Juventus reportedly set to join Chelsea in race for first-choice manager target Zinedine Zidane if Massimiliano Allegri leaves

28 Feb

Chelsea could be under pressure to make a decision about their managerial situation, with Juventus set to join them in the race for top target Zinedine Zidane.

The Italian champions’ current boss Massimiliano Allegri is on track to win his fifth consecutive Scudetto, but is expected to leave the club after achieving this feat in the summer.

Zinedine Zidane won nine trophies in two-and-a-half years as Real Madrid manager

One friend told SunSport: “Max is about to win Serie A for the fifth time but all he hears is that he should be doing better in the Champions League. He feels it might be time for a change.”

This would open up a vacancy in Turin that the club would hope to fill with their former star Zidane, according to the report.

Meanwhile at Chelsea, Maurizio Sarri has recently eased pressure with positive performances against Manchester City and Tottenham.

Before this, it was thought that the Stamford Bridge boss was on the brink of the sack and Zizou was touted as the team’s ideal replacement.

Maurizio Sarri pushed Massimiliano Allegri and Juventus close in last season’s Serie A title race

Despite the recent upturn in form, there is still a very real possibility that Sarri could not be in charge of the Blues come the start of next season.

Therefore, they have now been put on alert by the possibility of competition to secure Zinedine Zidane’s signature and may have to act fast if they’re to secure him ahead of Juventus.

Zidane quit Real Madrid last summer after claiming his third consecutive Champions League trophy with the club.

The 46-year-old French World Cup winner is known to have an affection for Juve and even recorded a message to their fans three months ago in which he said: “I hope to come soon and spend some time with you. Greetings to all and Forza Juve!”

Eddie Hearn willing to offer Deontay Wilder $15m to fight Dominic Breazeale or Dillian Whyte, as long as he signs for Anthony Joshua unification next

28 Feb

Eddie Hearn has proposed a new mega money deal for Deontay Wilder to align with him and fight Anthony Joshua this year.

The WBC heavyweight champion looks likely to make a mandatory defence against Dominic Breazeale next after Tyson Fury decided against an immediate rematch.

Anthony Joshua’s return is already booked for June 1 against Jarrell Miller

As a result, Joshua’s promoter now hopes to seize on this opportunity and host Wilder’s next bout on his US broadcast partner DAZN before then making the undisputed title bout.

When asked how much Wilder should be paid for the Breazeale fight, Hearn told ThaBoxingVoice: “I think you’ve gotta give him $15million for that fight, but that’s the marketplace. It’s crazy.

“You can’t have Joshua making whatever he’s making, Fury making $20million and then Wilder sitting there going, ‘Okay, I’ll take $7million.’

“He can get it [$15million] on DAZN and he can get it on ESPN.”

Deontay Wilder is currently looking to secure his next fight

Despite Eddie Hearn’s optimism, a partnership between him and Deontay Wilder currently looks about as likely as hell freezing over.

Wilder may be a broadcast free agent, but is aligned with Al Haymon’s PBC and currently loyal to fighting on Showtime/Fox.

Regardless, Hearn will make a play to try and lure him to DAZN with the temptation of a meeting with a challenger such as Breazeale, Dillian Whyte or Adam Kownacki, followed by a two-fight arrangement with Anthony Joshua.

“He hasn’t got to sign with me to come and fight on DAZN,” the promoter insisted, “He can come and fight on my shows.

“If he’s got offers out there for $15million to fight for a voluntary defence– [it could be against] Breazeale, Whyte, Kownacki.

“I’m not looking to tie you into five/six fights like Top Rank. We’ve gotta do one voluntary, then two Joshua fights.”

You can watch the full ThaBoxingVoice interview with Eddie Hearn below.

$35,000 Tesla Model 3 arrives with 220-mile range, and a $1,200 asterisk

28 Feb
Tesla Model 3  -  Portland, OR  -  January 2019The long-promised $35,000 Tesla Model 3 electric car was unveiled Thursday, albeit with a host of asterisks attached to that number. Additionally, the automaker said that it will switch to online-only sales. The California-based automaker said that the least-expensive Tesla will have a 220-mile range. The $35,000 Model 3 can be ordered in any...

Roglic and Valverde go head to head on Jebel Jais for UAE Tour title – Preview

28 Feb

Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) faces one more major hurdle ahead of him in his quest to take the overall victory at the inaugural UAE Tour: the summit finish of Jebel Jais on stage 6 on Friday.

Roglic has led the general classification since Jumbo-Visma won the opening team time trial and says that it is down to his rivals to attack him if they want to take the red leader’s jersey.

"I think we can be confident and we will try to defend the jersey tomorrow [Friday]," said Roglic. "If you see the list of the guys that are here, there are a lot of really, really strong guys. We will try to focus the best on our job, do it well and protect the jersey on the last climb. It's not really on us; we don't really need to attack to make something on the climb. For sure, others will, and I will try to follow."

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It seems fitting that the inaugural edition of the UAE Tour will be decided by the new climb of Jebel Jais. While Jebel Hafeet and Hatta Dam featured in both the Abu Dhabi and Dubai Tours, Jais has not previously been used in a race. The Jais is situated in the Hajjar Mountains to the north of the UAE and is the Emirates’ highest mountain at just under 2,000 metres.

The route will not go all the way up to the top of the mountain but will instead stop at 1,458 metres. It will still be no mean feat, particularly when we are only a few weeks into the new season, and it will certainly test the peloton.

Jebel Jais will come after some 160 kilometres of racing along flat roads, starting in Ajman – the smallest of the Emirates. Similar to Jebel Hafeet on stage 3, the flat run into the climb will ensure that there are plenty of fresh legs able to push a hard pace.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Sam Bennett frustrated with fourth in UAE Tour sprint

28 Feb

Sam Bennett (Bora-Hansgrohe) said that he couldn't have done anything more in the sprint finish stage 5 of the UAE Tour. Bennett finished fourth after a blanket four-rider dive for the line, leaving him feeling frustrated.

It was a tough contest in Khor Fakkan with Bennett going up against Elia Viviani, Marcel Kittel and Fernando Gaviria in an all-out sprint. Bennett utilised the lead-out train of Gaviria, sticking to the Colombian's wheel until inside the final 100 metres.

"It will click. I'm just happy that I got to use my legs, I got the best out of myself today. I fought for the wheel that I wanted, and I got it. I did everything that I set out to do and I don't think that I could have done any more," said Bennett.

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"It was close today, but I was a little bit in the wind before I had to start the sprint, with [Fabio] Sabatini on my right, and then when I did want to go I think that Gaviria's lead-out man was on the left. I was using a little bit too much energy and then I had to wait too long. I was coming in the end, but because I was waiting too long, guys came from behind with speed."

After finishing eighth on Monday’s stage to the Abu Dhabi breakwater, Bennett tried to change up his approach to the final sprint. Rather than trying to charge from the back, Bennett wanted to start from further up the peloton.

"It was a tricky one. I wanted to come from behind with speed on the first stage, but the wind didn't allow it and today I didn't want to get caught out, so I was in the right position, but you needed to come from behind with speed," Bennett explained.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft pleads not guilty to solicitation of prostitution charges

28 Feb

Robert Kraft, owner of the New England Patriots, has pleaded not guilty to two solicitation of prostitution charges in court in Florida.

The billionaire also requested a non-jury trial, according to court records.

The 77-year-old celebrated on the pitch after the Patriots won the Super Bowl in Atlanta

A published court document read: “The defendant, Robert Kraft, hereby pleads not guilty to all charges and requests a non-jury trial in the above-styled cause.”

As part of a bust in Jupiter, Florida, Kraft was allegedly involved in two incidents last month at the Orchids of Day Spa.

The charge is a first-degree misdemeanour and is punishable by up to a year in jail, a $5,000 (£3,770) fine and 100 hours of community service.

In a statement released last week, a spokesperson for Kraft said they “categorically deny that Mr. Kraft engaged in any illegal activity.”

The Patriots owner’s arraignment is set for March 27.

Thyborøn’s trawl door technology leap

28 Feb
Switching to a pair of Type 23 Bluestream semi-pelagic trawl doors has boosted gear spread by an impressive 50 metres, reports Tonni Karlsen, skipper of Norwegian trawler Ole-Arvid Nergård.

Cycling world comes together for Opening Weekend – Podcast

28 Feb

Welcome to the Cyclingnews Podcast, brought to you in association with Sportful, Pinarello and Floyd’s of Leadville.

Cyclingnews is currently spread across the globe covering the early season racing at the moment, so we can’t bring you our usual podcast this week. Instead, we've put together a selection of interviews from the past month.

In this podcast, we’ll hear from Primoz Roglic, Greg Van Avermaet, Michal Kwiatkowski and Markel Irizar, who all have varying goals for the season.

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Roglic was leading the UAE Tour overall going into the key penultimate stage on Friday, with its climb of Jebel Jais, and will be keen to prove that he can be a Grand Tour contender this season.

The evergreen Van Avermaet has the upcoming spring Classics foremost in his mind, with a new CCC Team behind him in his role as the squad's undisputed leader, while Team Sky's Kwiatkowski takes aim at the Ardennes Classics, with a firm focus on trying to win Liège-Bastogne-Liège this season.

Irizar, meanwhile, announced a couple of weeks ago that 2019 will be his last season in the pro peloton, and that the Clasica San Sebastian in August will in fact be his last race.

You can read more at Cyclingnews.com

Football’s biggest tantrums and strops including Mario Balotelli, Kepa, Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale

28 Feb

Football is certainly an emotive game, tensions can run high and get the better of even the most dedicated professional.

From Paul Gascoigne’s World Cup tears on a balmy evening in Italy to Macro Tardelli’s iconic screaming celebration, football can bring an individual right through the spectrum of sensations.

However, there is also an uglier side to that as footballers can occasionally completely lose their head’s on the biggest stage.

Kepa refused to come off the Wembley pitch

This weekend for instance saw no less than three examples of such behaviour as Mauricio Pochettino, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Gareth Bale all showed off their surly sides.

The Tottenham Hotspur boss was forced to accept an FA charge after angrily confronting Mike Dean following Spurs’ defeat to Burnley in the early kick off.

In the Carabao Cup Final no more than 24 hours later, the world’s most expensive goalkeeper then refused to be substituted much to the annoyance of boss Maurizio Sarri.

And then Bale refused to celebrate with his teammates after scoring a penalty for Real Madrid after losing his place to a teenager.

Bale is used to shrugging off unwanted attention, just not normally from his own teammates

While the pressure as a professional is almost indescribable, such acts of petulance certainly gain plenty of unwanted criticism.

But these isolated incidents are by no means the wost fans have seen on a football pitch, far from it!

Scroll down to see talkSPORT.com’s best ever tantrums and strops from the world of football!

SAIDO BERAHINO V JEREMY PEACE (2015)

You get the gist of what Berahino as trying to say

When Tottenham Hotspur expressed an interest in signing West Bromwich Albion starlet Saido Berahino in 2015, it’s fair to say the striker had his head turned.

Although the two clubs tried to negotiate a deal, chairman Jeremy Peace held firm in his valuation and the move never went through.

Queue a hastily (and poorly) written Tweet by the former England Under-21 international declaring his intention to ‘never play Jeremy Peace’.

Tony Pulis did bring the striker back into the fold before the end of the season, but the damage was done as was Berahino’s Baggies career.

CRISTIANO RONALDO V NANI (2010)

The Portugal captain literally threw his armband away in frustration

International friendlies tend not to be the most exciting affairs, but Spain’s clash with Portugal in 2010 had an extra edge because of Real Madrid starlet Ronaldo’s presence.

Hated by Barcelona fans, Gerard Pique and Carles Puyol set about putting the former Manchester United man into the stands at every possible opportunity.

However, when the winger broke free down the left and put Pique on his backside, his delightful dink over teammate Iker Casillas seemed destined for the back of the net.

That was until Nani decided to literally steal it on the line, despite being offside. The ‘goal’ was ruled out and Ronaldo produced a reaction befitting a tired toddler who has just been told to go to bed.

DIDIER DROGBA v TOM HENNING OVREBO (2009)

An incensed Drogba chased the Norwegian down the tunnel at Stamford Bridge

The ball left Andres Iniesta’s foot, floated just over Petr Cech’s hand, and Stamford Bridge fell silent.

It was meant to be Guus Hiddink’s crowning moment during his short stay in west London, but instead became a match forgotten for the football and remembered for the outrage that flowed both during the action and after the final whistle blew.

Referee Tom Henning Ovrebo was the subject of death threats in the weeks and months following the match, and the fears for his safety in the immediate aftermath of the game meant he had to be escorted out of the country by police.

The Norwegian official was practically chased off the pitch by striker Didider Droga who, upon realising he could not continue to berate the referee, turned to the cameras to continue his protests.

NEMANJA MATIC v ASHLEY BARNES (2015)

The normally ice-cold Serb lost his head completely

After committing a tackle described as ‘criminal’ by Jose Mourinho in 2015, Ashley Barnes lay on the Stamford Bridge turf in the hope referee Martin Atkinson would not show red.

Atkinson did produce a red card, but not for the Burnley striker. Instead, it went to the man on the receiving end of said challenge.

Nemanja Matic is not the type to lose his rag, but the red mist descended that day and the Serbian literally threw his aggressor to the floor before being hauled away by John Terry and the rest of his Chelsea teammates.

Despite nearly having his leg snapped in half, Matic rather sheepishly jogged off the pitch after realising he had made a bit of a mug of himself.

MARIO BALOTELLI v ROBERTO MANCINI (2011)

Why always him?

Pre-season friendlies are the perfect time for youngsters to get a run out in the first team, for seasoned pros to show why they deserve to start and for managers to experiment with new tactics.

That is, of course, unless you are Mario Balotelli where you can essentially do whatever you want.

In a 2011 friendly with LA Galaxy, the Italy striker opted to backheel a simple chance at goal, instead of passing to teammate Edin Dzeko. Petulant sure, but what followed was comedy gold.

The Italian boss completely lost his mind and substituted the striker instantly. Balotelli’s response? To make a petulant gesture to his boss indicating his surprise and annoyance he was being substituted.

CARLOS TEVEZ v ROBERTO MANCINI (2011)

Tevez eventually came back to help city win the Premier League

Carlos Tevez could never be accused of not giving 100% on the pitch when he played, it was just difficult to get him on there sometimes.

A mere two months after the Balotelli debacle, City boss Mancini must have been wondering what he had done to deserve such tempestuous strikers as Tevez refused to warm up against Bayern Munich in the Champions League.

Although the Argentine claimed it was a misunderstanding, his Italian boss claimed he would never play for the club again.

Needless to say he did and played a huge part in delivering the Premier League title to the Etihad. Just childish all round.

PAOLO DI CANIO v PAUL ALCOCK (1998)

Moments later, Di Canio was to push Alcock. Cue the theatrics…

A moment etched in Premier League history, Di Canio’s moment of madness is part Greek Tragedy, part slapstick humour.

After being sent off for a clash with Arsenal enforcer Martin Keown, the fiery Italian began to remonstrate with referee Paul Alcock.

Clearly feeling as though he was not getting his point across, the former AC Milan striker then shoved Alcock, who proceeded to hit the deck in instalments with his leg trailing limply behind him.

As Di Canio made his way off the pitch, Nigel Winterburn saw fit to politely offer his views on the matter to the Wednesday forward. But as soon as Di Canio turned to face the left-back, he had bolted out of fear.

WILLIAM GALLAS v THE WORLD (2008)

An advertising board bore the brunt of Gallas’ frustrations

A tough trip to Birmingham City for Arsenal was made even more difficult when Croatia striker Eduardo was brutally cut down in the first half by a scything challenge from Martin Taylor.

With emotions running high, the Gunners were then held at St Andres courtesy of a stoppage time penalty from James McFadden, effectively extinguishing their faint hopes of winning the Premier League title.

As the visiting players left the pitch, captain Gallas remained on the tear almost in tears.

After kicking an advertising board, the France international had to be practically carried off the pitch by the erudite Arsene Wenger – who was as bemused as everyone in the stadium by the outburst.

ERIC CANTONA v CRYSTAL PALACE FAN (1995)

Cantona took exception to a loud-mouthed Eagles supporter

Rumour has it, Inter general manager Paolo Taveggia, and the Italian club’s prospective owner, Massimo Moratti, were at Selhurst Park on that infamous night in south London to scout the Frenchman.

With Andy Cole arriving two weeks prior for a record £7million, speculation about the maverick’s future was building.

Having already received a red card for booting marker Richard Shaw, Cantona was confronted by 20-year-old double-glazing fitter Matthew Simmons.

What he said remains a mystery to this day, but the striker’s short fuse was lit and he launched into Simmons with a kung-fu kick before laying into the youngster with a barrage of punches.

Manchester United and PSG fined by UEFA for crowd problems during Champions League first leg

28 Feb

Manchester United have been fined £13,700 relating to crowd problems at their Champions League last-16 first leg defeat against Paris St Germain earlier this month.

Charges against United concerned the throwing of objects and blocking of stairways at Old Trafford.

There were incidents in the stands

PSG have been fined £35,000 over incidents involving their supporters at the same match.

The French fans were charged for setting off fireworks and acts of damage.

Thomas Tuchel’s side have also been told to contact United within 30 days to settle the costs of the damage.

The second leg of the tie will take place on March 6.

PSG take a 2-0 lead into the home fixture after goals from Presnel Kimpembe and Kylian Mbappe settled the first match.