'I belong at the top': José Mourinho plots return after United sacking – video

18-01-2019 A bullish José Mourinho insisted he will return to club management at the elite level despite his underwhelming spell at Manchester United. In his first major interview since leaving the club in December, he also claimed last season’s second-place finish was one of his ‘best achievements in football’. At 55, he said he was too young to retire from club managementJosé Mourinho says Manchester United not ready for modern football Continue reading...

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

18-01-2019 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.

'Rugby's like a chessboard with 120kg pieces' - how virtual reality could transform training

18-01-2019 Painstaking research, virtual reality and holding the tackle bags in training... an insight into how a top rugby analyst operates.

Marouane Fellaini: forever tainted as Old Trafford’s king of dark times | Barney Ronay

18-01-2019 Through successive managerial eras at Manchester United the big Belgian has fronted up gamely but remained the embodiment of the post-Fergie wilderness yearsCarry on then, Marouane. After some suggestions this week that Marouane Fellaini might be on his way out of Old Trafford, Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s Friday press conference went the other way. Instead Solskjær offered what newspapers like to call “a vote of confidence” in the gangling Belgian utility-menace, talking up Fellaini’s continued presence through this, his sixth year as a Manchester United player.It isn’t hard to see why some said his time was up. Under Solskjær Fellaini has played three minutes in the Premier League. His basic footballing presence has seemed at odds with a more mobile, fluid style. Plus there is of course a wider symbolic aspect to all this. Continue reading...

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

18-01-2019 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?

Retirement not on Roger Federer's mind after easing into Australian Open last 16

18-01-2019 Defending champion beats Taylor Fritz 6-2, 7-5, 6-2Plays another young challenger in Stefanos Tsitsipas nextRoger Federer at 37 shows no signs of sending his fans into mourning by even thinking about retiring from tennis, and said after his 100th match on Rod Laver Arena, “For the time being, it’s all good. Lights are on green.”The six-time and defending champion is chasing a hat-trick at the Australian Open, confirming his form and fitness with a comfortable straight sets win on Friday over the 21-year-old American, Taylor Fritz (who was making his debut on the tournament’s showcase court), to advance to the fourth round of a slam for the 64th time. Continue reading...

The Fiver | A kind of softly moving statue by which to remember Arsène Wenger

18-01-2019 Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!The big January transfer news continues to roll in, after Oumar Niasse, a player famously deprived of a locker at Everton by Ronald Koeman, left Goodison Park to join Cardiff City. Then Yohan Benalouane, a player stored in a locker for almost two years by Claude Puel, did one from Leicester to hurry into the warm embrace of Nottingham Forest’s new manager, Martin O’Neill, who confirmed he hopes to swell the good vibes at the City Ground by bringing along, as his assistant, that most eminent graduate of the Wealdstone Raider School of Motivational Discourse, Roy Keane. Continue reading...

West Ham tested by second bid for unhappy Marko Arnautovic

18-01-2019 • 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...

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

18-01-2019 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.

Exeter target finest Champions Cup feat with qualification on line at Munster

18-01-2019 • Premiership club must win at Thomond Park in pool decider• Baxter unhappy at having less recovery time than MunsterExeter are being challenged to pull off one of the great escapes in European rugby history when they face Munster in their Pool Two decider in Limerick. The Chiefs’ director of rugby, Rob Baxter, believes making the last eight ahead of the Irish province would rank as his club’s finest Champions Cup achievement but says poor scheduling has made his players’ task harder. Related: Stuart Lancaster: ‘I haven’t decided if I’ll go to watch England play Ireland’ Continue reading...

Talking Horses: Barry Geraghty back in the saddle at Chepstow

18-01-2019 The leading rider returns with two well fancied rides at the Welsh track after nearly a fortnight on the sidelinesBarry Geraghty sprinkles a bit of stardust over Friday’s Chepstow card by making his return to action there after nearly a fortnight on the sidelines. “I twisted my ankle,” he told me last night, “and then it was aggravated at Sandown.”The Esher track’s Tolworth Hurdle was the last time we saw Geraghty. He was prepared to get back in the saddle at Warwick last weekend but Birchdale became a non-runner, so he didn’t have to. It’s not a time of year when a top-class jockey feels he is missing very much if he has to take a few days off and Geraghty has been grateful for the chance to give his ankle some more time. He’s had some acupuncture in hopes of reducing the inflammation. Continue reading...

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

18-01-2019 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...

Masters Snooker 2019: Judd Trump beats Mark Selby to reach semi-finals

18-01-2019 Judd Trump beats world number one Mark Selby 6-2 to reach the Masters semi-finals, where he will face Neil Robertson.

The Fiver | Pontificating about the Corinthian spirit of fair play

18-01-2019 Sign up now! Sign up now! Sign up now? Sign up now!One of the few benefits of being related to this tea-timely email’s book-writing, cricket-playing, pyramid-inverting, tactics-obsessed Wearside cousin Mackem Lobanovskyi 4-2-3-1 False Nine Wilson Fiver, is that we’ve been looped in on the whole Marcelo Bielsa phenomenon since before it became fashionable on Wednesday. While Proper Journalists were taking time out from trying to procure and publish sneak previews of England team-sheets to pontificate about the Corinthian spirit of fair play, our cousin took time out of boring us with his batting average and bowling figures to regale us with stories about the man they call El Loco. Continue reading...

The unapologetic feminism that turned Andy Murray into a global icon | Jacob Steinberg

18-01-2019 Murray’s views on equality and the women’s game have had huge impact, exemplified by his decision to hire a female coach in Amélie Mauresmo in 2014Once the empty feeling subsides and the lump at the back of his throat stops threatening to leap from his mouth, perhaps it will console Andy Murray to consider how much he means to people from all walks of life. Even at this early stage of the healing process, with the emotions swirling and his heart shattered as he contemplates how brutally his body has given up on him in the past two years, it might raise his spirits to know he is showered with affection not only for his achievements on a tennis court but also for what he represents on a human level. Related: 'He’s an idol': Dunblane reacts to Andy Murray's impending retirement Continue reading...

Wasim Khan: Can Pakistan be the number one cricket nation?

18-01-2019 Wasim Khan, who will become managing director of the Pakistan Cricket Board in February, speaks to BBC Sport's Joe Wilson about his aspirations.