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Summary

  1. Breaking football news as it happens
  2. Rangers chief executive Llambias dismisses McDowall claim
  3. Bony replaces Jovetic in Man City's Champions League squad
  4. Alexis Sanchez ruled out of north London derby
  5. Phelan becomes assistant boss at Hull
  6. Six Nations news ahead of Friday's opener

Live Reporting

By Steve Canavan and Michael Emons

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Goodbye

So we will leave it there for today's Sportsday. Don't forget, we have live text commentary from the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final between

Ghana and Equatorial Guinea here.

We will be back nice and early at 08:00 GMT on Friday morning for what promises to be a busy day of news conferences and previews before a packed weekend of sport.

So until tomorrow, we will say bye for now, have a good night and we will see you tomorrow.

Watch the best tries from 2014

Rugby Union

The Six Nations starts tomorrow, so what better way to get in the mood than to

relieve some of the best moments from the 2014 competition.

Tries
BBC Sport

'It's no coincidence that we are winning'

Football

Sunderland boss Gus Poyet has praised new signing Jermain Defoe.

The 32-year-old England striker has scored once and the Black Cats have only lost once in four games since he joined them in January.

Jermain Defoe
Getty Images

"He's a wake-up call, we can call it," said Poyet. "It's no coincidence that we are winning with him in the side."

"I know strikers are always about goals, but the way he moves, the options he gives us when he makes runs, how good he is on the ball - he gives the opportunity to others to take advantage of that as well."

Rodgers targets Liverpool legacy

Football

Brendan Rodgers

wants to leave a "proud" legacy at Liverpool as he prepares to take charge of the club for the 100th time in the Premier League.

Brendan Rodgers and Roberto Martinez
Getty Images

Rodgers, 42, takes charge of his side in the Merseyside derby on Saturday.

"At whatever point I leave here hopefully I'll be leaving something people can be proud of," he said. "We now have to rubber-stamp that by winning some silverware."

'I admire Wenger, but we're not friends'

Football

Mauricio Pochettino
BBC Sport

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino says he respects Arsene Wenger but adds

that the two are not "friends" ahead of the North London derby on Saturday.

The Tottenham manager believes his side have improved since their 1-1 draw at the Emirates in September and that there is a "good feeling" among the squad.

Watch skiing now

Alpine Skiing

Skiing
BBC Sport

Good news for skiing fans. You can watch the Men's super G at the Alpine World Ski Championships from Colorado by clicking on the live coverage tab at the top of this page. You're welcome.

Real's Rodriguez faces two-month absence

Football

Real Madrid's Colombian striker James Rodriguez will undergo surgery on a fractured foot which could rule him out for two months, the Spanish La Liga leaders have said.

Rodriguez, 23, suffered the injury during a 2-1 league win over Sevilla on Wednesday.

"After the tests carried out on James Rodriguez by the Real Madrid medical services, he has been diagnosed with a fracture of the fifth metatarsal in his right foot," said a club statement. "The player will undergo surgery in the coming hours."

'There's no way the board is picking the team'

Football

Three of Rangers' loan signings, Gael Bigirimana, Haris Vuckic and Remie Streete
SNS

Despite Rangers manager Kenny McDowall telling a news conference earlier today that all

five players signed on loan from Newcastle must be in his starting XI, that might not actually be the case.

Rangers chief executive Derek Llambias has now issued a statement saying: "The basis of any loan deal is that the players who arrive bolster the side and give the squad more depth. That's exactly what is happening here. There's no way the board is picking the team."

Midfielders Gael Bigirimana and Haris Vuckic and defenders Kevin Mbabu, Remie Streete and Shane Ferguson joined from the English Premier League side on Monday.

Africa Cup of Nations live

Football

Ivory Coast are already in the final of the Africa Cup of Nations. But who will they meet on Sunday?

Fans
Getty Images

The second semi-final between Ghana and hosts Equatorial Guinea will start at 19:00 GMT. You can follow all of the action with the

live commentary on our football page, right now.

News at six

Missed anything? Not been paying attention? Well, never fear, here are the biggest sports stories of the day.

England rugby
AFP

Rugby union: England assistant coach Mike Catt

says the Millennium Stadium is not an intimidating venue, as they prepare for the Six Nations opener against Wales.

Tennis: Great Britain

have been beaten by Turkey in the Fed Cup qualifying competition in Budapest.

Cricket: Former Australian star Brett Lee will be

Ireland's bowling coach during their pre-World Cup warm-up period in Sydney.

Football: Striker Wilfried Bony has

replaced Stevan Jovetic in Manchester City's squad for the Champions League.

Formula 1: The remaining assets of the collapsed Caterham team

have been put up for sale, apparently ending hopes they could return to Formula 1 this season.

Golf: Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood share the lead on six-under-par after the

first round of the Malaysian Open.

Graeme McDowell
Getty Images

Hartlepool takeover falls through

Football

Increased Oil Recovery Limited are to remain owners of Hartlepool United after

calling off the sale of their majority stake in the League Two club.

TMH 2014 Limited

appeared set to take over the club in December, but the deal has now been scrapped.

Mixed emotions

Swimming

British Swimming has welcomed the continued funding of its Olympic and Paralympic disciplines.

But it expressed its disappointment at UK Sport's decision not to target additional funding on the development and preparation of young divers currently pursuing success at Tokyo 2020.

New strict doping rules

Horse racing

New "zero tolerance" rules, sparked by a doping scandal involving ex-Godolphin trainer Mahmood Al Zarooni, will be

brought into British racing on 2 March.

The Sheikh Mohammed-owned stable was investigated in April 2013 after horses trained by Al Zarooni tested positive for anabolic steroids.

Al Zarooni was banned for eight years, and 15 horses he trained for Godolphin were banned for six months. He had said he was not aware anabolic steroids were banned in British racing.

PFA chief's mental health concerns

Football

Players' union chief Gordon Taylor has highlighted the help available to footballers following revelations about Clarke Carlisle's latest battle with depression.

Clarke Carlisle
BBC

Former Watford and Burnley defender Carlisle has disclosed that the serious injuries he suffered after being hit by a lorry in December were the result of a suicide attempt.

Taylor said: "Mental welfare and depression can be something that can affect all people in all walks of life but in sport as well.

"A booklet has gone out to all our members. We have a 24-hour helpline. We have approximately 30 counsellors who are available 24 hours to talk to any of our members, past and present, with such problems."

Best videos

Tom Wood
BBC Sport

Fancy watching some of our latest video offerings? Of course you do. And here are a few things to enjoy.

Rugby union: England and Northampton Saints flanker Tom Wood talks to BBC Look East about

why he is using a Formula 1 simulator in preparation for the Six Nations.

Football: Liverpool striker Daniel Sturridge says

there is no better feeling in the world than scoring a goal, especially in a huge game such as the Merseyside derby.

Football: Rangers manager Kenny McDowall claims he has been told by the club that the five loan signings made from Newcastle

must be in his starting XI if fit.

Rugby league: BBC Sport's George Riley takes a look at

five players expected to make a big impact on the Super League in 2015.

Ashton Sims
BBC Sport

Can St Helens retain their title?

Rugby League

Keiron Cunningham
BBC Sport

St Helens will be hoping for more success this year, but will not be able to call upon the talents of club legend Keiron Cunningham anymore. Well, not on the pitch anyway.

Cunningham, who has a statue outside Langtree Park, has replaced Nathan Brown as head coach and will aiming for his side to become only the fifth team in the Super League era to retain their title.

Can they do it?

This feature on our rugby league pages aims to try to find out.

Who will win this year's Super League?

Rugby league

Super League
Getty Images

So the 2015 Super League season starts tonight, but will St Helens be able to retain their title?

BBC Sport has spoken to a host of names in the game and a number of local radio commentators to

assess the chances of each of the 12 teams.

Wolves goalkeeper Ikeme breaks foot

Football

Wolves could be

without goalkeeper Carl Ikeme for up to eight weeks following a training ground injury.

Ikeme, 28, has broken the second metatarsal bone in his left foot after colliding with team-mate James Henry.

"It will be a loss, because Carl's been a big player for us, but it's also an opportunity for Tomasz Kuszczak. And it's the reason he's here, to cover situations like this," boss Kenny Jackett told BBC WM 95.6.

Widnes v Wigan (20:00 GMT)

Rugby league

The

2015 Super League season kicks off tonight with a meeting between Widnes and Wigan, who were beaten by St Helens in last season's Grand Final.

Ben Flower
Getty Images

Wigan prop Ben Flower misses the first of 10 league games as part of his six-month ban for punching Lance Hohaia in the opening minutes of that game. New signing Larne Patrick is included.

Widnes forward Gil Dudson is not available to make his debut against the club he signed from last month but loanee Chris Clarkson is in the squad.

There will be live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and BBC Radio Merseyside.

Capello 'owed £5.2m'

Football

Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov will pay the wages owed to the national team's head coach Fabio Capello, according to Russian media reports.

Fabio Capello
Getty Images

The 61-year-old businessman was asked by Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko to provide the Russian Football Union with a subsidised loan worth £3.9m.

Media reports suggest former England coach Capello and the team's general manager Oreste Cinquini are owed around £5.2m and were last paid in June 2014.

Brett Lee signs for Ireland

Cricket

Brett Lee became the latest former Australia cricketer to be handed a World Cup role with another side when it was revealed he would serve as Ireland's bowling coach in the lead-up to the tournament.

Brett Lee
Getty Images

Ireland coach Phil Simmons said: "Brett has a wonderful knowledge of fast bowling, and his special insight of Australian pitches will help give our bowlers further confidence ahead of their group matches."

Mike Hussey was 'signed up' by South Africa earlier in the day as a consultant.

McClaren denies QPR link

Football

Steve McClaren has laughed off speculation linking him with the vacant QPR manager's job, reports BBC Radio Derby's Owen Bradley.

Steve McClaren
Getty Images

"I answered that a few weeks ago (when he was linked to the Newcastle job) and it is the same answer now. Nothing changes. We laugh it off and move on quick," McClaren said in his weekly press conference today.

"So let's focus and concentrate on the job in hand which is trying to get Derby County into the Premier League."

Ward bows out

Tennis

James Ward put up a heck of a fight in the second round of the Zagreb Indoors ATP tournament in Croatia, but eventually lost in three sets to Andreas Seppi.

James Ward
Getty Images

The British number two lost 7-5 6-7 6-3 against Seppi, who hit the headlines at the Australian Open when he knocked out Roger Federer.

No place for Jovetic in City squad

Football

Manchester City have left striker Stevan Jovetic out of their Champions League squad to accommodate new £25m signing Wilfried Bony.

Wilfried Bony
Getty Images

The arrival of Ivory Coast international Bony from Swansea in January meant City had one more foreign player in their squad than they are permitted to register for European competition.

Governing body UEFA published City's revised squad for the second half of the season on Thursday and Jovetic's name was not included.

The decision by manager Manuel Pellegrini to leave out Jovetic means that he will continue to be restricted to just three senior strikers for the remainder of the competition - now Bony, Sergio Aguero and Dzeko.

Ronnie rockets through

Snooker

World number three Ronnie O'Sullivan made light work of Mark Davis by winning 5-1 to reach the second round of the German Masters in Berlin.

'The Rocket' became the highest century-maker in snooker history during the Masters, before suffering a heavy loss to Neil Robertson in the semi-final.

Ronnie O'Sullivan
Getty Images

But he put in a clinical performance in Berlin, compiling breaks of 93, 68 and 62, finishing the match with a superb 117.

"I constructed some nice breaks and my safety was good," said O'Sullivan. "I am a player that needs matches. I am striking it better so I can be a bit more aggressive."

Ipswich confirm Connolly signing

Football

Ipswich Town have signed Shelbourne's Republic of Ireland Under-21 winger

Dylan Connolly on an 18-month contract, manager Mick McCarthy has confirmed.

The 19-year-old, who scored 12 goals in 27 games for Shelbourne, had trials at Ipswich and Bolton in the summer.

'I'm extremely pleased' - Phelan

Football

A little reaction from Mike Phelan at being named Steve Bruce's assistant at Hull.

"I'm extremely pleased to be at this football club," said Phelan, which is a relief given he's just signed a contract with them.

"I want to work hard and channel all of my energy into helping the staff, the players and everybody associated with the club.

"I'm looking forward to working with Steve and hopefully I can bring with me some of the things I have learned over the years to help us improve."

Phelan gets Hull job

Hull City FC
Hull City FC

Hull City FC: We are delighted to confirm the appointment of Mike Phelan as the club's new assistant manager.

Burnley 'begged' for help

Football

Burnley have dismissed a suggestion they emailed agents begging for help identifying players prior to Monday's transfer deadline.

The Clarets failed to make any additions on deadline day, despite working close to the cut-off point on a number of potential deals.

Sean Dyche
Getty Images

It has been reported head of recruitment Lee Darnborough sent an email to agents on Sunday asking if they had any suitable players available.

The club, managed by Sean Dyche, have not completely denied this occurred but have issued a statement saying they believe the intention behind the email has not been accurately conveyed.

Spike Lee the NBA coach

Basketball

Spike Lee is going to be directing to the likes of Kevin Hart, Common, Anthony Anderson and Mo'Ne Davis - but instead of on a movie set, it will be on the basketball court.

Spike Lee
Getty Images

The famed filmmaker is to coach the Sprint NBA All-Star Celebrity Game, which will kick off festivities for the All-Star weekend from 13-15 Feb.

Lee, a New York Knicks fan, will coach during an event to be held at Madison Square Garden and televised live on ESPN.

BBC WM Sport: Birmingham manager Gary Rowett says keeping Demarai Gray at the club and rejecting Bournemouth's £5m bid for him was an 'important thing to do'.

Commons to stay at Celtic

Football

Celtic midfielder Kris Commons has signed a new two-year contract.

Kris Commons
Getty Images

The club's announcement signals an end to protracted negotiations that for a long time appeared likely to end in failure.

A club statement read: "Celtic are delighted to announce that Kris Commons has signed a new two-year deal, committing himself to the club until the summer of 2017."

Plymouth complete loan swoop

Football

Plymouth Argyle have agreed to sign Charlton's 19-year-old left-back

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis on a youth loan until the end of the season. The deal will go through when the loan window re-opens next week.

BBC Wales Sport on Twitter: Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards expects England to be "strong up front" and for more kicking during the game because the roof will be open

Say cheese

Remember we asked earlier for footballers looking miserable when signing for new clubs?

You've not let us down. Here's Jonjo Shelvey ecstatic at arriving in Swansea.

Jonjo Shelvey
Swansea FC

Then there's Emmanuel Frimpong struggling to contain his excitement on touching down at Barnsley.

Barnsley
Barnsley FC

Keep them coming at at #bbcfootball

O'Brien returns for Ireland

Rugby Union

Ireland have named the team that will face Italy in Rome on the opening weekend of the Six Nations.

Combative British and Irish Lions flanker Sean O'Brien will play his first Test since November 2013 against Italy.

Jamie Heaslip misses out injured but Conor Murray returns to partner Ian Keatley at half-back.

Court battle between fan and club owners

Football

A lifelong Blackpool FC fan is facing the club's owners - the Oyston family - in the High Court today.

David Ragozzino, 32, is being sued for up to £150,000 by the club and its directors, Karl and Owen Oyston, after he allegedly posted defamatory information about them online.

Mr Ragozzino says he will be supported by up to 100 fellow fans at today's hearing in Manchester. "They are just trying to silence the fans again," he told the

Blackpool Gazette.

Blackpool, in the Premier League in 2011, are bottom of the Championship, nine points from safety, and fans have held several protests against the Oystons throughout the course of the season.

Success for GB

Tennis

Great Britain have been beaten by Turkey in the Fed Cup qualifying competition in Budapest, but could still top their group if they beat Ukraine tomorrow.

Heather Watson
Getty Images

Both Heather Watson and Johanna Konta lost their singles matches, but victory in the doubles for Anna Smith and Jocelyn Rae strengthens Britain's position ahead of their final group match.

Berahino's dressing down

Football

Saido Berahino faces being disciplined by West Brom but has not been put up for sale, according to PA Sport.

Berahino
Getty Images

The striker is in trouble after giving an unauthorised interview to Sky Sports News where he said he hoped to move "on to bigger things" if he helped the Baggies beat the drop.

Tottenham and Liverpool were linked with the England Under-21 international but the Baggies did not receive any bids during the transfer window.

Cavendish retains Dubai Tour lead

Cycling

Mark Cavendish has

retained the leader's jersey at the Dubai Tour after finishing second to Italian Elia Viviani on Thursday's second stage.

Mark Cavendish
Getty Images

The 29-year-old from the Isle of Man still holds a two second advantage over Viviani, having won the opening stage.