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Summary

  1. Fifa president Blatter will contest eight-year ban
  2. Guardiola 'knows his next club'
  3. England beat South Africa A by an innings and 91 runs
  4. GET INVOLVED Who will win the Premier League? #bbcsportsday

Live Reporting

By James Gheerbrant and Phil Dawkes

All times stated are UK

Get involved

Thank you and goodnight

That is all for Sportsday for Tuesday. We'll be back tomorrow for the final installment before Christmas. So join us for all the rolling sports news you could possibly need from 08:00 GMT.

Wasps await Halfpenny decision

Leigh Halfpenny
PA

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has confirmed they are one of "six or seven" clubs interested in signing Wales full-back Leigh Halfpenny - and expects him to make a decision on his future in the next couple of weeks.

The 27-year-old, who is currently recovering from a knee injury, could leave French club Toulon in the summer.

"I couldn't say what Leigh's going to do, but I know he's looking to make a decision over the next two weeks and we're one of the clubs that's an option to him," Young told BBC Coventry and Warwickshire.

Evans staying put

Rugby Union

Nick Evans
Getty Images

Former New Zealand fly-half Nick Evans has signed a new contract with Premiership title contenders Harlequins.

Evans has been the club's first-choice playmaker since arriving from the Blues in 2008 and is their record points scorer with 2,024 from 181 games.

The 35-year-old is also the leading points scorer in the Premiership this season.

Evans takes Christmas off work for darts

Darts

Ricky Evans Darts
Getty Images

Ricky Evans has asked for Christmas Day off work to help him prepare for his PDC World Darts Championship second-round match with Jamie Caven. 

The 25-year-old petrol station attendant earned a shock victory over number 10 seed Simon Whitlock and faces world number 22 Caven on Boxing Day. 

"I am meant to working but I don't want to do Christmas Day," Kettering's Evans told BBC Radio Northampton. 

"I don't want to prepare for my Boxing Day clash by working in a garage."

Toulon to host America's Cup

Sailing

French city Toulon will host the fifth America's Cup World Series event in September 2016.

The World Series event - which is part of a two-year schedule to determine the challenger to face Team Oracle in the 2017 America's Cup in Bermuda - will be held in the Mediterranean city from 10-11 September.

Other events in 2016 are scheduled to take place in Muscat, Oman, along with New York, Chicago and Portsmouth.

An NBA legend

Basketball

He's one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Former Milwaukee Bucks and Los Angeles Lakers centre Kareem Abdul-Jabbar is the NBA's all-time leading points scorer, won six championships and made 19 All-Star appearances.

He has also been talking to Sportsworld's Lee James about being a high-profile American Muslim, an author, an actor, an ambassador, a political commentator and an NBA fan.

Kareem Abdul-Jabbar
Getty Images

Moeen ready to 'play a few shots'

Cricket

Moeen Ali is set to return to the number eight spot when England take on South Africa this winter. And the all-rounder, who has been tested at opener, is looking forward to playing with freedom.

"I can't wait, I'm actually looking forward to going back to eight and playing a few shots, hopefully freeing up," said Moeen, who took six for 77 as the tourists beat a South Africa A side by an innings and 91 runs in Pietermaritzburg on Tuesday. 

"Obviously opening didn't work. I enjoyed it and it was a really good experience but I didn't score the runs I'd have liked. I probably got caught in two minds at times whether to attack or not but things like that happen. I'm happy and I don't mind where I bat, I'll just look to do my job wherever I bat." 

Moeen Ali celebrates a wicket
Getty Images

'West Indies will rise again'

Cricket

It is a bad time to be a West Indies fan at the moment. They were humiliated in the opening Test against Australia, losing by an innings and 212 runs.

Former captain Dwayne Bravo has criticized their Cricket Board over its strained relationship with players and a lack of facilities for the sport in the Caribbean, plus it's only last year the players went on strike over a contract dispute.

BBC World Service's Lee James spoke with the West Indies legend Curtly Ambrose, now abowling consultant, who admits they need to make changes.

Curtly Ambrose
Getty Images

Bolton statement

Football

Bolton have released a statement following their internal investigation into newspaper allegations about manager Neil Lennon.

It was alleged in the Sunday Mirror that the 44-year-old former Celtic boss made a threat to somebody he was said to be romantically involved with.

The paper also claimed Lennon tried to ban them from publishing the article.

Neil Lennon
PA

The statement read: "Bolton Wanderers Football Club can announce that they have now concluded an internal investigation into an article published in The Sunday Mirror on Sunday 20 December.

"The club has dealt with the matter internally and acted accordingly, details of which will remain private.

"Neil Lennon will remain in charge of the first team squad."

Watford in for 'new Messi'

LATEST GOSSIP

Things just get better and better for Watford. Quique Sanchez Flores’ team are seventh in the table after a remarkable first half of the season following last year's promotion. And, according Sky Sport Italia (and subsequently picked up by the Independent) they could be poised for a sensational January transfer swoop for Roma’s Juan Manuel Iturbe - a man once dubbed the new Lionel Messi.

The 22-year-old forward has started just five matches for Roma this season.

Juan Manuel Iturbe (left)
AFP

Not a bad career

Football

Not sure why but the Premier League have just tweeted this.

Ryan Giggs in the #BPL: 632 matches 109 goals 162 assists 13 titles

Ryan Giggs in the #BPL: 632 matches 109 goals 162 assists 13 titles

If nothing else, reminds us what a great player the man now assistant boss to Louis van Gaal at Manchester United really was.

Preston win Pickford appeal

Football

Preston have won an appeal against goalkeeper Jordan Pickford's one-game suspension for his sending off at Leeds.

The on-loan Sunderland player was dismissed for handling outside the box during North End's 1-0 loss at Elland Road. 

He will now be free to face Huddersfield on Boxing Day.  

Jordan Pickford
Getty Images

Srnicek 'healing' after cardiac arrest

Football

Former Newcastle goalkeeper Pavel Srnicek is "healing" after suffering a cardiac arrest on Sunday. The 47-year-old's agent, Steve Wraith, has told the Chronicle:

“Pav has had a stable night and his body is healing, however there is a long, long way to go. Wednesday is an important day. The hospital are hoping to perform a CT scan. If they can, we should know a lot more about his chances.

“If they can’t perform the CT scan tomorrow then we are looking at two-three days time (before we know more).”

Pavel Srnicek
PA

Wolves to sign Poland winger Zyro

Football

Wolves have agreed to sign Poland international winger Michal Zyro from Legia Warsaw, subject to the player passing a medical. 

Left-footed Zyro, 23, is comfortable playing anywhere across the forward line and has won four caps for Poland. 

"We have a deal agreed and it'll be kicking in at the start of January," head coach Kenny Jackett told BBC WM. 

"He can play in any of the attacking positions and, being left-footed, he brings a balance."

Ancelotti moves to keep Lewandowski

Football

The group clubs who are keen to sign Bayern Munich's Polish striker Robert Lewandowski have been dealt a blow with news that Carlo Ancelotti has insisted he is not sold as one of the stipulations for him succeeding Pep Guardiola as the German club's manager.

Spanish paper AS report that Ancelotti is well aware that the 27-year-old is high on the wish-list of Real Madrid and has moved to head off any chance of the move happening.

Robert Lewandowski
AP

Chelsea cleared of wrongdoing over Vitesse link

Football

Chelsea and Vitesse Arnhem have been cleared of having an improper relationship, the Dutch football association (KNVB) said on Tuesday. 

The independent probe established no undue influence by the Premier League champions over the Dutch club, to whom they have been regularly loaning players over the past five years, including five this season. 

The KNVB had ordered an investigation into the ownership and structure of the club following allegations by former owner Merab Jordania that Chelsea heavily influenced policy at the club. 

But the association said its investigation had shown no written agreement between the two clubs and all loan agreements had been arranged in line with the regulations. 

'Mahrez can grow with Leicester'

Football

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri has told Riyad Mahrez he must learn to deal with his increased profile. The winger has scored 14 goals this season to help the Foxes top the Premier League table.

Mahrez has been linked with a move away from the club, but Ranieri said: "He wants to stay with us, we want to keep him and that's it. He has to improve and when he improves, the team improves and when that happens why would he want to go away? He's a king here. 

"He can grow with the team because if you stay at the bottom and fight no-one knows you but now everybody is talking about you and that is maybe a bit of pressure. 

"You have to manage this kind of pressure. It's important for him to manage this stress. It's important he understands on the pitch is one thing and the TVs and newspapers are another thing." 

Riyad Mahrez
Getty Images

Ozil assisting Arsenal

Football

Mesut Ozil is very much the assist king this season. The Arsenal midfielder was at it again last night against Manchester City, by setting up his 15th goal of the season...

16 - The 11 previous instances of a player reaching 15 assists in a PL season have come after an avg of 31 apps, Ozil has done it in 16. Ya.

Mourinho already lining up United signings?

Football

Jose Mourinho isn't Manchester United manager yet (Louis van Gaal hasn't even left the role) but the former Chelsea boss is already plotting his first Old Trafford signing, according to the Sun.

The player in question? Dutch midfielder Wesley Sneijder, who played under him at Inter Milan and is currently playing for Turkish side Galatasaray.

Wesley Sneijder
Reuters

Former Wigan star Gohouri missing

Football

Nick Cavell

BBC Africa Sport

Former Wigan and Ivory Coast defender Steve Gohouri is still missing, 11 days after he was last seen.

A spokesman for fourth-tier TSV Steinbach told the BBC that they have not heard from the 34-year-old since he attended his German club's Christmas party on 11 December after which he was due to head to see his family in Paris. 

The club said the Ivory Coast embassy in Germany has been in touch as well to ask for updates. Steinbach are currently on their winter break and so Gohouri has not missed any training or matches with the squad due back on 6 January.

Steve Gohouri
Getty Images

O'Brien signs new deal

Rugby Union

g
Getty Images

Ireland flanker Sean O'Brien has signed a new three-year contract with the Irish Rugby Football Union that will keep him at Leinster until after the 2019 World Cup.

O'Brien made his debut for the three-time European champions in 2008 and won the first of his 41 caps a year later and has made two Test appearances for the British and Irish Lions.

Another World Cup bid on the cards?

Football

Remember that image of David Beckham, Prince William and David Cameron in their best blazers, hopes high of England being the host country for World Cup 2018?

Well, you'll also remember then that it all went pear-shaped, no one voted for us - and a cheesed-off English FA said they would not bid again while Blatter remained president.

b
Getty Images

But in the last few minutes, FA chairman Greg Dyke has said that Blatter's eight-year ban from Fifa has removed a significant barrier to another England bid.

"There is nobody who wouldn't love to have the World Cup in England but the process has to be done in a fair, honest and transparent way, not carved up by a bunch of crooks which is what happened last time," added Dyke.

"I think it's the end for Blatter whatever happens in the appeals process. The important thing is that we never get anyone with the same sort of power that Blatter had again."

'We can build on Davis Cup success'

Tennis

g
Getty Images

Davis Cup captain Leon Smith says Great Britain can build on their success and inspire a new generation of players.

GB won the team of the year award and Andy Murray was voted BBC Sports Personality of the Year on Sunday.

Murray has previously said that talking to the Lawn Tennis Association about the future of British tennis was "a waste of time".

But Smith said: "We've had really good discussions with everyone at the LTA recently to really take it up a gear. On the court, we need to keep winning but off the court we have a great chance to do something."

Mark Hughes news conference

Stoke v Man Utd (Sat, 12:45 GMT)

g
Getty Images

A final word from Mark Hughes, and it's on the contract situation with Erik Pieters and Marko Arnautovic.

"We are still talking to them both and hopefully we will be able to come to a conclusion," he tells the media.

"We have made progress with Erik so hopefully we can get that sorted out sooner rather than later."

And that's it, all over here.

Big game this on Saturday. If Stoke win - and until defeat by Crystal Palace last time out they were going along great guns - then the pressure on Louis van Gaal will be immense. We shall see what happens...

Mark Hughes news conference

Stoke v Man Utd (Sat, 12:45 GMT)

g
Getty Images

Back to the Britannia - that's the beauty of Sportsday, from Italy to Stoke-on-Trent in the blink of an eye (or a bit of typing on a keyboard) - and Potters fans will be interested in Mark Hughes' next answer.

He's asked about possible activity in the January transfer window.

"We will certainly have a look at who is out there but there is certainly no urgency on our part to get anything done," said Hughes.

"I have a good quality, healthy squad at my disposal so I don't foresee anything too drastic.

"Of course, if something crops up which is attractive to us then we will look to act, but it has to be somebody who will enhance us. We are looking now and we will have further discussions in the coming weeks I am sure."

He's given away precisely nothing there.

Kung-fu ban

Football

Felipe Melo
Getty Images

We'll break off from Stoke matters for a moment for some interesting news from Italy with a touch of the Eric Canona about it.

Inter Milan midfielder Felipe Melo has been banned for three matches for aiming a kung-fu kick at Lazio's Lucas Biglia.

The Brazil international received a straight red card for the 90th-minute incident that came moments after he had given away a penalty for a foul on Sergej Milinkovic-Savic on Sunday.

The penalty was missed but Antonio Candreva scored on the rebound to secure 10th-placed Lazio a 2-1 win over table-topping Inter.

"Unfortunately Melo did two stupid things," said Inter coach Roberto Mancini.

Mark Hughes news conference

Stoke v Man Utd (Sat, 12:45 GMT)

Geoff Cameron
Getty Images

Next a bit of team news from the gaffer.

"Geoff Cameron will be touch and go right up until the two games at the end of the week," says Mark Hughes.

"It's more likely that he will miss the games at this moment I would suggest, but we will have a look at him at the end of the week.

"Peter Crouch is training again but he isn't ready yet.

"Stephen Ireland will be missing until the New Year as he is struggling a little bit with his hamstring.

"Other than that we are OK but there are still a few days until the match so we will reassess things further down the line."

Mark Hughes news conference

Stoke v Man Utd (Sat, 12:45 GMT)

Mark Hughes
Getty Images

More from Mark Hughes on his old club.

"Manchester United will know themselves that they are in a period of transition and are in a different cycle now," he says, with all the diplomacy of a seasoned politician.

"Things are changing and sometimes things can take a while before you become successful again.

"We are certainly taking nothing for granted because we are fully aware as to how difficult a challenge they will pose to us on Boxing Day.

"I am looking forward to the game though, it is a great fixture for Boxing Day."

Mark Hughes news conference

Stoke v Man Utd (Sat, 12:45 GMT)

Big game at the Britannia Stadium on Boxing Day, when Louis van Gaal's United visit Mark Hughes' Stoke.

It's the latter manager who has arrived to face the media, taking questions on the game.

"They are a huge club and they have a very good squad of players there," says Hughes, who had two spells at United in the 80s and 90s.

Mark Hughes
Getty Images

"I have been asked whether this is a good time to play them but I am always wary of that because these sort of clubs more often than not bounce back emphatically.

"The players there are representing a global brand and the players have a responsibility to produce the goods more often than not, so they will be desperate to get back on track at the weekend."

Keepy-uppies ... with a rolled-up sock

Football

Simon Stone

BBC Sport

Charly Musonda
Getty Images

If Gus Hiddink does play more of the promising Chelsea youngsters (see 11.42) he could do worse than 19-year-old Belgian Charly Musonda – a YouTube hit fordoing keepy-uppies with a rolled up sock.

One of the most highly-rated members of the Blues back-to-back FA Youth Cup-winning squad, Musonda signed a four year contract with Chelsea in March.

But he is yet to make his first-team debut and has been linked with permanent moves to Manchester United and Manchester City, ahead of the January transfer window.

A number of scouts have also watched Liverpool teenager Jerome Sinclair. The 19-year-old, who is out of contract in the summer, played in Monday night’s 0-0 Under-21s draw at Norwich.

Coombs loaned to Liverpool

Laura Coombs
Liverpool Ladies

The second Women's Super League transfer of the day has seen Chelsea's Laura Coombs move to Liverpool Ladies on a season-long loan.

The 24-year-old, who has won two England caps, said: "I had a great year with Chelsea Ladies last season winning the double but this is a brilliant move for me." 

Steve McClaren news conference

Newcastle v Everton (Sat, 17:30 GMT)

A home draw with struggling Aston Villa last time out prevented Newcastle making it three wins out of three, but Steve McClaren is determined for his side to be positive against Everton.

"The draw was frustrating. We'd have taken seven points before the Liverpool game but it's gone now and we move on to Everton. They are tough opponents; a very good team. They have great balance and Roberto Martínez has done a terrific job.

RM
Getty Images

"It's about us and that's what we've focused on. Working hard, matching our opponents. We have players who can cause teams problems."

Steve McClaren news conference

Newcastle v Everton (Sat, 17:30 GMT)

Newcastle are unbeaten in their last three games and host Everton on Boxing Day and their manager Steve McClaren is speaking to the press. First, some injury news...

"We're assessing Papiss Cisse as to the severity of his injury but he's a struggle and a doubt for the weekend. Jamaal [Lascelles] trained this morning, Rolando [Aarons] will by the end of the week and Emmanuel Riviere next week. Steven Taylor is coming along well."

Soldado scores a Christmas winner

Football

Still wondering what to get the missus for Christmas? Looking for a big gift to immortalise your love?

Look no further. Former Spurs striker Roberto Soldado, now at Villarreal, has unveiled this delightfully tasteful portrait of himself and Mrs S.

Will the novelty of having giant images of themselves watching over them as they enjoy a TV dinner ever wear off? It's not for Sportsday to say...

Muchas gracias a @duecreative2 !! Estamos encantados con nuestro retrato 👏🏽🎨 Mucho estilo y creatividad!

Muchas gracias a @duecreative2 !! Estamos encantados con nuestro retrato 👏🏽🎨 Mucho estilo y creatividad!

Claudio Ranieri news conference

Liverpool v Leicester (Sat, 15:00 GMT)

He's a nice fella is Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri. Here he is saying nice things about Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp...

“I appreciate Klopp a lot. I watched him in last season’s winter break and saw how he worked. Liverpool have a very good manager.”  

Claudio Ranieri news conference

Liverpool v Leicester (Sat, 15:00 GMT)

Leicester boss Claudio Ranieri: “We have [Riyad] Mahrez, but Liverpool have two of Mahrez in [Philippe] Coutinho and [Adam] Lallana.”

That is very modest of you Claudio, but I think I'd rather have your boy on current form!

Claudio Ranieri news conference

Liverpool v Leicester (Sat, 15:00 GMT)

Table-topping Leicester manager Claudio Ranieri is the man of the moment and he is currently speaking to the press ahead of the Boxing Day match at Liverpool.  

"I’m proud of my players and our fans. The fans are dreaming and I don’t want to wake them up," says Ranieri. "We must enjoy, play free and without pressure. If the world are speaking about you then you enjoy and continue to play.”

World Cup top 10

Rugby Union

BBC Radio 5 Live

At 21:00 GMT tonight, BBC Radio 5 live will be look back at the top ten moments from the 2015 Rugby World Cup, where the home nations suffered heartache and failure, and the southern hemisphere dominated with New Zealand taking the Webb Ellis trophy.

#RWC15MEMORIES At 9pm tonight on @5livesport . The top ten moments of the rugby world cup. What was yours?

We'll end trophy wait in 2016 - Coutinho

Football

Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho has told the club's website that the Reds will end their trophy wait in 2016.

"We're in a very good position," Coutinho said. "It's the goal of everyone involved, we're all focused on fighting for the trophies and I think we have a great chance in the competitions we're in this year.

"We're going to fight for that and I hope we win a trophy this year."

Philippe Coutinho
Getty Images