Sportsday - Thursday 17 January 2013

All the transfer gossip, Murray and Robson win at Australian Open, plus reaction to Armstrong losing Olympic medal.

17 January 2013 Last updated at 19:14 GMT

As it happened

  1.  

    That's it from Sportsday for today, we'll be back with Friday's breaking sports news from 07:00 GMT.

  2. 1847: 
    FOOTBALL

    Darren Fletcher will miss the rest of the season after undergoing surgery to resolve his ulcerative colitis condition, Manchester United have confirmed. The Scottish international has made two brief appearances for United this season.

  3. 1835: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Vishaal on Twitter: "Credit to Suarez about admitting diving, but players shouldn't have to admit it to be punished, they should be spotted first!"

    Barry Callaghan on Twitter: "Following his admission that he does, in fact, dive should Suarez now apologise to David Moyes for his behaviour in the Derby?"

    Liam Fitzpatrick on Twitter: "How come Suarez gets all this uproar but Ronaldo doesn't? Not defending Suarez but Ronaldo should be punished for his diving."

  4. 1818: 
    FOOTBALL

    Napoli have had a two-point deduction for alleged involvement in match-fixing overturned on appeal, the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has confirmed.

    The Serie A club were deducted two points on December 18 for being "objectively responsible" for the actions of former goalkeeper Matteo Gianello, who attempted to fix a match against Sampdoria in 2010.

  5. 1814: 
    FOOTBALL

    Lionel Messi has sent a Barcelona shirt to German legend Gerd Muller after he broke Muller's 40-year-old record for the number of goals scored in a calendar year.

    Messi wrote "For Gerd Müller / My respect and admiration / A hug." on the shirt, which Muller says will hang in the Bayern Munich museum.

  6. 1811: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Peter Andrews on Twitter: "Suggestion Suarez is 'manning up' by admitting diving is rubbish.He's gloating,like his celebrations in the World Cup. Poor."

    Devan Turner on Twitter: "Good of Suarez to own up, still falls short of an apology to all those he tried to deceive though."

    Dan Fookes on Twitter: "Rodgers isn't upset Suarez dives, just that he's admitted it as now referees will think twice whenever he falls over"

    Have your say using the hashtag #bbcsportsday

  7. 1759: 
    FORMULA 1

    Ferrari's Felipe Massa reveals he considered ending his Formula 1 career in the midst of his struggles last season.

    "Yeah. I thought about so many things. I thought maybe I was finished. I thought about not staying in Ferrari," said Massa.

    "I did not know what would happen. So many things were inside my brain."

  8. 1742: 
    TRANSFER NEWS

    Norwich City make a bid in the region of £5m for Swansea striker Danny Graham, 27, according to Sky Sports News. Graham is also understood to be subject of a bid from Sunderland.

  9. 1734: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Colin Arton on Twitter: "Ronaldo, Drogba, Suarez, etc, great players, all have taken a dive, good on Suarez for manning up, not many others would!"

    Morgan Rees on Twitter: "When will people learn that Rodgers is upset because he defended Suarez at the time when he denied it, saying he's not a cheat"

    Victor Chatfield on Twitter: "Fair play to Suarez for coming clean, but it doesn't make up for cheating with the initial dive. Rodgers' reaction is a joke."

    Have your say using the hashtag #bbcsportsday

  10. 1725: 
    FOOTBALL

    Brendan Rodgers plays down talk linking Liverpool with a move for Inter Milan's Dutch international Wesley Sneijder.

    "You could probably rattle off about 20 names and the answer would be the same. The club have been linked with a whole host of players, but I couldn't see that happening," Rodgers told the official Liverpool website.

  11. 1721: 
    FOOTBALL

    West Brom manager Steve Clarke reveals defender Steven Reid played with a broken leg for 45 minutes against Arsenal last month.

    "We didn't release the injury but it was a fractured fibula he got against Arsenal," said Clarke.

    "He played for 45 minutes with a broken leg, which shows the character of the boy."

  12. 1716: 
    RUGBY UNION

    Ronan O'Gara will miss Munster's final Heineken Cup pool match against Racing Metro on Sunday after receiving a one week ban.

    The 35-year-old was cited after aiming a kick at Edinburgh lock Sean Cox in last Sunday's match at Murrayfield.

    O'Gara told the official Munster website: "While I'm very disappointed that my action led to me missing this Heineken Cup game I have to say I was treated very fairly and am very appreciative of his handling of this affair."

  13. 1710: 
    FOOTBALL

    Nedum Onuoha says belief will be key in QPR's battle to avoid relegation.

    "We have to believe we can get something out of every game we play between now and the end of the season otherwise we will have no chance at all," the former Man City player told QPR's website.

  14. 1653: 
    SNOOKER

    Defending Masters champion Neil Robertson beats Mark Allen 6-5 in a thrilling quarter-final.

    Robertson will face either Shaun Murphy or John Higgins in Saturday's semi-final at Alexandra Palace.

  15. 1651: 
    FOOTBALL

    New Blackburn Rovers manager Michael Appleton has been speaking at length for the first time since taking over at Ewood Park a few days ago.

    "The owners are very, very ambitious," said the 37-year-old.

    "They want to get back into the Premier League and I still believe there is an opportunity. An opportunity to work at a club that I think and believe is a Premier League club was too good to turn down. I spoke to the owners and they convinced me about their ambition."

  16. 1647: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Jonathan Wigmore on Twitter: "So... is Brendan Rodgers trying to say that if Suarez didn't come clean, he would have gotten away with it?"

    Danny Partington on Twitter: "How blind is Rodgers if he's only just realised Suarez dives (frequently)? It's been happening, & pointed out, for long enough"

    James Stokes on Twitter: "Please please please Rodgers drop Suarez for Saturday 'to teach him a lesson.' All those in Norwich will love you forever!"

  17. 1639: 
    SAILING

    Olympic silver medallist Stuart Bithell announces he will team up with Chris Grube in an effort to achieve gold at Rio 2016.

    Bithell, who took silver alongside Luke Patience at the London Games, will switch from 470 class to the 49er class with Grube also making the transition.

  18. 1635: 
    FOOTBALL

    Stoke have confirmed midfielder Maurice Edu is to spend the rest of the season out on loan with Bursaspor.

    "He needs to play games, to maintain his opportunity of playing for his country," Stoke boss Tony Pulis said of the American international.

    "So the club (Bursaspor) has come in and it is a decent club. We have had offers in England as well for Maurice to go and play, so he has got one or two options, which is good."

  19. 1633: 
    FOOTBALL

    Nottingham Forest have sacked director of recruitment Keith Burt and club ambassador Frank Clark, reports BBC Radio Nottingham.

    Burt had been at the City Ground for seven years, while Clark has a strong association with the Reds as a player, manager and more recently chairman. A source close to Clark said the decision "came out of the blue".

    Forest manager Alex McLeish has also announced Karl Darlow will be the number one goalkeeper at the City Ground, following the failure to reach an agreement on a new contract for Lee Camp, who has been told he can leave.

  20. 1619: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Rohin Maini on Twitter: "The one time Suarez shows some honesty his manager has a go at him! The man can't win"

    Dave Newton on Twitter: "Brendan Rodgers is right to dive in on this subject. It's a disgrace to the sport."

    Tom Luce on Twitter: "Suarez did wrong, even if it's been a while he's admitted it. Still gets slated. Young and Bale have failed to admit it."

  21. 1614: 
    FOOTBALL

    West Brom keeper Ben Foster thinks it is "unthinkable" that Aston Villa could be relegated, ahead of the Midlands derby at the Hawthorns on Saturday.

    "Just driving down the motorway, you see the big stadium alongside and to think they could be playing Championship football is just unthinkable," says Foster.

    "If you'd said that three or four years ago, you wouldn't have believed it. But times change."

  22. 1608: 
    TENNIS

    Rafa Nadal will return to action in the VTR Open in Chile next month.

    The 11-time Grand Slam winner has been out of action since his second-round defeat to Lukas Rosol at Wimbledon last June with a knee injury, then a stomach virus forced him to miss the Australian Open.

  23. 1602: 
    FOOTBALL

    Doncaster Rovers confirm Brian Flynn has been appointed as their manager and will be assisted by Rob Jones, who will continue in his role as player coach.

  24. 1600: 
    FOOTBALL

    Newcastle manager Alan Pardew believes he could not have done any more to bring France striker Loic Remy to St James' Park. "It was a little strange as we had obviously put a lot of work in," Pardew said. "We made a fantastic offer to the player and then he didn't arrive. This club is on a financial footing that is strong, but we're still not going to pay silly money."

  25. 1546: 
    FOOTBALL

    Fulham boss Martin Jol plays down a reported rift with defender John Arne Riise. "My relationship was fantastic and is probably still OK, it is still good," he said. "You know as well as I do that it is the same all the time in England, if a player isn't playing the reason is a bust-up, but I never had a bust-up with any player."

  26. 1543: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Jim Atkins on Twitter: "Rodgers had to know he has dived, if he was going to be punished it should have been then for the dive, not now for admitting."

    Josh Hall on Twitter: "So just to confirm, diving is ok. Admitting to diving is not and will be dealt with."

    Dumph on Twitter: "So Suarez presumably gets hauled before panel charged with bringing game into disrepute??"

  27. 1538: 
    FOOTBALL

    Shaun Maloney signs a new contact with Wigan Athletic until the end of the 2014-15 season.

  28. 1536: 
    FOOTBALL

    Here is more from Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers, who says he will take action against striker Luis Suarez after the Uruguayan admitted diving. "I think there's been many occasions when he hasn't had the rewards for that, but certainly it doesn't help him," he said. "But more importantly it doesn't help the team and that's the key thing for me. It's not about Luis Suarez it's about the team."

    "I've got a brilliant group of players here who go out every game to be honest and win the game, so anything that is detrimental towards that is something I don't take too lightly. We'll deal with it in house and we'll be fine."

  29. 1526: 
    FOOTBALL

    BBC Wales understands Sunderland have made a formal bid for Swansea City striker Danny Graham. The 27-year-old's future has been the subject of much speculation so far during the January transfer window.

  30. 1523: 
    FOOTBALL

    Swansea boss Michael Laudrup appreciates Jack Wilshere's talents after the midfielder scored to give Arsenal victory over the Swans in their FA Cup third-round replay on Wednesday. But he suggests that Wilshere should be giving time to develop. "Sometimes people are a little too fast, too quick with the big words," he said. "He has to improve, and don't put that pressure on him - that he has to be a superstar already in a few months."

  31. 1515: 
    FOOTBALL
  32. 1502: 
    FOOTBALL

    Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere is ready to drive the Gunners on to win silverware this season and is hoping the FA Cup can end their trophy-drought. "We want this cup - it is a big competition. It was the last major trophy we won and we know what it means to the fans to get a trophy."

  33. 1457: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Daniel Powell on Twitter: "Is Brendan Rodgers angry because he only just noticed Suarez dives or because Suarez admitted it?"

    Jim Hearson on Twitter: "Rodgers will lose a lot of good will for actually chastising Suarez for coming clean about diving - totally the wrong message."

    Kit Marsden on Twitter: "Suarez's diving has caught up with him at last, it seems..."

  34. 1446: 
    FOOTBALL

    More from Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers who says Luis Suarez could face sanctions from Liverpool after admitting to Fox Sports in Argentina that he dived during a match at Stoke earlier this season. "I think it is wrong. It is unacceptable. I have spoken to Luis and it will be dealt with internally," Rodgers said. "[Diving] is not something we advocate. Our ethics are correct."

  35. 1430: 
    FOOTBALL

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers describes Luis Suarez's admission of diving as "unacceptable" and said the Uruguayan forward would be "dealt with internally".

  36. 1429: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Pep Guardiola was strongly linked with a move to Chelsea before he chose Bayern Munich. And several of you think that means one man should head to Stamford Bridge.

    Ryan Quinn on Twitter: "Thought Mourinho was destined for Old Trafford but now I think he will return to Chelsea!"

    Rohidas Mali on Twitter: "Jose to come and make the Bridge a fortress again!!!"

    Adam Crickmore on Twitter: "Chelsea need a manager with an ego big enough to eclipse that of our selfish owner. Jose would be my ideal."

  37. 1420: 
    FOOTBALL

    Norwich manager Chris Hughton says he was initially surprised by Pep Guardiola's move to Bayern Munich but says anyone who sees it as a snub to the Premier League is being "detrimental" to the German club. "I have been there myself for a visit to the training ground and it is by far the biggest club in Germany with its history and the way the club is run. It will be a great challenge there for him."

  38. 1414: 
    GOLF

    England's Justin Rose describes his first round at the Abu Dhabi Championship as "perfect" as he raced to the lead with Wales' Jamie Donaldson with a five-under 67. "It's the perfect start to get up on the leaderboard," Rose said. "I knew it was going to be a tough afternoon and I felt very good about that score."

  39. 1406: 
    FOOTBALL

    After deciding to leave Dundee United at the end of the season, Peter Houston said: "It is with sadness that I have arrived at this decision but feel that I have worked with the board to help them financially to reduce the debts and ongoing costs over the last three years and that there is a limit to how much we can continue to cut costs and continue to deliver what I want on the pitch."

  40. 1359: 
    FOOTBALL

    Dundee United have released a statement following the news that manager Peter Houston will leave the club at the end of the season. In it, chairman Stephen Thompson says: "In an ideal world, we would have had no hesitation in renewing contracts on a similar basis as originally provided. Peter fully understood this, but felt that with the direction the club has to go in, he could no longer continue to take the club forward."

  41. 1354: 
    GET INVOLVED

    Chris Winter on Twitter: "What a result for Laura robson!! #seriousplayer #britsmarchingon."

    Craig Hurcum on Twitter: "Well done! And I thought my 3 hours at work this morning were tough! Superb!"

    Lewis Summerfield on Twitter: "What a battling win for Laura Robson. Shows great character. Really chuffed for her and British tennis."

    Have your say using the #bbcsportsday hashtag.

  42. 1342: 
    FOOTBALL

    Dundee United confirm manager Peter Houston will leave the club at the end of the season.

  43. 1339: 
    TENNIS

    Laura Robson joins Heather Watson in the Australian Open third round after a marathon win over Petra Kvitova. The Brit beat the eighth seed in over three hours. Some effort, that.

  44. 1335: 
    TENNIS

    Laura Robson on her victory over Petra Kvitova: "I knew it was going to be really tough and I struggle to play lefties anyway so trying to return her serve was really hard. Once I had more confidence I knew I could get back into the match and that's what I did. I need to go to sleep rather than tweet after this." More reaction on our live text commentary.

  45. 1330: 
    TENNIS

    That's it she's done it. Laura Robson comes from a set down to beat Petra Kvitova 2-6 6-3 11-9. More reaction on our live text commentary.

  46. 1324: 
    TENNIS

    This might go on and on. Laura Robson and Petra Kvitova are now at NINE games all in the deciding set of their Australian Open second round encounter. You can follow the conclusion of the match with our live text commentary.

  47. 1323: 
    OLYMPICS

    Modern Penthalon Olympic silver medallist Samantha Murray fears the changes proposed to the sport for the Rio Games in 2016 risk harming it. She said: "I think Greenwich Park was the highlight of modern pentathlon, it was amazing. I think they should keep that consistency. Thousands of people found out what modern pentathlon was and really enjoyed watching it so why change it again?"

  48. 1309: 
    CYCLING

    Following the announcement that the International Olympic Committee has stripped Lance Armstrong of the Olympic bronze medal he won at the 2000 Sydney Games, a spokesman said: "We have written to Armstrong asking for him to return the medal and informed the US Olympic Committee.

    "It was a decision taken in principle at the executive board before Christmas. We were waiting for confirmation from the UCI that he hadn't appealed against his disqualification."

  49. 1300: 
    FOOTBALL

    West Bromwich Albion manager Steve Clarke hopes to freshen things up for Saturday's derby date with Aston Villa.

    "We had a lot of games over Christmas and the squad was stretched. It's been a difficult time," Clarke told BBC WM.

    "We had 16 fit outfield players against QPR on Tuesday night but there'll be fresh bodies back for the Villa game."

  50. 1255: 
    CYCLING

    The International Olympic Committee confirm Lance Armstrong has been stripped of his 2000 Olympic bronze medal.

  51. 1251: 
    TENNIS

    Laura Robson and Petra Kvitova are locked at one set all and five games a piece in the deciding set of their Australian Open second round encounter. You can follow the conclusion of the match with our live text commentary.

  52. 1247: 
    CYCLING

    AP report that two officials say the International Olympic Committee sent a letter to Lance Armstrong on Wednesday night asking him to return the medal. The move came after the IOC was notified by cycling's governing body, the UCI, that Armstrong had not appealed the decision to disqualify him.

  53. 1242: 
    CYCLING

    AP report the International Olympic Committee has stripped Lance Armstrong of his bronze medal from the 2000 Sydney Olympics because of his involvement in doping.

  54. 1236: 
    CYCLING

    Manx sprinter Mark Cavendish says he feels excited to be based in Belgium ahead of his first cycling season with the Omega Pharma-QuickStep team.

    Cavendish will divide his time this season between Belgium, his base in Tuscany and the Isle of Man.

    "I love it here in Belgium," said Cavendish. "It's a country where cycling is embedded in the roots. They have the best bike fans in the world.

  55. 1231: 
    FOOTBALL

    The Scottish Premier League lifts the transfer embargo placed on Hearts - however the club are still subject to restrictions on who they can sign.

    The SPL acted after Hearts players were paid on time yesterday but John McGlynn remains confined to signing players aged under 21.

  56. 1225: 
    DISABILITY SPORT

    Six-time Paralympic gold medallist David Weir says he is not ruling out competing at the Rio 2016 Games. Weir, 33, who won four titles at London 2012, became a father for the third time in October and only returned to full-time training last week.

    "I did say it [London] would be my last Games but now everything's gone and I'm back into training I've got that little urge," Weir told BBC Sport's Nick Hope. "I need to take each year as it comes but I'll never say never about Rio."

  57. 1220: 
    FOOTBALL

    Celtic sign Australia midfielder Tom Rogic on a four-and-a-half-year contract subject to a work permit.

  58. 1215: 
    FOOTBALL

    Bayern Munich chairman Karl-Heinz Rummenigge says Pep Guardiola used his heart rather than his wallet in deciding to become the club's new coach.

    "If it were purely down to money, then Bayern would have had no chance," he said.

  59. 1209: 
    RUGBY UNION

    London Wasps winger Tom Varndell signs an extended contract. The England international, 27, said: "Things are looking up and we've got a fantastic squad of players here, who I believe can really achieve something together in the coming seasons."

  60. 1205: 
    FOOTBALL

    Leeds United forward Dominic Poleon agrees a new two-and-a-half-year deal with the Championship club. The 19-year-old made his debut in the 4-0 win over Shrewsbury in the first round of the Capital One Cup in August and scored his first goal against Nottingham Forest in September.

  61. 1202: 
    FOOTBALL

    Swindon chairman Sir William Patey says the club is up for sale in order to avoid administration, with debts thought to be around £13m.

    Town's owner, Andrew Black, is unwilling to put in further funds, and is actively seeking fresh investment.

    "We've had some positive talks and we're encouraged by the discussions," Patey said.

  62. 1157: 
    TENNIS

    Laura Robson wins the second set 6-3 to level her Australian Open second round encounter with 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova in Melbourne. You can follow live text commentary of that match on our tennis pages.

  63.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Kyle Hamilton on Twitter: "Maybe the Chelsea players are to blame and not Rafa...He didn't have a squad like that when Liverpool won the CL."

    Edward Stedman on Twitter: "Chelsea are playing fine away from home; the fans not Benitez are the problem."

    Peter McGeown on Twitter: "Sorry Chelsea fans, in my opinion, no manager is going too want too take the job, no manager gets the time he needs."

    Have your say using the #bbcsportsday hashtag.

  64. 1147: 
    TENNIS

    Former world number one Rafael Nadal has passed a final medical examination and will return to action in the Brazilian Open next month according to his doctor, AS reports. The Spaniard has been out with an ankle injury for the last six months.

  65. 1142: 
    FOOTBALL

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is "99%" confident that Theo Walcott will sign a new contract at the club and hopes the deal can be finalised by this weekend.

    But Wenger said: "I was scared that he could leave. It took us some time to get where we want to get and it's still not finalised, but hopefully it will be done by this weekend."

  66. 1136: 
    OLYMPICS

    Legacy officials are working on ambitious plans to reopen the 2012 Olympic Stadium to mark the first anniversary of the opening ceremony.

    The London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) wants to use the stadium from the week around 27 July.

    BBC London has learned talks have taken place about hosting the London Grand Prix athletics meeting, traditionally held at Crystal Palace, which is due to take place that weekend.

  67. 1132: 
    TRANSFER LATEST

    Sunderland make a bid for Swansea striker Danny Graham, 27, according to Sky Sports News.

  68. 1127: 
    TENNIS

    Laura Robson leads 2-1 in the second set, having lost the first, in her Australian Open second round match against 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. You can follow live text commentary of that match on our tennis pages.

  69. 1120: 
    FOOTBALL

    The grandson of one of the founding fathers of Birmingham City has hit out at its current owners - and said the club should be sold to a Blues fan, reports the Birmingham Mail.

    Michael Morris, whose grandfather Harry Morris captained the club before going on to become chairman, said its proud traditions were a world apart from the financial strife the club finds itself in now.

    He said: "My ardent wish would be that Birmingham City Football Club would be back in the hands of a Birmingham City football fan."

  70. 1114: 
    TRANSFER LATEST

    Wigan manager Roberto Martinez has played down speculation linking the club with a move for in-form Leeds striker Luciano Becchio, reports ITV Sport.

    "I am not going to mention any names," he said. "We have got a little bit of room to bring one or two players. I spoke with the chairman yesterday and the injury to Ivan has put us in that situation."

  71. 1108: 
    FOOTBALL

    Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer has questioned Loic Remy's decision to sign for QPR instead of the Magpies.

    The forward, 26, joined the Premier League's bottom side from Marseille on Wednesday, three days after a deal was agreed with 16th-placed Newcastle.

    "I am surprised to see Remy go to QPR instead of Newcastle," said Shearer. "I would have a good guess financial things had a part to play. While I hope QPR get out of it, I find it hard to say he chose them over Newcastle."

  72.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Your tweets are flooding in on the Chelsea managerial situation following leading candidate Pep Guardiola's decision to take the Bayern Munich job from next summer.

    Jamie Russell on Twitter: "Can't believe we're discussing ANOTHER Chelsea managerial change already! Stability is key, don't they get it yet?"

    Lewis Morgan on Twitter: "Give the Chelsea job to John Terry! He'll have the dressing room and Romans backing!"

    Dominic Maybrey on Twitter: "Why are all the Chelsea fans blaming Rafa? It was the board that sacked Di Matteo!!"

    Have your say using the #bbcsportsday

  73. 1058: 
    FOOTBALL

    Former Swansea and Wrexham boss Brian Flynn says he wants to succeed Dean Saunders as the permanent Doncaster manager. The 57-year-old has been in joint caretaker charge with skipper Rob Jones since Saunders left to join Wolves.

    "Possession is nine tenths of the law and I've got the job at the moment. The club have told me that I am on the shortlist and I await their decision," Flynn told BBC Radio Sheffield.

  74. 1052: 
    CYCLING

    Ahead of the Lance Armstrong's interview with Oprah Winfrey, in which he is reported to have admitted using performance-enhancing drugs, BBC Sport takes a look at the case the American has to answer to, his denials over the years and what those connected with the sport believe he should say. You can read the feature on the cycling pages.

  75. 1045: 
    FORMULA 1

    Jamie Donaldson's five-under-par 67 gives him an early one-shot lead over Spaniard Pablo Larrazabal and Dane Thorbjorn Olesen after day one of the Abu Dhabi Championship.

    "I played some pretty good golf out there," he said. "It's a tough day - the wind is blowing a little and a little wind there makes the course very difficult."

  76. 1040: 
    FORMULA 1

    Mercedes and Toro Rosso will launch their 2013 cars on 4 February at Jerez, one day before pre-season testing starts.

  77. 1035: 
    RUGBY UNION

    Speaking about Jamie Heaslip taking over from Brian O'Driscoll, coach Declan Kidney said: "Obviously he'd be very disappointed, Brian has always told you what an honour it is to captain Ireland and that will never change. He accepts my reasons for doing it.

    "I don't think people realise sometimes the amount of weight that would be on a captain's shoulders and Brian's been hugely generous to the team and I just feel that now is the right time to allow him to concentrate on himself, to get himself right."

  78. 1030: 
    RUGBY UNION

    Ireland number eight Jamie Heaslip will lead the side in this year's Six Nations, taking over from Brian O'Driscoll. The Irish Rugby Football Union also announced an enlarged 39-man squad which features six uncapped players.

  79. 1027: 
    ATHLETICS

    Double Olympic champion Mo Farah, 29, says he will compete in the 3,000m at next month's British Grand Prix in Birmingham - his only indoor race of the year - on 16 February.

  80. 1020: 
    FOOTBALL

    Leeds United legend Norman Hunter says manager Neil Warnock should be given money to improve his squad in the January transfer window.

    He told BBC Radio Leeds: "You don't get the number of promotions Neil has got if you are a bad manager. His teams aren't pretty but they're effective and he needs some money to spend before we can judge him."

  81. 1014: 
    TENNIS

    Britain's Laura Robson is next up on court where she will play 2011 Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova for a place in the Australian Open third round. You can follow live text commentary of that match on our tennis pages.

  82. 1010: 
    TENNIS

    Wimbledon champion Roger Federer beats Russian Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 6-4 6-4 to advance to the Australian Open third round.

  83. 1002: 
    CYCLING

    The route for the opening three stages of the 2014 Tour de France - which will start in Yorkshire - has been revealed.

    Leeds hosts the Grand Depart on 5 July, with the stage taking in the Yorkshire Dales before finishing in Harrogate.

    Stage two starts in York and passes through Keighley and Huddersfield with Sheffield hosting the finish.

    And stage three will visit the London Olympic Park and end on the Mall.

  84. 0958: 
    TRANSFER LATEST

    Some more of this morning's football gossip for you.

    Arsenal are set to miss out on a deal for Athletic Bilbao striker Fernando Llorente, 27, with Juventus said to be in advanced talks over a transfer. (Metro)

    Chelsea are yet to receive a single enquiry about midfielder Florent Malouda, 32, even though he has no future at the club. (the Sun)

    Fulham manager Martin Jol is hopeful of completing at least two signings in the coming days after lodging an offer of about £4.5m with Belgian side Zulte Waregem for midfielder Junior Malanda, 18. (the Times - subscription required)

  85.  
    GET INVOLVED

    David Meyrick on Twitter: "So Guardiola chose a big club over a rich club. Good for him!"

    William Forbes on Twitter: "Face facts, Chelsea fans. Jose may return to the Premier League, but it won't be to you."

    Jack Edge on Twitter: "I can't believe Chelsea still blame Rafa. It was the board's decision to sack Di Matteo. No manager can see it as attractive now."

  86. 0945: 
    TENNIS

    Roger Federer is well on course for a place in the third round of the Australian Open.

    The world number two leads Nikolay Davydenko 6-3 6-4 2-0 in Melbourne. Follow the match live on the BBC Sport website.

  87.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Jamie Thomas on Twitter: "Re: 0730. Big Sam must have seen different game to me? With Rafael ball hit his thigh then his arm. With Spence, smack bang on the hand!"

    Danny Richardson on Twitter: "Throw the book at Swindon. Would be third time in administration. Success they're having is not fair on clubs living within their means."

    BlueyH on Twitter: "Good news about Huddersfield chasing Nahki Wells. Selling Jordan Rhodes was a big mistake, we need a goalscorer."

  88. 0938: 
    RUGBY UNION

    World Cup winner Jonny Wilkinson says he will make a decision "by some time next month" on whether to retire.

    The former England fly-half, 32, is considering whether to continue at French club Toulon.

    He tells the Daily Telegraph: "Toulon can't wait until the end of the season. They need to move on with their plans in an informed manner. So I've got to make up my mind by some time next month.

    "I'm muddled and all over the place on it at the moment. I'm having to escape it, and I enjoy escaping it, and the way I do that is through day-to-day rugby."

  89.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Your tweets are flooding in on the Chelsea managerial situation following leading candidate Pep Guardiola's decision to take the Bayern Munich job from next summer. Keep them coming, please. #bbcsportsday

    Mark Matthews on Twitter: "Gus Poyet would be a cracking manager for Chelsea. Doing a really good job at Brighton and plays attractive football."

    George Holton on Twitter: "When Di Matteo left, Chelsea were three points off top... Now we are 13 points behind United. Impressive stuff, Rafa!"

    Alex Capp on Twitter: "Going to Chelsea was one of the most feared places to play. Benitez has ruined that... I want The Special One back."

  90. 0929: 
    GOLF

    Rory McIlroy admits to a bit of rust after a three-over-par opening round of 75 leaves him in danger of missing the cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship.

    McIlroy says: "I feel I was just a little bit rusty. "I didn't drive it particularly well and didn't hole any putts."

  91. 0925: 
    RUGBY UNION

    London Welsh wing Nick Scott has signed a one-year contract extension.

    Scott, 22, joined the Aviva Premiership club on loan from Bath 11 months ago, before making a permanent move last summer.

  92. 0924: 
    WINTER SPORTS

    Former Olympic sprinter Craig Pickering has been named in the British Bobsleigh squad for the World Championships in St Moritz, Switzerland, later this month.

    Pickering switched sports just over a month ago and first pushed a bobsleigh on the ice last Monday. He says: "Competing at the Bobsleigh World Championships means so much to me."

  93. 0921: 
    FOOTBALL

    Barcelona captain Carles Puyol voices his support for Guardiola's move to Bayern on his club's website.

    Puyol says: "They (Bayern) are a very good team and he is a great coach. He's going to one of the greats in Europe and we wish him the best."

  94. 0919: 
    FOOTBALL

    Andoni Zubizarreta, the former Spain goalkeeper who is now Barcelona's sporting director, has also backed Guardiola's move to Bayern.

    Zubizarreta says: "I'm very pleased for Guardiola. It means that he's doing well and that he's well rested, it means that he's eager to return to the world of football. Bayern have made a great signing."

  95. 0917: 
    FOOTBALL

    Pep Guardiola's decision to take charge of Bayern Munich next summer has the support of Tito Vilanova, the man who replaced him at Barcelona.

    Vilanova says: "I didn't know where he was going, I didn't know anything. I suppose he couldn't say. I'm very happy that he's returning to football and to one of Europe's great clubs."

  96.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Viv Powers on Twitter: "How about Ian Holloway for Chelsea? He's a media darling and he'd soon put Abramovich in his place."

    Jay on Twitter: "If Abramovich appoints himself as the manager (as many are suggesting), he'll surely fire himself in a week or two, won't he?"

    Dorian Smith on Twitter: "Perhaps Chelsea should have guest managers just like they have guest hosts on Have I Got News For You?"

  97. 0912: 
    RUGBY LEAGUE

    Leeds prop Kylie Leuluai confirms that 2013 will be his last season as he prepares to return home to New Zealand.

    The forward, who will turn 35 in March, has postponed his retirement once, signing a new 12-month contract midway through last season, but insists there will be no second change of heart.

    He tells the Yorkshire Evening Post: "This will definitely be my last year. We have already made plans to go home. I could play on for another two years otherwise but you have got to stop some time."

  98.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Oscar Haines on Twitter: "There are still two big 'what ifs' as Chelsea manager: Jose Mourinho and Guus Hiddink. Both welcome, neither available."

    Kieran Russell on Twitter: "Let's be Frank here (pardon the pun). Mourinho will be back in the summer. Frank Lampard and Ashley Cole will be given deals if Jose returns."

    Chris Walker on Twitter: "Carlo Ancelotti was the perfect Chelsea manager - guided the team rather than forced them. They need someone like that."

  99. 0901: 
    TENNIS

    Roger Federer takes the first set 6-3 in his second-round match against Nikolay Davydenko at the Australian Open.

    You can follow the match live on the BBC Sport website.

  100. 0858: 
    CRICKET

    England fielding coach Richard Halsall admits that the squad have been feeling frustrated at the way Tuesday's second one-day international against India got away from them.

    India's 127-run victory levelled the series at 1-1 ahead of the third meeting in Ranchi on Saturday, and Halsall says: "The disappointment is that we created two very good opportunities to win a game of cricket in India, which is very hard to do, and we didn't take them."

  101. 0852: 
    LATEST GOSSIP

    Hull City manager Steve Bruce wants to strengthen his attacking options by signing Fraizer Campbell, 25, from Sunderland, according to the Hull Daily Mail.

    Bruce is keen on another forward after allowing Aaron McLean to join Ipswich on loan and losing Sone Aluko for around six weeks to an Achilles injury.

  102.  
    GET INVOLVED

    More of your thoughts on the Chelsea managerial situation in the wake of leading candidate Pep Guardiola's decision to take the Bayern Munich job. #bbcsportsday

    Chinmay S Barhale on Twitter: "Abramovich should appoint himself manager of Chelsea. That's the only way to bring stability at a chaotic club."

    AJ Andre on Twitter: "Chelsea finished sixth last year. Surely Benitez is doing a better job than Di Matteo in the league?!"

    Kyle Barber on Twitter: "'Long-Term' and 'Chelsea' don't really fit together too well..."

  103. 0843: 
    LATEST GOSSIP

    Some more of the morning's football transfer gossip for you.

    Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert may hijack Fulham's bid for Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk midfielder Derek Boateng, 29. (Daily Mirror)

    Stoke manager Tony Pulis has rejected a £3m offer from Swansea City for striker Kenwyne Jones, 28. (Daily Telegraph)

    Stoke midfielder Maurice Edu, 26, is wanted on loan by Turkish side Bursaspor to replace Sunderland's new signing Alfred N'Diaye. (Daily Mail)

  104. 0837: 
    TENNIS

    Roger Federer is sporting a fetching lavender and pink shirt as he faces Nikolay Davydenko at the Australia Open. Federer leads 3-2 in the first set, which is on serve.

    Britain's Laura Robson is due on court around 1000 GMT against former Wimbledon champion Petra Kvitova. You can follow all the latest action from Melbourne on the BBC Sport website.

  105.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Pep Guardiola won't be going to Chelsea any time soon, so who do you think will be their long-term manager? Keep your thoughts coming via Twitter. #bbcsportsday

    Lucas Barnbrook on Twitter: "Unless Chelsea bring back the special one, any other manager will seem like a downgrade compared to Roberto Di Matteo."

    Tom Davies on Twitter: "Is it still a case of Chelsea get who Chelsea want? Think top managers are beginning to stay away. Teach Roman some patience."

    Steven on Twitter: "All these Chelsea fans are delusional. Give Rafa time. Two months not enough time to build a team from the ruins of another."

  106. 0826: 
    LATEST GOSSIP

    Huddersfield Town are chasing Bradford's Capital One Cup hero Nahki Wells, according to the Huddersfield Daily Examiner.

    Striker Wells, 22, has scored 17 goals this season, and got the opener as Aston Villa were beaten 3-1 in the semi-final first leg last week.

  107. 0824: 
    GOLF

    Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy has carded a three-over-par first-round score of 75 at the Abu Dhabi Open. Tiger Woods has recorded a par 72.

    Welshman Jamie Donaldson leads by one shot at the moment. He is on five under par after 16 holes.

  108.  
    GET INVOLVED

    We'll return to your thoughts on the Chelsea managerial situation shortly, so keep your tweets coming. But first, a quick dip into some of the other subjects you're talking about on Twitter. #bbcsportsday

    James Hunter on Twitter: "Just when I thought Swindon's financial turmoil was over, this happens (see 0712). It's never dull supporting the club, that's for sure."

    Stoobs on Twitter: "Prepare, Attack, Destroy. Yes, Andy Murray. Most feared man in Oz."

    Ken Ngugi on Twitter: "Re: Sam Allardyce (see 0730). Every manager is now accusing the ref for being biased if they lose to Manchester Unite. Very unfair on United players who toil to win."

  109. 0814: 
    LATEST GOSSIP

    Barnsley defender Tom Kennedy is set to sign a new six-month contract today, reports the Sheffield Star.

    Kennedy, 27, has been playing at Oakwell on non-contract terms since September.

  110.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Steve Sant on Twitter: "Chelsea could give a Champions League-winning boss the job - Roberto Di Matteo."

    Mahesh Dixit on Twitter: "With Guardiola choosing philosophy over money, who would want to come to the Bridge? Roman himself perhaps!!!"

    Adam Smith on Twitter: "It's not about who Chelsea want. It's about who wants to risk their career. I don't see any options or takers."

  111. 0805: 
    TENNIS

    Andy Murray reveals that a fast start was the key to his 6-2 6-2 6-4 second-round victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa in 100 degrees Fahrenheit heat at the Australian Open.

    The British number one says: "I got up a couple of breaks pretty quickly in the first two sets so I could play, not loose points, but I could try to shorten the points, which helps."

    Follow the latest Australian Open action on the BBC Sport website.

  112.  
    GET INVOLVED

    So with Guardiola out of the race to manage Chelsea, who is their likely long-term boss? Let us know your thoughts via Twitter. Bonus points if you give a reason. #bbcsportsday

    Dom Koncowski on Twitter: "I have a strange inkling that Mourinho will go back to Chelsea."

    Ahmad Abdur Rahman on Twitter: "Frank Rijkaard. His tactics will work very well with Chelsea. He will get awesome youngsters."

    Saqib Rao on Twitter: "I'm guessing Chelsea will appoint Jurgen Klopp as he is the young manager with new ideas Roman Abramovich is looking for."

  113. 0752: 
    FOOTBALL

    Pep Guardiola is backed to succeed as Bayern Munich boss by his former Barcelona team-mate Frank de Boer.

    The Ajax manager tells BBC Sport: "I know him well and he is a smart guy so he will always look at what kind of players he has, and from there he will get the best concept to play."

  114. 0747: 
    LATEST GOSSIP

    Sir Alex Ferguson tells MUTV that he is confident Ryan Giggs, 39, will play for another season at Manchester United.

    "He will play for another year," United manager Ferguson says. "There are no discerning signs of tiredness or weakness in his game, his quality is still there and he has fantastic balance."

  115.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Your thoughts on the Chelsea managerial situation now that Pep Guardiola is out of the running. Keep them coming please via Twitter. #bbcsportsday

    Aiyesa Dare on Twitter: "Chelsea fans moaning about Rafa Benitez's appointment better man up. We're stuck with him!"

    Ben Milam on Twitter: "Give me Mourinho or Diego Simeone any day. I was happy to give it to Rafa if he did well but he's beginning to fade a bit."

    Ben King on Twitter: "Mourinho. Enough said."

  116. 0738: 
    LATEST GOSSIP

    Some more of the morning's football transfer gossip for you.

    Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha, 34, is ready to cut short his stint at Sunderland, with an unnamed South African club prepared to offer him an escape route. (Sunderland Echo)

    Striker Theo Walcott, 23, has agreed the framework of a new three-and-half-year, £100,000-a-week deal and Arsenal are expecting him to sign it next week. (London Evening Standard)

    Wolverhampton boss Dean Saunders is planning a double swoop for Norwich striker Simeon Jackson and Doncaster winger David Cotterill, both 25. (the Sun)

  117. 0733: 
    FOOTBALL

    Wayne Rooney missed the penalty Manchester United were awarded last night - the fourth spot-kick out of seven that Sir Alex Ferguson's side have failed to convert this season.

    But angry West Ham boss Allardyce adds: "With Rafael, the ball hits his hand but no penalty is given. With Jordan Spence, the ball hits his hand and it's a penalty. The incidents are the same. If you give one you've got to give both, simple as that."

  118. 0730: 
    FOOTBALL

    West Ham manager Sam Allardyce criticises the decision to deny his side a penalty yet award Manchester United one during last night's FA Cup third-round replay at Old Trafford.

    United defender Rafael escaped a handball appeal, but the Hammers' Jordan Spence was penalised as Allardyce's side lost 1-0.

    Allardyce says: "There's no doubt about the difference between Rafael's handball and Jordan Spence's. Spence plays for West Ham and the away team, while Rafael plays for the home side at Old Trafford."

  119.  
    GET INVOLVED

    Pep Guardiola is out of the running for the manager's job at Chelsea after agreeing to take charge at Bayern Munich from next summer.

    So who do you think should be the boss at Stamford Bridge? Is interim boss Rafa Benitez the man for the long term? How about Jose Mourinho? Jurgen Klopp? Guus Hiddink? Michael Laudrup? Tell us who and why via Twitter, using the hashtag #bbcsportsday

  120. 0719: 
    FOOTBALL

    Fox Sports Argentina reports that Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has admitted deliberately "falling" in an unsuccessful attempt to win a penalty during a league game against Stoke earlier this season.

    Suarez is reported to have said: "Football is like that. Sometimes you do things on the field that later you think 'why the hell did I do that?' I was accused of falling inside the box in a match, and it's true I did it that time, because we were drawing against Stoke at home and we needed anything to win it."

  121. 0712: 
    FOOTBALL

    League One side Swindon Town are considering administration to reduce their debts, which are thought to be around £13m.

    BBC Wiltshire has learned that Andrew Black, Swindon's owner, is unwilling to put in further funds, and is actively seeking fresh investment.

  122. 0708: 
    FOOTBALL

    Chelsea interim boss Rafa Benitez is coy when asked if his long-term job prospects at Stamford Bridge have been enhanced by Pep Guardiola's decision to join Bayern Munich next summer.

    Benitez says: "Guardiola has gone there and it's good for him. We will try to be ready for our next game."

  123. 0706: 
    TENNIS

    Jamie Murray tells BBC Radio 5 live that his brother Andy is much more relaxed in his game after winning last year's US Open.

    "He's a lot more relaxed and comfortable with everything. I don't think he has to live with anyone asking him 'are you ever going to win a Grand Slam?' or past defeats. He's banished all of that and I'm sure it's a big weight off his shoulders."

  124. 0704: 
    LATEST GOSSIP

    Blackpool forward Tom Ince, 20, has seen his dream return to Liverpool put on hold - because the Seasiders are refusing to take Reds manager Brendan Rodgers' calls. (Daily Mirror)

    Manchester United will make a formal bid for Crystal Palace forward Wilfried Zaha, 20, in the next 48 hours - but will play hardball with the Championship club by making a cash offer as low as £6m. (Daily Mail)

    Tottenham manager Andre Villas-Boas has attempted to bring forward the signing of Lewis Holtby, 22, from Schalke to this month's transfer window after losing the key midfielder Sandro to a long-term knee injury. (the Guardian)

  125. 0702: 
    TOP STORIES

    Britain's Andy Murray is through to the third round of the Australian Open after a 6-2 6-2 6-4 victory over Portugal's Joao Sousa in Melbourne. There is live text commentary on the BBC Sport website.

    Manchester United and Arsenal secure places in the fourth round of the FA Cup after winning their replays. United beat West Ham 1-0 with an early Wayne Rooney goal, while Jack Wilshere scores as Arsenal defeat Swansea 1-0.

    Chelsea are 13 points adrift of top spot in the Premier League after losing a two-goal lead in drawing 2-2 at home to Southampton.

  126. 0700: 
    SPORTSDAY

    Good morning and welcome to Sportsday Live. We will bring you all the latest transfer news throughout the day as well as the breaking news from the world of sport. But we begin with what has been happening overnight and bring you the top stories from the BBC Sport website.

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