West Ham tested by second bid for unhappy Marko Arnautovic

19-01-2019 • Guangzhou Evergrande bid £35.2m for player, who aims to leave• Manuel Pellegrini drops striker for Bournemouth tripWest Ham’s resolve to keep Marko Arnautovic has been tested by a €40m (£35.2m) offer from Guangzhou Evergrande.The Premier League club are furious with Arnautovic over behaviour that has led to the striker being dropped for the game at Bournemouth and apologising to his teammates, but are likely to hold out for a third bid from the Chinese Super League side, who had previously offered €35m. Continue reading...

Gonzalo Higuaín to arrive in London for formalities of Chelsea loan move

19-01-2019 • Striker will join initially for six months from Juventus• Maurizio Sarri also hopes to sign a midfielder this monthGonzalo Higuaín is expected in London over the next 48 hours to undertake a medical and complete the formalities of his move to Chelsea from Juventus, initially on a six-month loan, with Maurizio Sarri still keen for the striker to be joined by a midfielder at Stamford Bridge.Higuaín, who has spent the first half of the season on loan at Milan, has said his goodbyes to his Rossoneri teammates having pushed to be reunited with Sarri, under whose stewardship he scored 36 goals for Napoli in Serie A two seasons ago. Continue reading...

Roger Federer has 'no plans' to retire after cruising into Australian Open last 16 – video

19-01-2019 Roger Federer revealed he has no plans to retire any time soon after a strong start to his Australian Open campaign.The 37-year-old defending champion beat American Taylor Fritz in straight sets to advance to the fourth round of a grand slam for the 64th time.“I’m injury-free, enjoying myself,” the Swiss said. "My wife’s happy. So, for the moment, there are absolutely no complaints and no plans. I’m just happy where I am in my life, in my career right now.”Retirement not on Roger Federer's mind after sweeping into Australian Open last 16 Continue reading...

The Breakdown | Concentration of Ireland rugby talent leaves English trailing in Europe

19-01-2019 Leinster – and the fast-rising Scottish sides – are packed full of internationals while Test players are spread more thinly across their Premiership and Top 14 rivalsThe Premiership goes into the final round of the European Champions Cup group stage this weekend hunting a first victory over an Irish province in this season’s tournament. Its clubs have three opportunities: Ulster travel to Leicester, Leinster are away to Wasps and, in the one contest that has an outcome for both teams, Exeter have to become the fourth team to topple Munster at Thomond Park in the competition.The Chiefs’ task is even more demanding because of the bonus point Munster secured at Gloucester last Friday. It means Exeter not only have to win but deny their opponents a bonus point, unless they score at least four tries. For all the impact they have made in the Premiership in recent seasons, reaching the last three finals, they have yet to find the formula in Europe where a gameplan based on retaining possession is more hazardous because of the extra latitude given to the defending side at the breakdown. Continue reading...

Stuart Lancaster: ‘I haven’t decided if I’ll go to watch England play Ireland’

19-01-2019 The Leinster coach on the bruising aftermath of his 2015 England exit, finding fulfilment in Dublin and the pain of his father’s death‘Pretty much everything has been given to Leinster and, indirectly, to Ireland,” Stuart Lancaster says when he considers how the knowledge he gained during seven years at the heart of English rugby has been jettisoned by his own country. The Leinster coach speaks without bitterness and, having reflected movingly on the recent death of his father and the bruising aftermath of being sacked by England after the 2015 World Cup, he sounds philosophical. Related: England’s Six Nations squad has tools to be hard, direct and ruthless Continue reading...

NFL championship round predictions: Saints slay Rams, Patriots stumble

19-01-2019 The four best teams in the NFL play each other on Sunday. And both games are likely to be decided by the finest of marginsLos Angeles Rams (No2 seed) @ New Orleans Saints (No1 seed). Sunday, 3.05pm EST/8.05pm GMT Continue reading...

Talking Horses: unsung Ascot specialist Mr Medic offers plenty of appeal

19-01-2019 The selection got up near the line when he won at Ascot just before Christmas in 2017 but he won with much more authority when stepped up to Saturday’s distance there in NovemberMost punters love a course specialist and the unsung Mr Medic (3.00) appears to have the happy knack of running well around Ascot. Robert Walford’s runner can get a third success at the Queen’s track in Saturday’s Bet365 Handicap Chase.Mr Medic got up near the line when he scored at Ascot just before Christmas in 2017 but he won with much more authority when stepped up to this distance there in November. He went up the weights for that but was running another big race at Cheltenham last month until making a horlicks of the fourth-last. At 8-1 he makes lots of appeal. Continue reading...

David Squires on ... the Socceroos' progress at the Asian Cup

19-01-2019 Our cartoonist reflects on Australia’s late win over Syria – and the tournament’s outrageously large accreditation lanyardsTake a look through David’s archive of cartoons Continue reading...

Wolves v Leicester City: Premier League – live!

19-01-2019 Premier League updates from the 12.30pm GMT kick-offTime running out for Puel’s quest to galvanise LeicesterAnd feel free to email [email protected] 11.52am GMT Harvey Barnes makes his first start in the Premier League for Leicester City today. This is what the 21-year-old midfielder will find in the Molineux away dressing room. Hopefully superstition isn’t an issue for the young man, because the way his shirt’s been folded, the bottom of the numbers aren’t in view. And those socks have been paired to different lengths. It’s chaos. Who could concentrate in the face of such disorder? I’d be spinning like a top. A free bottle of calming isotonic pop, though, so it’s swings and roundabouts. 11.38am GMT Two changes for Wolves off the back of their 3-0 defeat at the Etihad. Romain Saiss and Ruben Vinagre take the place of the suspended Willy Boly and the benched Matt Doherty, neither of whom particularly covered themselves in glory on Monday night.Leicester make three changes to the team that lost 2-1 at home to Southampton last Saturday. Danny Simpson, Demarai Gray and Harvey Barnes replace James Maddison, Marc Albrighton and Hamza Choudhary, who all drop to the bench. Barnes, who impressed on his recent loan spell at West Brom, makes his first Premier League start for the club. Continue reading...

Soccer and soju: The football match that kicked off Korean peace

19-01-2019 How a friendly chat on the sidelines opened the door for North and South Korea to start talking.

Australian Open 2019: Simona Halep beats Venus Williams to reach last 16

19-01-2019 Top seed Simona Halep sets up an Australian Open last-16 match with Serena Williams by beating the American's older sister Venus.

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

19-01-2019 In his latest column, former Renault driver Jolyon Palmer looks at the brilliance of five-time world champion Lewis Hamilton.