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Summary

  1. Forward Depay agrees to join Man Utd from PSV
  2. Newcastle's Carver - 'I'm best coach in Premier League'
  3. Aston Villa subject of takeover bid
  4. Ex-England striker Jimmy Greaves out of intensive care

Live Reporting

By Caroline Chapman and Luke Reddy

All times stated are UK

Get involved

  1. Goodbye

    And that will do us for today, the full-time whistle is blown.

    On Friday you can expect a dozen Premier League news conferences, more golf, more from the Madrid Open tennis, Formula One hype, social media gold, debates, votes, you name it.

    See you from 08:00 BST and thanks for all your interactions today.

  2. The Players Championship

    Golf

    A final Sportsday update from the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass and we have an outright leader in Hideki Matsuyama on five under.

    Matsuyama

    The Japanese player has five top five finishes this season already and holds a stroke advantage at the top of the leaderboard.

    Rory McIlroy is three under, two shots off the lead, with Ian Poulter one further back.

  3. Arsenal's Welbeck frustration

    Football

    Arsenal celebrate

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger does not know when striker Danny Welbeck will be back in contention, but hopes midfielder Aaron Ramsey can be fit to tackle Swansea on Monday night.

    "Welbeck is doing better, but he is still not in training, he has missed now more than a week," says Wenger of his striker who has a knee complaint. "There is no major damage, but we have to see how it progresses over the next two or three days.

    "From the Hull match we had Ramsey who took a big kick, he is getting slowly better. He could be back in training soon."

  4. Clarke and Cassidy let go by Wolves

    Football

    Wolves have released Leon Clarke, 15 months after re-signing him for a second spell at Molineux.

    The Championship club have also let fellow striker Jake Cassidy go.

    But a one-year option has been taken up on striker Liam McAlinden and the club are still reported to be undergoing talks with keeper Tomasz Kuszczak and defender Sam Ricketts.

  5. North End with questions to answer

    Football

    Opta

    BBC Sport will be running a live League One play-off text tonight so you can stay across the first legs of those nerve-jangling ties.

    Preston have to recover from defeat over the weekend which cost them an automatic place as they travel to Chesterfield.

    "We know an opportunity was taken away from us at the weekend because we didn't do what we needed to do," said North End boss Simon Grayson. "Football has a way of kicking you where it hurts and it is about how you respond to things."

    Our League One live text will also feature the other tie - Sheffield United v Swindon - and starts at 19:00 BST.

  6. Schoolboy on the bench for Warriors

    Rugby Union

    Worcester Warriors will have a 17-year-old schoolboy on the bench for Friday night's Championship play-off semi-final second leg against London Scottish at Sixways.

    Jamie Shillcock, who attends Warwick School, has been called up as Warriors will be without first-choice number Charlie Mulchrone (ankle injury) and Jonny Arr (suspended).

    Thirds choice JB Bruzulier will start but, if England Under-19 Academies player Shillcock has to come on, he will become the youngest player to play in a Championship play-off match, at 17 years and 280 days old.

    Shillcock was informed of his inclusion by Warwick School Director of Rugby Mark Nasey during a lesson. "I was sitting in the classroom when Mr Nasey came to see me," he said. "He told me Warriors had called me in to train with the squad ahead of Friday's match."

  7. Blatter rivals to meet for talks

    Football

    Richard Conway

    BBC Radio 5 live sports news correspondent

    Michael Van Praag, Prince Ali of Jordan and Luis Figo

    "The three rival Fifa presidential candidates to Sepp Blatter are to meet in Switzerland on Monday for talks.

    "Dutch FA chief Michael Van Praag, the former Portuguese international Luis Figo and Fifa executive committee member Prince Ali of Jordan will hold discussions in Nyon about a joint strategy ahead of the May 29th poll.

    "Despite taking place in the town where the European confederation Uefa are based, which is opposed to Blatter's candidacy, BBC Sport understands the talks will not be held at their headquarters.

    "There has been increasing speculation in recent weeks that one or even two candidates could choose to drop out and offer support to the person they feel best able to challenge Sepp Blatter."

  8. Karabardak wins gold in Slovenia

    Table Tennis

    Swansea's Paul Karabardak has won gold as the GB Para table tennis team claimed five medals from the singles events at the Slovenia Open.

    Karabardak won the men's class 6 event while there were silvers for Will Bayley (class 7) and Rob Davies (class 1), as well as bronzes for Jane Campbell (women's class 3) and Kim Daybell (men's class 10).

  9. Koepka's disaster

    Golf

    Spare a thought for American Brooks Koepka at the Players Championship.

    On the 17th hole at TPC Sawgrass - famous for its island green - he just took seven shots to complete a par three and with his head in a mess, followed up with an eight on the par four 18th.

    That my friends, is how you go from two under to six over in two holes.

    Brooks Koepka

    Americans Rickie Fowler, Troy Merritt and Ben Martin are joined by Hideki Matsuyama in the lead on four under.

  10. Agent says Brady subject of 'sting'

    American Football

    Tom Brady

    Tom Brady's agent says a report that claims the New England Patriots star knew of a scheme to under-inflate balls in an NFL game contains "tragic flaws".

    Don Yee says the Wells Report, which was commissioned by the NFL, omitted key facts.

    The report said Brady was "at least generally aware" of a scheme to deflate balls in a 45-7 win over Indianapolis,

    Yee accused the NFL of a "sting" operation and said the report "omitted nearly all" of Brady's testimony. "Its omission of key facts and lines of inquiry suggest the investigators reached a conclusion first, and then determined so-called facts later," said Yee.

  11. Adams not involved with Villa bid

    Football

    As we told you earlier today, Aston Villa are subject to a takeover bid and there have been reports emerging that Tony Adams is involved with the group looking to take charge.

    BBC Radio 5 live Midlands football reporter Pat Murphy: "Paul Smith, not Tony Adams, is the brains behind this bid for Aston Villa. I understand Adams had a chat with Smith some time ago about the football issues involved in possibly bidding for Aston Villa Football club but at no stage has a role been promised for him if the bid is successful. There is no danger of Tim Sherwood being threatened.

    "Smith is the one putting money together from city investors. I understand he is going for a bid for £150m."

  12. Rochdale sign striker McDermott

    Football

    League One side Rochdale have made striker Donal McDermott their first signing ahead of next season, on a one-year deal following a trial.

    The 25-year-old started his career at Manchester City and has had spells at Bournemouth, Huddersfield, Scunthorpe and Irish side Dundalk.

    He was most recently been playing non-league football with Salford City and Ramsbottom United.

    "There's a special, special talent there," said Dale boss Keith Hill. "He wants to put into practice the losses of the last two or three years where he's not really made the most of his ability."

  13. We go again - Mawson

    Football

    Wycombe defender Alfie Mawson says all the pressure is on Plymouth Argyle going into Saturday's League Two play-off semi-final first leg at Home Park.

    Wanderers missed out on automatic promotion on the final day to Bury, finishing fourth as Argyle got seventh.

    "The pressure isn't on us, it's on our opponents. It's ridiculous to think that 84 points would have got us up [automatically] in any of the last 19 or 20 seasons," he told BBC Three Counties Radio. "But we go again and I think the lads are very optimistic, we'll attack it with nothing held back."

  14. Players Championship - Clarke withdraws

    Golf

    It all got a bit too much for Darren Clarke at the Mayweather-Pacquiao fight on Sunday morning and the Players Championship has gone the same way.

    The Northern Irishman has withdrawn from the event after 11 holes, he was 10 over par.

    Lee Westwood and Darren Clarke
  15. Punch yourself fit

    Football

    Former Everton defender John Heitinga has been summoning his inner Floyd Mayweather as he ups his fitness level for Hertha Berlin.

    "Staying fit for Hertha BSC during extra boxing lessons," he writes on Instagram.

    John Heitinga
  16. Nadal breezes through

    Tennis

    Rafa Nadal races into the last eight of the Madrid Open, brushing aside unseeded Italian Simone Bolelli 6-2 6-2.

    The Spaniard now faces 10th seed Gregor Dimitrov.

    Nadal is chasing a third-straight success in the Madrid Open and with number one seed Novak Djokovic not taking part in order to rest, and Roger Federer eliminated, looks well placed.

  17. By Royal appointment

    Horse Racing

    The Queen unveiled a special portrait of her mare Estimate during a visit to Newmarket this week.

    The Queen

    Her Majesty toured the National Stud and admired the picture of her with the 2013 Ascot Gold Cup winner which will be on display in the Jockey Club Rooms.

  18. Players Championship latest

    Golf

    Rickie Fowler

    The Players Championship has a new leader - Rickie Fowler on six under.

    The American is yet to drop a shot and leads Bo Van Pelt by a stroke.

    Ian Poulter continues to go well on three under, Rory McIlroy has had a birdie, eagle and par in his round and is two under par. You can see a full leaderboard here.

  19. Faletau misses cut for WRU deal

    Rugby Union

    Taulupe Faletau

    The Welsh Rugby Union has withdrawn its offer of a national dual contract to Wales' Taulupe Faletau after he missed a deadline.

    The number eight has a year left on his current Newport Gwent Dragons deal.

    The British and Irish Lion, 24, said changing his agent had "delayed" signing a dual contract, which would be co-funded by the WRU and the region.

    Faletau has been linked with a move to Premiership side Bath, having not been among Welsh players to sign dual contracts between the WRU and regions recently.

  20. Burnley news conference

    Hull City v Burnley (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Sean Dyche

    Burnley manager Sean Dyche needs his side to replicate the ruthlessness Lionel Messi displayed as Barcelona beat Bayern Munich on Wednesday.

    The Clarets have managed just one goal in nine matches ahead of their trip to Hull City on Saturday where anything less than a win will se them relegated.

    "The quality is there - I believe in the players - it is just the moment of quality, and delivering that at the key moments," says Dyche.

    "You know the little fella who has done all right over in Spain? He had a couple of moments like that, when he was prepared to deliver the quality last night."

  21. Two-week bans for Meakes & Moriarty

    Rugby Union

    Bill Meakes and Ross Moriarty have both received suspensions after committing offences in Gloucester's European Challenge Cup final win last Friday.

    Meakes, 24, was sent off for a high tackle in the victory over Edinburgh, and has now been banned for two weeks.

    Flanker Morarity, 21, has also received a two-week suspension for striking a player in the back with his knee, an offence for which he was sin-binned.

    Both will miss Gloucester's final two games of the Premiership season.

  22. Scott unhappy with Blatter comments

    Football

    Jill Scott

    Manchester City and England midfielder Jill Scott describes Fifa president Sepp Blatter's comments that women's football is "limping behind" the men's game as "disappointing."

    Blatter, 79, says he sees himself as a "bit of a godfather" to the women's game but concedes it is hard to find sponsors because of the prominence of men's football.

    Scott tells BBC Radio 5 live's Sports Panel: "I think the men are always are going to be faster and stronger but I think people who have watched women's football can see that technically and tactically we can compete with them.

    "We try to get away from the direct comparison so it doesn't help when we're always being compared to the men's because we are never going to come out on top."

  23. Sherwood's Barcelona plan

    Football

    Tim Sherwood

    Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has cheekily hit back at comments made by the club's former assistant manager Roy Keane.

    In his updated autobiography, Keane claims Sherwood was turning up at matches at Villa Park to position himself for the role should the club's former manager Paul Lambert fail.

    But Sherwood believes he went to 30 to 40 matches, spanning a number of clubs, and added: "If that's a formula to get work then next time I'm out of a job I'm going to turn up at the Nou Camp or the Bernabeu."

    Touché.

  24. Walker retires from bobsleigh

    Bobsleigh

    Britain's Paula Walker, 29, has announced her retirement from bobsleigh.

    Paula Walker

    Walker won gold at the World Junior Championships in Park City in 2011, becoming the first British woman to achieve the feat, and represented her country at two Winter Olympics, in Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014.

    She is soon to marry fellow British Olympic bobsleigh pilot John Jackson, and became a mother for the first time last year.

  25. Cockerill adds to Tigers staff

    Rugby Union

    Leicester Tigers

    Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has confirmed that Scott Hansen will join the club as a defence coach this summer.

    He replaces Phil Blake and is making the switch from New Zealand along with new head coach Aaron Mauger.

    Geordan Murphy and Richard Blaze will remain on the coaching staff, and all four have signed three-year deals.

  26. Mauricio Pochettino news conference

    Stoke v Tottenham (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Team news from Tottenham ahead of their Premier League game with Stoke on Saturday.

    Mousa Dembele and Andros Townsend are back in contention after thigh and foot injuries respectively.

    Kyle Walker (foot) and Ben Davies (shoulder) remain sidelined.

  27. Carver's bold statement

    Football

    John Carver

    Earlier we asked you to vote for your manager of the year and you went for Ronald Koeman.

    Since then, Newcastle United's John Carver has said he still believes he is the "best coach in the Premier League."

    To watch him make the statement, click on this link to the video which is on the BBC Sport home page.

  28. Millwall release 18 after relegation

    Football

    Alan Dunne

    Long-serving defender Alan Dunne is one of 18 players released by Millwall boss Neil Harris following their relegation from the Championship.

    Carlos Edwards, Ricardo Fuller, Danny Shittu and Martyn Woolford are among the 17 other players leaving The Den.

    Harris has decided to offer new deals to Jimmy Abdou and John Marquis.

  29. Muniesa fit to make Potters return

    Football

    Stoke defender Marc Muniesa has been passed fit for first team selection after recovering from a torn hamstring.

    The 23-year-old Spaniard's last game was February's FA Cup fifth-round loss at Blackburn, but he played an hour for the club's Under-21s this week.

    He now hopes to be involved in Saturday's home game against Spurs.

    "I was a little bit tired because it's difficult after two and a half months off to play again, but I felt ok," Muniesa told BBC Radio Stoke.

  30. Blackpool sign Blyth hero

    Football

    Jarrett Rivers

    Relegated Championship side Blackpool have made Blyth Spartans winger Jarrett Rivers their first signing for next season for an undisclosed fee.

    He scored the winner in the Northern Premier League side's FA Cup second round win over League Two's Hartlepool.

    The 21-year-old, who worked in his mother's newsagents, had an trial at Oldham in January.

  31. GET INVOLVED

    Join the debate on #thegreatest

    Paolo Maldini and Steven Gerrard

    Tambuwal: Even without EPL medal Steven Gerrard is up there in the same bracket as Lionel Messi, Maradona, Pelle. A complete footballer.

    Ronan McAleenan: Paolo Maldini. Eight Champions League finals, won seven Scudettos, Balon d'or top three twice nine years apart and so much more.

    Who is the best footballer of all time? Tweet us on #thegreatest.

  32. Fox-Pitt set for Badminton Horse Trials

    Equestrian

    William Fox-Pitt

    Olympic silver medallist William Fox-Pitt will lead the British field at this weekend's Badminton Horse Trials.

    The world number one will ride Chilli Morning, beginning with the dressage on Friday.

    The cross-country event takes place on Saturday and the annual competition ends on Sunday with the showjumping.

    Past winners Pippa Funnell, Mary King and Oliver Townend are part of the British contingent.

  33. Horse Racing

    Hans Holbein wins Chester Vase

    Trainer Aidan O'Brien clocked up a record-equalling sixth Chester Vase win as Hans Holbein justified favouritism in the day's feature race.

    Jockey Ryan Moore guided the 7-4 shot to a one-and-three-quarter length victory from Storm The Stars.

    Chester results

    Hans Holbein, named after a 16th century portrait artist, is into 16-1 in places for next month's Derby at Epsom having been 66-1 earlier in the day.

    You can follow all the latest racing results on the BBC Sport website.

  34. Players Championship latest

    Golf

    TPC Sawgrass

    No fireworks from the British challenge in the early holes at the Players Championship, with Ian Poulter best placed on two under.

    The Englishman has three birdies and a bogey in four holes to trail leader Cameron Tringale by two strokes.

    Graeme McDowell's birdie-birdie start has slipped away and he is now one over par as is Masters champion Jordan Spieth.

    Rory McIlroy is steady away - even par through five.

  35. Gatland will consider Roberts for Wales

    Rugby Union

    Jamie Roberts' expected move to Harlequins will not preclude him from Wales selection, according to head coach Warren Gatland.

    Racing Metro centre Roberts, 28, rejected Cardiff Blues and has agreed to join Quins after the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

    Gatland has previously stated he would prefer Welsh internationals to play in Wales, but speaking on Thursday he said: "There are exceptions where players have been playing outside of Wales and there are one or two wildcards we could pick."

  36. How well do you know Messi?

    Football

    Lionel Messi fans

    And while we're talking games, why don't you take a look at our Lionel Messi quiz.

    How much do you really know about the Barcelona striker? Test yourself here.

  37. BBC Sport Predictor

    Football

    BBC Sport Predictor

    We're heading towards the business end of the season, so it's time to get your score predictions in.

    BBC Sport's snazzy game allows you to map out the road to Premier League and FA Cup glory by guessing the scores for all the remaining games.

    You can even pit your wits against some of our pundits.

  38. Football for a fiver

    Football

    Rangers

    Rangers are to charge £5 entry for their Premiership quarter-final play-off against Queen of the South.

    The club say charging that amount will allow them to cover the cost of staging the match, which is up to £80,000.

    They had considered giving season-ticket holders free entry on 17 May but were told this was against Scottish Professional Football League rules.

  39. Koeman on Depay

    Football

    Memphis Depay

    Southampton manager Ronald Koeman has given his thoughts on fellow Dutchman Memphis Depay joining Manchester United for a reported £25m.

    "For him it's a fantastic move," said Koeman. "He has had a great season and last season made the step up to be a senior player, not a junior player.

    "He still has to develop himself. It will be tough for him because the Premier League is tough in a physical and mental way.

    "It's a big step for him. But he's a great talent, a fast player and a very good signing for Manchester United."

  40. How Mourinho inspired Chelsea Ladies

    Football

    Eniola Aluko

    After watching Chelsea win the Premier League, Eniola Aluko explains how it inspired the Blues' ladies team in their FA Women's Cup semi-final win over Manchester City.

    The forward also talks about the impending England World Cup squad announcement in her column for BBC Sport.

  41. Nigel Pearson news conference

    Leicester v Southampton (15:00 BST, Saturday)

    More from Leicester manager Nigel Pearson on his side's remaining fixtures against Southampton, Sunderland and QPR.

    "Southampton are tough opponents and then we've two tough opponents after that. There's lots of work left for us," he said.

    "Bearing in mind who our remaining games are against, I'm not sure that one more win will be enough."

  42. Football

    Aston Villa takeover bid

    Aston Villa

    BBC Sport's Pat Murphy reports: "There's been a takeover bid for Aston Villa. It's led by Paul Smith, formerly Chelsea's business affairs director, and city sources say it's in the region of £150m. Smith knows Villa's current owner, Randy Lerner.

    "If successful, it's understood that Tony Adams would be brought to the club to work on the football side of things but he is NOT directly involved in the takeover bid itself. "

  43. Nigel Pearson news conference

    Leicester v Southampton (15:00 BST, Saturday)

    Nigel Pearson

    Leicester manager Nigel Pearson has been speaking before Saturday's game with Southampton.

    The Foxes are out of the Premier League relegation zone after five wins in their last six matches.

    "I'm very pleased with how we've played, but there's a lot of hard work left. It's not done. Not at all," he said.

    "Of course it helps when things go your way elsewhere, but you can't bank on that. We can't leave the field with regrets.

  44. Southampton news conference

    Football

    Southampton's display in their defeat to Sunderland angered boss Ronald Koeman and his side are now a point behind sixth-placed Tottenham and four adrift of Liverpool.

    "If we look and see we have the possibility to reach European football you don't, in my opinion, need more motivation," says Koeman. "It has to be the best motivation for players to reach a level and have a good spirit as a team. I asked them why what happened last week can happen, it wasn't good enough."

  45. Southampton news conference

    Leicester v Southampton (15:00 BST, Saturday)

    Last week Southampton manager Ronald Koeman said he wanted Nathaniel Clyne to decide on his future in 10 days. The full-back is out of contract next summer and has been linked with a move to rival Premier League clubs.

    "We want to know because it's always the case with players with one season left of contract," says Koeman, who expects a decision next week. "We have to think of the future of the club or team. He has to make the decision. I can give advice but it's difficult."

  46. Southampton news conference

    Leicester v Southampton (15:00 BST, Saturday)

    Ronald Koeman

    Southampton manager Ronald Koeman: "We have the same injury list as last weekend other than the suspension of James Ward-Prowse. Jay Rodriguez is doing the normal session with the group, Mayuka is doing sessions but not ready for the weekend. Things are a lot better with Morgan Schneiderlin. He may be fit for maybe the last one or two, it's more positive for him than a week ago."

    Will it be last time Schneiderlin plays for Southampton? "I don't think so. He has a contract. Nobody has a serious bid. It's all about rumours. I can't listen to them all or I'll be crazy. More players will be linked with clubs, it's no problem."

  47. Vote closed

    #TheGreatest

    We asked you to vote for the greatest player in the history of football - and the results were crystal clear.

    Lionel Messi

    Barcelona genius Lionel Messi took 48% of the vote, ahead of Pele in second place and Diego Maradona in third.

    Whisper it to Cristiano Ronado but he came fifth. Out of five...

    The vote has closed but keep on sending your suggestions on Twitter via the hashtag #TheGreatest or on the Match of the Day Facebook page.

  48. Depay talks Man Utd move

    Football

    Dutchman Memphis Depay has tweeted his reaction to leaving PSV Eindhoven for Manchester United in June.

    Memphis Depay Twitter
    Memphis Depay Twitter
  49. John Carver news conference

    Newcastle v West Brom (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Eight defeats on the bounce, 15th in the Premier League, two points above the relegation zone.

    But Newcastle caretaker manager John Carver is feeling bullish.

    "I still think I'm the best coach in the Premier League," he says in his news conference.

  50. Ronald Koeman news conference

    Football

    Southampton manager Ronald Koeman is about to join us for his weekly news conference. His side meet Leicester City on Saturday.

  51. GET INVOLVED

    Join the debate on #thegreatest

    Mowl: Lothar Matthäus is #thegreatest. Brilliant up either end of the pitch for 20 years & marked Maradona out of a WC Final. Defence matters.

    Harvy355: Brazilian Ronaldo! Messi needs to step out of his comfort zone and leave the playground La Liga. Wouldn't do half as much in PL.

    Tweet us your views on who is the best player in football history to #thegreatest.

  52. Maradona the greatest - Pochettino

    Football

    At his weekly news conference, Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino has given us an insight into who his greatest player of all time is.

    Diego Maradona

    "For me Maradona is one up, my idol, but Messi is the best player in the world today," says Pochettino.

    Who for you is the greatest player of all time? Tweet us on #thegreatest.and vote on our poll to the right of the page.

  53. John Carver news conference

    Newcastle v West Brom (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    John Carver

    Newcastle caretaker boss John Carver hit the headlines last weekend after his public criticism of Mike Williamson's sending off against Leicester - his eighth straight defeat in charge.

    Carver said on Thursday, as he previewed Saturday's game with West Brom: "It's been a tough period but I have a spring in my step and am ready to go for the next three games.

    "I've got good people around me and I know I have support of Mike Ashley.

    "It's not easy, I'll be honest. I can't affect what goes on in the media, no body is going to turn my head or distract me from the job I have to do."

  54. John Carver news conference

    Newcastle v West Brom (Saturday, 15:00 BST)

    Newcastle injury news from manager John Carver as he previews West Brom at home.

    Siem de Jong and Paul Dummett are awaiting scan results. Rolando Aarons could be involved after playing for the U21s. Papiss Cisse is back in training.

  55. Aston Villa news conference

    Aston Villa v West Ham (15:00 BST, Saturday)

    Tim Sherwood is before the media at Aston Villa's training ground Bodymoor Heath ahead of their crucial fixture with West Ham on Saturday.

    Tim Sherwood

    He confirms striker Gabby Agbonlahor is back in training following injury and can play a part against the Hammers as Villa look to move clear of the relegation zone. The Midlands club are currently on 35 points, two clear of the bottom three.

  56. No play in Spain

    Football

    How would you fancy defending against this over the weekend?

    Neymar, Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi

    Unfortunately for the neutral observer, no team will face this flourishing trio as Spanish football has been suspended because of a dispute over TV rights.

    Spanish football writer Andy West says: "Perhaps the easiest way for British fans to understand the dispute is to liken it to the occasional power struggle that breaks out between the English Football Association (in Spain's case, the RFEF) and the Premier League (the LFP).

    "We could think back, even, to when the Premier League was formed in 1992 after breaking with the Football League and imagine what would have happened if the FA, rather than allowing the split to take place, had simply stopped all football from being played until they were satisfied with the outcome."

  57. Man City and Arsenal want Dybala

    Football

    Paulo Dybala

    Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini claims Juventus, Inter, AC Milan, Arsenal, Paris St-Germain and Manchester City want to sign Paulo Dybala.

    Zamparini has asked the club's manager Giuseppe Iachini not to play the 21-year-old striker in their remaining league fixtures in order to preserve his fitness.

    "It's possible that in the next eight to 10 days we will sell the player, and I want to avoid injuries in this very delicate phase," he says.

    Dybala has 13 goals in 33 Serie A games this season.

  58. Steven Taylor: Bus hero

    Football

    Steven Taylor

    Newcastle's Steven Taylor has done his good deed for the day.

    The defender has paid for North Shields to use the Magpies' team bus for their FA Vase final with Glossop North End on Saturday.

    "It's a fantastic gesture by Steven," manager Graham Fenton told BBC Newcastle.

    "I initially got in touch with him to see if it was something the club could do but he said he would sort it out.

    "He's generous, he supports us really well and we're incredibly grateful."

  59. There's only one Ashley Johnson

    Rugby Union

    If you go down to the Ricoh Arena on Saturday, you may see a few thousand Ashley Johnsons.....

    Ashley Johnson and Wasps players in wigs

    The Wasps and South Africa back row is fairly recognisable from his big mop of black curls.

    And around 15,000 wigs will be handed out to supporters at Wasps' Premiership game against Leicester Tigers to raise money for the Brain Tumour Charity.

  60. Listen to Friday Sports Panel

    BBC Radio 5 live

    The Friday Sports Panel is underway on BBC Radio 5 live right now.

    Former cricketer Steve Harmison, footballer Jill Scott and athlete Louise Hazel are the guests discussing the sporting issues of the week.

  61. Golf balls in flight

    Golf

    Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods

    Play is underway at TPC Sawgrass as both Graeme McDowell and Lee Westwood make solid starts to the Players Championship.

    McDowell is one under through one hole - one off the lead - while Westy is level par through three.

    Rory McIlroy, Ian Poulter and Jordan Spieth are underway at 13:39 BST. The previous two winners - Martin Kaymer and Tiger Woods - tee off at 18:49 BST.

    You can follow the leaderboard here.

  62. The world's greatest

    Get Involved

    Pele

    Who is the world's greatest footballer?

    Is it George Best, Diego Maradona, Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Pele or a random other?

    Cast your most important vote of the day (maybe) on the sidebar to the right of this page. You have until 14:00 BST.

    And we dare you to do it without humming R Kelly's pop hit from 2002.

  63. Sharapova beats Wozniacki in Madrid

    Tennis

    Maria Sharapova

    Maria Sharapova has beaten Caroline Wozniacki to reach the semi-final of the Madrid Masters.

    World number three Sharapova, won 6-1 3-6 6-3 against the 24-year-old Dane.

    Sharapova, who won the event last year, will face either Russian compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova or Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in the semis.

  64. Horse Racing

    Chester Vase takes centre stage

    Six horses line up for the Chester Vase (15:10 BST) on day two of the May Festival.

    Hans Holbein, trained by Aidan O'Brien, heads the betting. You'll no doubt know that HH was one of the most accomplished portrait artists of the 16th century.

    The horse is rated at anywhere between 25-1 and 66-1 by bookmakers for the Derby at Epsom on 7 June.

    You can follow all the latest racing results on the BBC Sport website.

  65. Depay - cocky but very good

    Football

    PSV celebrate with title

    Former Wigan and Portsmouth defender Arjan de Zeeuw believes his countryman Memphis Depay will succeed at Manchester United.

    "It's a massive step, but I think he'll do well," De Zeeuw tells BBC World Service. "People regard him as a little bit arrogant, a little bit cocky, but I think he is a very good player, a very promising player, a very strong very, quick player and he's got some skill.

    "Just because he's full of confidence, doesn't mean he's cocky... people expect him to be the best player on the pitch every week, so you have to have a bit of self-belief to achieve that."

    "He's been the player of the season really in Holland. He stood out for PSV, he's been the main guy who got them the championship this year, without him they would have struggled."

  66. GET INVOLVED

    Join the debate on #thegreatest

    After Lionel Messi's scintillating display for Barcelona last night we want to know who you think is the greatest player of all time? Tweet #thegreatest.

    John O'Shea

    Geoff Naylor: Pele and Maradona got lumps kicked out of them. In todays no-contact-game they would have been as good if not better than Messi.

    Richard Leaman: Messi the best ever? Not even the best in the world at the moment. Taken out of Barcelona comfort zone he's not half as good.

    Dewi Howells: If you want someone who does it all, it's John O'Shea. Could cover from RB - CF and I doubt Messi'd keep a clean sheet in goal.

    O'Shea once took the goalkeeper's injury to replace the injured Edwin van der Sar at Manchester United.

  67. Wane not looking to NRL signings

    Rugby League

    Wigan Warriors will look to their youth players instead of making signings from the National Rugby League, says head coach Shaun Wane.

    The squad that beat Hull KR 60-0 on Friday featured 10 players that came through the youth system at the club.

    "We're capable of signing them (NRL players)," Wane, 50, told BBC Radio Manchester. "It's just that I'm very happy with players like George Williams and Ryan Hampshire."

  68. Chase for Gourcuff

    Football

    Yoann Gourcuff

    Yoann Gourcuff's agent is talking up his client big time, claiming a fight to sign the Lyon midfielder is underway.

    Didier Poulmaire claims "at least 10" clubs want his 28-year-old client as his contract nears its end this summer.

    "Very few players of Yoann's talent become free agents," says Poulmaire. "In the context of financial fair play, it is an enormous opportunity. I have had interest from very big clubs."

    Liverpool and Arsenal have been linked with Gourcuff in the past.

  69. Weir eyes sub-three

    Athletics

    David Weir

    Six-time Paralympic champion David Weir is targeting the first sub-three-minute mile at the Bupa Westminster Mile road racing festival in central London on Sunday 24 May.

    He will compete against Switzerland's Marcel Hug.

    Weir says: "In the last two years I haven't really had anyone to push me to the limit, but Marcel is my biggest rival and I know he will be doing everything he can to beat me. With both of us going for victory, the three-minute barrier may well be within reach."

  70. Wilson returns after six month lay-off

    Rugby Union

    England prop David Wilson will return to action with Bath at Harlequins tomorrow night after being out for three months with a neck injury which ruled him out of the entire Six Nations.

    Bath head coach Mike Ford will be thrilled, in October of last year he called Wilson "England's number one" scrummager and placed him "in the top three tight-heads in the world."

  71. The day taking off...

    Ten minutes until Nigel Pearson and Mauricio Pochettino are scheduled to hold news conferences, 10 minutes until the first British interest - Lee Westwood - tees it up at the Players Championship.

    Stay with us...

  72. GET INVOLVED

    Join the debate on #thegreatest

    Richard McLernon: As much as the likes of Maradona on Zidane were unbelievable, I'd like to think #thegreatest player doesn't cheat or attack other players...

    James Boumphrey: Has to be Jamaica and Tranmere legend Ian Goodison - his defensive scissor kicks were 2nd to none!

    Fin Crebolder: Cruyff. Made his own style and won with it as player and manager. Without him, Ajax and Barca wouldn't be what they are today.

    Who is the greatest footballer of all time? Was Lionel Messi's display last night another step to taking the accolade? Tweet us on #thegreatest.

  73. Koeman is your choice

    Get Involved

    Ronald Koeman

    Congratulations, Ronald Koeman. The Southampton manager has been voted the Premier League manager of the year in our online poll.

    The Dutchman came in with 28.9% of your votes, while Chelsea maestro Jose Mourinho was a close second with 26.2% and Alan Pardew finished third with 12.7%, after turning things around at Crystal Palace this season.

  74. Memphis Depay did you knows...

    Football

    Memphis Depay

    Memphis Depay made his PSV debut at the age of just 17 in a Dutch Cup match and scored two goals.

    At 21, he already has a colourful back story and plays with just the name Memphis on his shirt having dropped his surname as a result of a strained relationship with his father.

    Once described as "very angry" by a life coach PSV provided to him as a youngster, he is big into body art and has the words "dream chaser" tattooed across his chest.

    In 88 league games for PSV, his only club to date, he has managed 38 goals.

  75. Man Utd agree Depay deal

    Football

    Simon Stone

    BBC Sport

    "Depay's contract is believed to be four-year deal with the option of a further season."

    You can follow the developing story on Memphis Depay's move from PSV Eindhoven to Manchester United via this link.

    And if you want to see what the forward has in his locker, you can watch his goal for the Netherlands against Chile at last year's World Cup.

  76. Man Utd agree Depay deal

    Football

    Memphis Depay

    PSV Eindhoven sporting director Marcel Brands: "Memphis has gone through all the teams of the PSV youth academy and has played an important part in the national title this year. He 's a wonderful exponent of our training and will make a nice transition to a magnificent club in a beautiful competition."

  77. Man Utd agree Depay deal

    Football

    David Ornstein

    BBC Sport

    "The Depay fee is in the region of £25 to £30m and he will have a medical in Manchester next week."

  78. BreakingBREAKING NEWS

    Manchester United agree Depay signing

    memphis Depay

    Manchester United agree the signing of Memphis Depay from PSV Eindhoven.

    The 21-year-old has 20 goals in 34 outings for the Dutch club this season and will move to Old Trafford subject to a medical this summer.

  79. Wales reach new heights

    Football

    Wales have reached their highest ever mark in football's world rankings without even playing a game.

    Chris Coleman's side are up to 21 courtesy of Mexico's recent friendly defeat to USA.

    Gareth Bale

    Elsewhere, the other home nations remain the same with England 14th, Scotland 29th and Northern Ireland 42nd. Germany are still officially the world's best team and no new sides moved into the top 10 in the latest published standings.

  80. Vote closed!

    That's it. Our vote on the best Premier League manager of the season has now closed.

    But fear not, we'll re-open the polls again at 12:00 BST with a new talking point.

    Results on the bosses poll to follow.

    Polling Station sign
  81. England shortlist revealed

    Rugby Union

    George Ford

    George Ford, Jonathan Joseph, Joe Marler and Billy Vunipola have been shortlisted for the England player of the year award, voted for by the Rugby Players' Association (RPA).

    Fly-half Ford has scored 109 points in 10 appearances for his country, while his Bath team-mate Joseph was this season's Six Nations' top try scorer with four in five games.

    Harlequins' prop Marler and Saracens' number eight Vunipola were also seen as the stand-out performers.

    Quins full-back Mike Brown won the award in 2014 and this year's winner will be announced on 13 May.

  82. Special delivery for Bristol City

    Football

    How do you fit a League One trophy through a letterbox?

    Bristol City vice chairman Jon Lansdown tweeted these pictures, suggesting there was a special delivery waiting for him after his side's title win.

    He wrote: "Received at home a couple of weeks ago. Who wants to help me pick up my post?"

    Jon Lansdown Twitter
    Jon Lansdown Twitter

    A first-class post, we think you'll agree.

  83. Diamond League on BBC

    Athletics

    Diamond League celebrations

    Highlights of the 2016 and 2017 Diamond League seasons will be available to watch on the BBC as part of a new deal.

    BBC Sport will increase its TV coverage of all 12 international events, which will also be covered on the BBC Sport website and BBC Radio 5 live.

  84. News conferences to come

    Nigel Pearson and John Carver

    Thursday is where our Sportsday week really gains some momentum as Premier League news conferences ramp up. Today you can look forward to hearing from Nigel Pearson (ostriches not allowed) and Tim Sherwood among others.

    12:30 BST: Pearson and Mauricio Pochettino; 13:00: Sherwood and John Carver.

    Throw in some golf from Florida, Chester horse racing updates, more on #thegreatest debate plus polling day votes, and we have plenty for you to go at.

  85. GET INVOLVED

    Join the debate on #thegreatest

    Zinedine Zidane

    James Lockwood: Messi definitely the best ever! Players are better now, tougher leagues etc.! His champions league wins equal to World Cup!

    Richard Mctiernan: It is impossible to compare the play of a Messi to a Zidane to a Van Basten to a Maldini all of whom play very different areas.

    Ken Gorry: Often forgotten due to having to retire thru injury, but M Van Basten was the most lethal striker in the most defensive league.

    Send us your view on who the greatest footballer of all time is to #thegreatest.

  86. Vote: Your manager of the season

    Get Involved

    We've been discussing your greatest players this morning, but who is your Premier League manager of the season?

    Take a look at the panel to the right, give us your vote, and we'll let you know the results in an hour's time.

    It could be the most important choice you make today, so choose carefully....

  87. Keys back at Eastbourne

    Tennis

    Madison Keys

    Madison Keys will defend the Aegon International title in Eastbourne next month.

    The 20-year-old beat Angelique Kerber in three sets in the final last year to record her first tournament victory on the WTA Tour.

    This year's event takes place between 20 and 27 June.

    World number 17 Keys, who reached the semi-finals of the Australian Open in January, joins two-time Wimbledon winner Petra Kvitova in the field at Devonshire Park.

  88. Cresswell wins club award

    Football

    Aaron Cresswell

    West Ham left-back Aaron Creswell tweets: "Absolutely delighted to get the awards last night, such an honour to be named hammer of the year. Thanks to all the fans for your support!"

    Cresswell joined West Ham for £3.75m from Ipswich last summer and has played 39 games in all competitions this season, earning him the Hammer of the Year award at the club's awards ceremony last night.

  89. Kell's sweaty morning

    Boxing

    No such thing as an easy Thursday morning if you're the IBF world welterweight champion.

    Kell Brook has been showcasing his sweaty torso to his Twitter following. He says he is "putting the graft in".

    Kell Brook

    Brook takes on fellow Briton Frankie Gavin on 30 May where he will defend his title and unbeaten record of 34 wins from as many fights.

  90. The Black Cats are bouncing

    Football

    Sunderland Ladies celebrate

    Sunderland Ladies manager Carlton Fairweather says his side have surprised people with their impressive start to the season.

    In their first year in the WSL 1, they are fifth in the table, with six points from their opening five matches.

    "You can understand why people have looked at us as a surprise package," Fairweather told BBC Sport.

    "The first part of the season has gone well but we've still got to keep our feet firmly on the ground."

  91. Jimmy Greaves latest

    Football

    Some good news from the family of Jimmy Greaves, as the former Tottenham and England striker is now out of intensive care following the severe stroke he suffered on Sunday.

    Jimmy Greaves

    A statement from the family released to the Press Association read: "We can tell you that Jimmy is out of intensive care and is able to sit up in bed.

    "Whilst he is by no means out of the woods there is room for cautious optimism.

    "We would also give thanks to over 30,000 well-wishers including many players and ex-TV colleagues as well as so many fans, that have sent messages and love to Jim at this most difficult of times."

  92. Cellino to return to Leeds

    Football

    Massimo Cellino

    Leeds United have confirmed that Massimo Cellino has been granted Football League permission to return to the club's board.

    A statement on the club's website read: "Mr Cellino will take up the role as Leeds United chairman with immediate effect after passing the League's Owners and Directors Test."

    Cellino had been banned from being involved with the Championship side until the end of the season after being found guilty of tax evasion in Italy.

  93. GET INVOLVED

    Join the debate on #thegreatest

    Who is the greatest footballer of all time? Tweet us on #thegreatest.

    Roy Keane

    Adam Taylor: Keane, Vieira, certainly a proper midfielder. Greatest FOOTBALLER needs to attack and defend. Can't see Messi filling in at CB.

    Peter Embleton: Totally agree with Pat Nevin - Maradona was subject to butchery by defenders in Spain and Italy, which Messi hasn't had to face. To be the greatest of all time you have to influence and win a World Cup. Pele and Maradona. Messi totally ineffective.

    Dale James Power: Surely Lord Djimi Traore is up there from his Liverpool glory days, no?

  94. The Players Championship

    Golf

    17th hole at Sawgrass

    Many of today's players can only dream of emulating what Seve Ballesteros achieved in the game. In addition to his five majors he won an incredible 50 European Tour events - that's an all-time record.

    Those with hopes of being like him can start chasing their dreams today in the Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass, Florida.

    Play starts at 12:15 BST, with key names underway at the following times:

    Lee Westwood (12:25), Graeme McDowell and Padraig Harrington (12:46), Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Ian Poulter (13:39), Luke Donald (17:56) and Justin Rose (18:16), Tiger Woods (18:49).

    And yes, The Players Championship is the one with the island green on 17. A corker.

  95. Roberto Martinez news conference

    Everton v Sunderland (Saturday, 12:45)

    Tim Howard

    Everton manager Roberto Martinez confirms he will not be in the market for a goalkeeper this summer despite stating in January that addressing the position was one of his aims.

    "The goalkeeping situation is clear with us: Tim Howard and Joel Robles," says Martinez. "We will work with them in the next campaign so we are really strong in that position."

    Howard has started 29 league games this season, Robles seven.

  96. Roberto Martinez news conference

    Everton v Sunderland (Saturday, 12:45)

    Nosuch talk of Everton's season being over according to manager Roberto Martinez:

    "I still see that the next nine points are important in order to achieve a top 10 finish. In the last seven games it looked out of reach so from my point of view it's trying to get that top 10 and the next three games are shaping up the squad for the next campaign."

    The Toffees finish the season with Sunderland at Goodison Park, West Ham away and Tottenham at home.

  97. #TheGreatest

    Get Involved

    BBC pundit Pat Nevin also offered up some British greats to add to the mix:

    "In terms of British players, there's George Best and Kenny Dalglish," the former Scotland winger told BBC Radio 5 Live.

    "Bryan Robson was phenomenal to play against, I really thought most of the time there was three of him on the pitch. Of the modern era, you're looking at Steven Gerrard."

    Who's your favourite? Get involved via the hashtag #thegreatest on Twitter or on Match of the Day's Facebook page.

  98. Who is the greatest footballer?

    Football

    Lionel Messi

    BBC Radio 5 Live is hosting a Your Call special right now, debating who is the greatest footballer.

    Former Scotland international Pat Nevin has shared his thoughts:

    "Messi is a truly a great player, but he has the advantage of playing on better pitches and has greater protection from referees. I was fortunate enough to play against the likes of Maradona, and he was kicked all over the place, but defenders can't do that now."

    Get involved yourself on Twitter via the hashtag #thegreatest.

  99. Roberto Martinez news conference

    Everton v Sunderland (Saturday, 12:45)

    Roberto Martinez says he has the same squad to chose from after last weekend's 3-2 defeat at Aston Villa.

    Defender Luke Garbutt has recovered from a bout of tonsillitis and there are no fresh problems for Everton.

  100. Roberto Martinez news conference

    Everton v Sunderland (Saturday, 12:45)

    Roberto Martinez

    Everton boss Roberto Martinez has been speaking about Aaron Lennon's future, with the loan midfielder set to return to Spurs this month and reports emerging that the London club may want £9m to make the deal permament:

    "We haven't had any sort of conversations with Spurs. I think the weekend is a significant game for Aaron Lennon, his last home game. He has had a phenomenal impact in our team. Whatever happens in the future has to be what the player is happy with."

    "The reality is that Aaron has been a revelation, set high standards and made a massive contribution."

  101. Roberto Martinez news conference

    Football

    The weekend is approaching which means it's time to bring you all the latest goings on from the Premier League news conferences.

    First up, Everton boss Roberto Martinez previewing Saturday's game with Sunderland.

  102. The Globetrotters get the Pope in a spin

    Basketball

    The Pope and the Harlem Globetrotters

    Your eyes aren't deceiving you - that is a picture of the Pope showboating with a basketball.

    The Harlem Globetrotters arrived in the Vatican on Wednesday as part of a tour of Italy and Pope Francis was presented with a number 90 shirt by the exhibition basketball team.

    He also took time out from his weekly general audience to be taught a few basketball skills - which you can watch here.

    And here's some trivia which might be useful for a Thursday pub quiz: Did you know the late Pope John Paul II is an is an honorary member of the team?

  103. Football

    Who is the greatest footballer?

    Messi? Pele? Maradona? Carlton Palmer?

    Who is the greatest footballer of all-time? BBC Radio 5 live is hosting a Your Call special right now on that very issue. You can listen, or watch (yes, watch) - amazing.

    Let us know your own favourite via #thegreatest.

  104. "It's a tired club, a tired brand."

    Football

    Roy Keane's not one to mince his words.

    Roy Keane

    And the ex-Manchester United captain has given his two pennies' worth on Aston Villa, where he was assistant manager under Paul Lambert.

    Keane told the Irish Independent: "There seems to be the wrong attitude. We're not going to be challenging but we're probably good enough to stay up. It's like drifting. It's a tired club, a tired brand."

  105. Spanish football on hold

    Football

    Cristiano Ronaldo

    As you may have read on Wednesday night, Spanish football will be suspended from 16 May because of a dispute over TV rights.

    It is set to affect more than 600,000 players and 30,000 matches - including the La Liga, where Barcelona currently lead rivals Real Madrid by two points, with only three games left to play.

    Spanish football writer Andy West looks at how the long-running dispute has reached this point - and what happens next.

  106. Neville wins first game as England boss

    Netball

    Tracey Neville celebrated victory for England against Trinidad and Tobago in her first match as interim head coach.

    England won 65-42 in Bath on Wednesday night in the first game of the three-match series.

    Neville, the sister of ex-footballers Gary and Phil, will be in charge of the team in this summer's World Cup in Australia.

  107. Blatter: The godfather of women's football?

    Football

    Sepp Blatter

    Sepp Blatter has said he feels "a little bit as a godfather of the organisation of women's football".

    Speaking to the BBC's Caroline Rigby before Fifa's presidential election this month, the incumbent Blatter has called on the heads of football confederations to elect more women into positions of power.

    You can listen to the full interview on BBC World Service Sportshour via this link.

  108. Khan v Mayweather?

    Boxing

    While we're on the subject of Floyd Mayweather....

    Amir Khan

    Britain's Amir Khan says he could fight the American in September, despite previously stating Ramadan might disrupt his training.

    Khan, 28, is a Muslim and is set to fast during the holy month, which lasts from mid-June to mid-July this year.

    Khan said: "Mayweather normally fights mid-September and Ramadan is a little bit earlier this year.

    "It gives me enough time to get the training done, so it can happen."

  109. Pacquiao out for 'up to a year'

    Boxing

    Manny Pacquiao

    Manny Pacquiao has had surgery on the shoulder injury he blamed for his Las Vegas defeat by Floyd Mayweather.

    Surgeon Dr Neal ElAttrache said he was "more than pleased with the results", but the 36-year-old Filipino now faces up to a year out of the ring.

    Pacquiao is being sued in Nevada after he was accused of lying about the torn rotator cuff suffered before Saturday's super bout in Las Vegas.

  110. Taylor denies racial quota claim

    Football

    Graham Taylor

    Former England manager Graham Taylor has denied allegations he spoke about being put under pressure to limit the number of black players he selected for the national team.

    Extracts from a book printed in the Guardian allege Taylor told former Birmingham striker Richie Moran of pressure from the Football Association.

    The conversation is alleged to have taken place during the 1999-00 season.

    But Taylor told BBC Radio 5 live he has no recollection of the conversation taking place.

  111. Murray progresses in Madrid

    Tennis

    Britain's Andy Murray beat Philipp Kohlschreiber for the second time in three days to progress at the Madrid Open.

    Murray's 6-4 3-6 6-0 second-round win followed his first ever Munich title on Monday at the German's expense.

    After a series of long matches, Murray started at 01:12 local time (00:12 BST) and finished at 03:00 (02:00 BST)

    After catching up on his beauty sleep, Murray will play Spanish wildcard Marcel Granollers on Thursday.

    Andy Murray
  112. Thursday's gossip column

    Football

    Paul Pogba

    If you can't start the day without your fix of football gossip, we've got all you need right here.

    Today's edition features Paul Pogba, Chris Waddle and Dani Alves wearing a red blazer, long shorts and loafers.

    Seriously.

  113. Deflategate: the report

    American Football

    Tom Brady

    A report into the ball-tampering claims in the NFL play-off game between New England Patriots and Indianapolis Colts has been published.

    If you don't have time to read all 243 pages of the The Wells Report, we've summarised the main issues of 'Deflategate'.

    Read all about it via this link.

  114. Is Messi from another planet?

    Football

    Lionel Messi

    No, of course not. Don't be silly.

    But pundits are running out of superlatives for the Argentina striker.

    You can read all the reaction to Barcelona's win, and Lionel Messi's double, right here.

  115. Thursday's back pages

    Mirror back page

    Paul Pogba is the main man on the Mirror's back page - the Juventus midfielder is said to be a £50m target for Manchester City.

    But, according to reports, they'll have to fight off interest from Chelsea, Barcelona, Paris St Germain and Chelsea.

  116. Thursday's back pages

    Spanish publication Sport is a little less reserved than the English papers when it comes to Lionel Messi....

    Sport Spain back page

    "Thank you, Messi!," it proclaims while calling the Barcelona striker brilliant, brutal and unstoppable.

  117. Thursday's back pages

    Daily Telegraph back page

    The Daily Telegraph also lead on that man Messi, and show the Argentina striker celebrating his double for Barcelona in front of some happy spectators, and photographers, at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

  118. Thursday's back pages

    Guardian back page

    The Guardian picture the moment Lionel Messi, or "Messi the magnificent", lobbed an outstretched Manuel Neuer for his second goal in Barcelona's 3-0 win over Bayern Munich in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg.

    The paper also reacts to Newcastle's search for a new permanent manager, after Derby and former England boss Steve McClaren turned down a move to Tyneside.

  119. Post update

    Good morning and welcome to Sportsday.

    Let's ease you into Thursday with a glimpse of the back pages.

    Warning: May contain mentions of Messi.