24-01-2019 Football transfer rumours: José Mourinho lined up by PSG?

Today’s rumours are in harmonyFresh from delivering a plaintive lament about the difficult character of the modern player, José Mourinho has been tipped to become the new manager of Neymar. Thomas Tuchel is under pressure, see, after only winning 9-0 last weekend in Ligue 1, where PSG have but a 13-point lead at the top of the table, with two matches in hand. If they were to offset that embarrassment in that Champions League, then the French club might jilt Tuchel and make a move for Mourinho, who bumped into the the PSG president, Nasser Al-Khelaifi, while a-punditing in Qatar recently. That story will sadden the hearts of fun-lovers, who would much prefer Mourinho to be thrust into power at PSG *before *their next Champions League fixture, which, of course, is against Manchester United, whose fortunes have turned around in exactly the manner you’d expect after replacing Mourinho with a bubbly work experience intern from Norway. Related: Transfer window January 2019 – every deal from Europe's top five leagues Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Australian exit shows Serena Williams is haunted by trauma of US meltdown

Serena Williams has insisted she will ‘soldier on’ in search of slam glory but her quarter-final collapse against Karolina Pliskova posed questions about her emotional stateSerena Williams leaves Melbourne – and the rest of tennis – less certain about her future than her magnificent past, upset yet oddly resigned to the fact that what she hoped would be the extension of her comeback had unravelled in glorious confusion.In trying to rationalise the disappointment of falling three wins short of drawing alongside Margaret Court with a staggering 24 career majors, Williams moved with far more dexterity in the aftermath than she did while enduring a head-spinning collapse in the third set of her quarter-final against Karolina Pliskova. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Rugby still has room for unorthodox magic to prevail in Six Nations | Robert Kitson

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...

24-01-2019 Paul Scholes says Class of 92 should have greater role at Manchester United

• Scholes surprised that only Nicky Butt works at United• Scholes feels ‘you’ve got your club back’ with SolskjærPaul Scholes believes it is “strange” that only Nicky Butt of the Class of 92 works at Manchester United, the former midfielder stating that Sir Alex Ferguson’s wish was for them all to have roles.Scholes was referring to himself, Ryan Giggs, David Beckham and Gary and Phil Neville together with Butt, who is the head of academy at United. Scholes went as far as to say that he had been left feeling unwelcome at United. The six own 60% of Salford City, following the announcement on Wednesday that Beckham has bought a 10% stake. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Ben Stokes’s five-ball burst underlines claims he is Flintoff’s heir apparent | Ali Martin

England all-rounder marks 50th cap by giving West Indies a taste of his indefatigable brawn and a natural ability to get the ball hoopingAt 9am the England supporters had swamped the public spaces outside the Kensington Oval, perusing the market stalls, taking on early fluids and jostling for pictures in front of the cover-driving statue of Sir Garfield Sobers.Inside the so-called mecca of Caribbean cricket another all-rounder was also being celebrated. In the pre-match huddle Ben Stokes received his 50th England cap from his former county teammate Steve Harmison, who once planted his personal flag in the region when blasting Michael Vaughan’s side to a series win in 2004. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 ‘All our hearts are very red’ – Mick Schumacher enters Ferrari maelstrom | Giles Richards

Michael Schumacher’s son kept his head down while rising through the ranks but driving in F2 and testing a Ferrari F1 car will put the 19-year-old in the spotlight like never beforeFour years ago when Michael Schumacher’s son, Mick, made his car racing debut, there was an unmistakable sense of anticipation and excitement in the air. It was clearly the return of the Schumacher name to racing that had brought so many people to the unostentatious Oschersleben circuit in Germany.The interest in Mick has only grown since but now he has joined the Ferrari driver academy, is set to compete in F2 and highly likely to test a Ferrari F1 car this season, Oschersleben was a bagatelle compared with the maelstrom the 19-year-old is about to enter. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Highlights: Serena Williams knocked out of Australian Open by Karolina Pliskova after holding match points

Serena Williams misses four match points as Czech seventh seed Karolina Pliskova wins the final six games to reach the Australian Open semi-finals in Melbourne.

24-01-2019 Ricky Ponting & Shane Warne send message to cricket car crash victim

Wiltshire wicketkeeper Billy Cookson receives a special video message from Ricky Ponting, Shane Warne and Michael Vaughan after a horrific car crash in Australia that almost claimed his life.

24-01-2019 England’s Marlie Packer: ‘I thought it was all over. I’d lose my job, lose my rugby’

The Saracens back-rower’s career hung by a thread after a ‘soul-destroying’ drink-driving incident but the RFU’s support meant the chance of a fresh startMarlie Packer remembers it as a gorgeous August Saturday. Saracens had a pre-season friendly. She was still recovering from an operation, so didn’t play, but spent the day running out the water bottles. They won handily, and afterwards everyone went to the pub. It was the first time the whole squad had been back together since they won the Premiership final three months earlier. “Everyone’s spirits were really good,” Packer says. She had two drinks. “I didn’t really think about it, I didn’t feel drunk or anything like that, I was just in a good mood. We all were.” And then she drove home.It’s a long way from Saracens’ home ground to Packer’s house in Twickenham and she was most of the way there when it happened. Coming down the Kew Road she saw a car come rushing up to a junction ahead. She was sure it was going to pull out, so swerved into the other lane to avoid it. Her van clipped the back of an oncoming car, the airbags exploded, and her van smacked into the kerb. Through the shock, she felt certain she wasn’t hurt, so she unbuckled herself, opened the door and ran around behind to check on the people in the car she had hit. Mercifully, they were fine too. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 Gerwyn Price: Grand Slam champion fined £21,500 and given a suspended three-month ban

Gerwyn Price is fined £21,500 and given a suspended three-month ban for his boisterous behaviour at the Grand Slam of Darts.

24-01-2019 South Korea unveils biggest ever investigation into abuse in sport

Human rights commission to interview possibly thousands of adults and children in wake of allegationsSouth Korea’s human rights commission plans to interview possibly thousands of adult and child athletes about a culture of abuse in sports after a wave of female athletes came forward to allege they had been raped or assaulted by their coaches.The year-long investigation will cover 50 sports and include children competing from primary schools upwards, Park Hong-geun, an official from the National Human Rights Commission, said on Wednesday. Continue reading...

24-01-2019 #WorkoutWednesday: Max Whitlock's second HIIT routine

In the fourth of our 2019 series of #WorkoutWednesday routines, GB Olympic gymnast Max Whitlock takes you through another of his favourite HIIT routines.