgan“I asked the guys if I could just spend a little bit of time in the middle of the pitch to visualise what the players go through.”Standing in front of 25,500 purple seats, the new Orlando Pride manager Marc Skinner paused to drink it all in. It is a world away from Solihull Moors’ 3,050‑capacity Damson Park, where his former club, Birmingham City women, ply their trade. Continue reading...



Ronaldo agrees to pay €19m fine to settle tax fraud case

22-01-2019

Juventus footballer pleads guilty after agreeing to fine and suspended sentence in Madrid courtThe Portugal and Juventus footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has admitted committing tax fraud while playing for Real Madrid and agreed to pay an €18.8m (£16.5m) fine after striking a deal with prosecutors and tax authorities in return for a 23-month suspended prison sentence.Ronaldo, 33, had been accused of defrauding the authorities of €14.8m (£12.9m) in unpaid taxes between 2011 and 2014. Continue reading...



Russia avoids further Wada sanctions despite missing data deadline

22-01-2019

• Russia missed deadline by more than a fortnight• ‘We will not be deterred from this mission,’ says ReedieRussia has avoided further sanctions from the World Anti-Doping Agency despite missing by more than a fortnight a 31 December deadline to provide doping data from its Moscow laboratory.However, Russia has been warned it faces being banned from the Tokyo 2020 Olympics and prohibited from hosting international sporting events if there is any evidence that the lab data – which was retrieved last week – has been tampered with. Continue reading...



Serena Williams knocks out Simona Halep in epic Australian Open clash - highlights

22-01-2019

Serena Williams outlines why she is the favourite to win the Australian Open with a 6-1 4-6 6-4 win over world number one Simona Halep in a high-quality last-16 match.



Shock hits that record-signing Sala may be ‘best player Cardiff never had’

22-01-2019

The Argentinian was a record signing intended to usher in a club’s survival but now Cardiff City fans fear for his lifeAs storm clouds gathered above the Cardiff City Stadium on what was a grey afternoon in south Wales in more ways than one, Robert Glaves stared at the floral tributes that had been placed in the wake of the news that Emiliano Sala, the club-record signing, was on board an aeroplane that disappeared near the Channel Islands on Monday evening. “He’s going to be remembered as the best player we never had,” said Glaves, who has been following Cardiff for more than 50 years. Related: Search for Cardiff City’s Emiliano Sala and missing plane called off for night Continue reading...



Fearless esports racers blur lines between games and the real thing | Andy Bull

22-01-2019

McLaren are investing in sim racing which, they think, could lead to an F1 champion in the next decadeLast Saturday afternoon a 23-year-old Italian called Enzo Bonito won a car race at the Foro Sol in Mexico City, and when he did it, motorsport shifted, just a little bit, towards a strange new future. Bonito was competing in the Race of Champions (RoC), racing head-to-head in a heat against Lucas di Grassi, a 34-year-old who won the Formula E championship just a couple of seasons back. And then, just to prove it wasn’t a fluke, Bonito did it again the next day. This time he beat the 2012 Indycar champion Ryan Hunter-Reay. The thing is, Bonito is a sim racer. He learned everything he knows from playing computer games.“It wasn’t much of a surprise for me at all, if I’m honest,” says Ben Payne, who is the director of esports at McLaren. “But I know it raises eyebrows for a lot of other people.” McLaren are investing a lot of time, effort and money in esports. Bonito is part of their team, along with Rudy van Buren, who won three races at last year’s RoC, in Riyadh. Van Buren was working as a kitchen salesman when he won McLaren’s World’s Fastest Gamer competition, which earned him a year-long job as their simulator driver. Later this year, Payne says, Van Buren will likely make the switch from being a virtual racing driver to a real racing driver. Continue reading...