Manu Tuilagi: Leicester and England centre in deal talks amid Racing 92 rumours

22-02-2019 England centre Manu Tuilagi has not agreed to join Racing 92 and is in talks over a new deal with Leicester Tigers.

‘I’ve had to hold back animal Harry Kane’s Spurs return,’ says Pochettino

22-02-2019 • Tottenham striker back in training after ankle injury• ‘I don’t care if he feels ready or wants to play or not’Mauricio Pochettino has praised the “animal” qualities that have enabled Harry Kane to fight back from an ankle injury to the point where he could return to action at Burnley on Saturday. The striker has missed seven Tottenham matches since damaging the ankle in the defeat by Manchester United on 13 January.“Everyone knows that Harry is an animal – he wants to be ready as soon as possible,” Pochettino said. “He did everything to try to recover and of course the injury that he suffered is tough to recover from. We’re so happy that in the last 10 days he was fantastic, back in training again, and he can be available again. It’s going to be a massive impact for everyone [when he returns]. Continue reading...

The Fiver | Staring us in the face, in plain sight, giving us the big do-you-want-some

22-02-2019 Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!Yesterday evening, Barcelona took 25 shots against Lyon but none of them went in, so they drew for the fourth time in five matches. At Anfield, Naby Keïta had a pass completion rate of 74%. But apart from those two examples of things that are brimful of pretty attacking promise but aren’t quite clicking at the moment, there was very little to talk about in Big Cup. The needle on the Fiver’s patented Entertainmentometer™© got stuck halfway between Mildly Diverting But Only Because There’s Nothing On Any Of The Other Channels and Intriguing But Only Because You’re Trying Way Too Hard. Bah. As a banner displayed in the Bayern end and applauded by the Liverpool fans noted, you had to pay £48 for a ticket to watch this stuff. One day a real rain will come. Continue reading...

The Fiver | It was nice to see Diego Simeone bucking that trend

22-02-2019 Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The punditry career of Robbie Savage. The reboot of Magnum PI. The Independent Group extemporising philosophically on roundtable debate shows. There’s enough unnecessary, inexplicable, depressing nonsense on television to be dealing with these days without getting worked up about VAR. So hats off to Pep Guardiola for shrugging his shoulders last night and declaring himself “a big fan” of the much-maligned, pernickety officiating system which has only tarnished three Big Cup knockout matches and one World Cup final so far. “I trust VAR!” he trilled with the magnanimity one can only afford when your team has dodged a bullet and it might be best to keep your powder dry so you can properly kick off when the video ref awards Real Madrid a preposterous last-minute penalty in the next round. Continue reading...

'It's not the game we dreamed of': Jürgen Klopp disappointed by performance against Bayern – video

22-02-2019 Liverpool manager Jürgen Klopp struck a philosophical tone after his side's 0-0 draw with Bayern Munich in the Champions League.Admitting that Bayern would be the happier side to emerge from their Anfield encounter without conceding, he insisted that the result was still a good one for Liverpool: "If we won tonight 1-0, what changes, really?"Liverpool and Bayern Munich trade blows but draw leaves tie poised Continue reading...

Shkodran Mustafi header helps Arsenal to progress at expense of Bate Borisov

22-02-2019 One of the reasons for hiring Unai Emery was his record as a Europa League specialist. The man from the Basque country has won this competition three times in succession with Sevilla, and given Arsenal find themselves in this company at the moment (however desperate they are to get out of it) there is a certain logic in choosing a coach who knows how to get over this particular line.So, having gone the distance before on a few occasions, are his current team strong enough to emulate that in the Europa League? Emery paused for a moment before forming his answer. “We can,” he mused, not entirely convincingly. “In the last 16, one is Arsenal, but it’s very difficult. A lot of teams want the same. We need to feel this competition with our supporters. This feeling can give us more possibilities. We need to feel stronger in this competition with everybody and create this atmosphere around us.” Continue reading...

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

22-02-2019 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?

'Solari the stopgap with bigger name to come' - what is going on at Real Madrid?

22-02-2019 The relatively unknown Santiago Solari has been placed in charge of Real Madrid - but he is not likely to be in the role for long, writes Andy West.

Christian Atsu: ‘Sometimes what’s happened to me seems like a miracle’

22-02-2019 Newcastle winger remains close to his roots in Ghana and takes inspiration from ‘father figure’ Rafael BenítezIt is a very long way from Ghana’s Ada Foah to Hillsong church on Newcastle’s Westgate Road – and not merely in miles. Christian Atsu has made that transformative journey, swapping an existence as one of 10 children whose late father eked out a living fishing and farming on the junction of the Volta River and the Atlantic Ocean, for a new life on Tyneside.Almost everything has altered but one constant remains: the Newcastle winger’s Christian faith. Church was a central part of Atsu’s childhood and worship at Hillsong, a short walk from St James’ Park, binds the Ghana international to his new habitat. Continue reading...

Watch: Were officials right to send off Kilmarnock's Bachmann against Rangers?

22-02-2019 Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke called goalkeeper Daniel Bachmann's sending off in his side's 5-0 Scottish Cup fifth-round replay hammering by Rangers "a joke". Is he right?

Going it alone: What drives solo endurance athletes?

22-02-2019 From transatlantic rowers to cross-continental runners, solo adventurers rely as much on their mental strength as their physical attributesFew people have the will and the stamina needed to run across a continent or row across an ocean — and even fewer opt to do so alone and unsupported. What makes these endurance athletes different from others who pursue similar challenges as part of a team, or while competing against fellow athletes? Are they simply made of tougher stuff?Across the spectrum of athletic pursuits, people have accomplished staggering feats solo. Alex Honnold was the first climber to “free solo” Yosemite’s 3,000-foot El Capitan wall — climbing without ropes or harnesses. Continue reading...

Man Utd: Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial could face Liverpool

22-02-2019 Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial will be fit for Sunday's Premier League game against Liverpool.

Widnes cancel Sheffield game as administration threat looms

22-02-2019 • Championship fixture with Sheffield postponed• Wakefield back on track with triumph over CatalansThe threat of administration at Widnes appears an increasing possibility following the postponement of Sunday’s Championship home match against Sheffield.Widnes, the world champions in 1989, announced on Monday they were facing significant cash-flow problems after a consortium decided against a takeover of the club, who were relegated from Super League last season following a seven-year stay. Continue reading...

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

22-02-2019 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

22-02-2019 In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.

Hamed v Eubank, Nani mocks Rio, and Jossy's Giants cameos

22-02-2019 This week’s roundup also features Wales v England memories, Sir Charles Barkley and Francis Benali1) On Saturday, James DeGale and Chris Eubank Jr will finally settle their longstanding beef: who was made to look sillier by George Groves? On which point, Naseem Hamed delivered a brilliantly withering assessment of Eubank’s performance against Groves, so withering that it required a second stanza; perhaps he was avenging this absolute rinsing he suffered at the hands of Eubank Sr. And for old time’s sake here are Groves and Carl Froch showing how it’s done, and here’s the best of the Prince. Related: Anthony Joshua brushes off Jarrell Miller testosterone claims before fight Continue reading...