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  1. Mourinho backs Allardyce for England job
  2. Everton name Leicester's Walsh as director of football
  3. Russian athletes fail to overturn Olympics ban
  4. Five UK teams in Europa League action
  5. Ventspils v Aberdeen first up at 16:00 BST

Live Reporting

By Ian Woodcock and Emlyn Begley

All times stated are UK

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Thanks and goodbye

That's it from us today.

Thanks very much for joining us and we'll be back again tomorrow from 08:00 BST.

Will this man be England manager by then?

Sam Allardyce
Getty Images

Still 0-0 in Lithuania


It's half-time in Latvia and the scoreline remains 0-0 between Ventspils and Aberdeen.

The Scottish side still lead 3-0 on aggregate and look to be set fine for the next round.

You can follow live text of that game here.

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Peterfeet: Fed up with so many ill-informed people putting Sam Allardyce down before he has managed one game - let's give him a fair chance. All fans slating him should look at his record - the third most experienced Premier League manager and never relegated. No English manager is more qualified.

Oluwaseun Badejo: Truth is Big Sam's appointment is something l can agree with the FA on... England now have the exact manager on their level.

Phil Dodsworth: Spain's new boss has won nothing whereas Big Sam won the League of Ireland in 91/92 & our 3rd Division in 97/98 #thereshopeyet

McClair leaves Scottish FA


Brian McClair has left his post as the Scottish Football Assoication's performance director by mutual consent.

McClair, who had been doing the job for just over a year, said: “I am deeply disappointed that I couldn’t make a significant difference, but I would like to thank my staff for the help they have given me and the board for the opportunity."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "I am really disappointed that we have parted company after a year, but the complexities of the role cannot be overestimated. 

"He found himself spending more time lobbying and presenting in the boardroom. It became apparent that this was neither a comfortable nor tenable situation in the long term."

Brian McClair
Getty Images
McClair was the director of Manchester United's youth academy until 2015

Hamburg sign Barca youngster


Bundesliga side Hamburg have confirmed the signing of 20-year-old Croatia playmaker Alen Halilovic from Barcelona on a four-year deal.

The German club have paid £4.2m for the youngster, but Barcelona can buy him back for £8.4m anytime in the first two years.


Fix: @AlenHalilovic wechselt vom @FCBarcelona nach Hamburg. Er unterschreibt einen Vierjahresvertrag. #nurderHSV

Fix: @AlenHalilovic wechselt vom @FCBarcelona nach Hamburg. Er unterschreibt einen Vierjahresvertrag. #nurderHSV

Froome wins stage 18


Chris Froome wins stage 18 of the Tour de France. Check out our dedicated live text commentary here.

Chris Froome
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Cockerill unsure over Allardyce appointment

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill says Sam Allardyce might not be the right man to manage England.

The 45-year-old told BBC Radio Leicester's Leicester Tigers Rugby Show that he doubts whether Allardyce can take England forward.

"People want to be entertained and see a way forward and you've seen that with [England rugby union head coach] Eddie Jones recently," he said.

"Is Sam Allardyce the right person at this time? He may steady the ship but is he going to give you enough spark or drive moving forward? I'm not sure."

Richard Cockerill
Rex Features

Akinde signs new Barnet contract


John Akinde
Rex Features

Barnet striker John Akinde, 27, who scored 24 goals last season, signs a new three-year contract with the League Two club.

On this day

In 1968 Arnold Palmer became the first man to win one million US dollars on the US golf tour when he tied for second place in the US PGA Championship at Pecan Valley, Texas.

It took him 14 years between turning professional and that tournament to amass those earnings. This year's Open winner, Henrik Stenson took home a cheque worth £1.75 million in just four days.  

Arnold Palmer
Getty Images

Goodbye and good luck


Anyway, good luck, Steve Walsh and thank you for bringing so many top players to @LCFC . Congratulations @Everton on a great appointment.

Walsh helped the Foxes sign Riyad Mahrez and N'Golo Kante, among others.

Get Involved


Nick Mottram: How is a man who's never won a trophy in 45 years as player or manager supposed to teach England how to win? Big Sam = Big Fail

Aleks Yakubssohn: Allardyce would be better pick for team like Scotland, Finland, Israel etc, whose dream is just to make it to a final.

Dom Merrison: A positive comment about Big Sam's appointment ...'At least it's not Steve Bruce.' 

Brazil arrests over 'Olympics terrorism'


Federal police in Brazil have arrested 10 members of a group alleged to be preparing acts of terrorism during the Olympic Games.

The authorities said they were not members of so-called Islamic State but had tried to make contact with the group.

The arrests were made in the southern state of Parana.

They come just over two weeks before the Olympic Games get under way in Rio de Janeiro.

Read our developing news story here.

BreakingLiverpool agree £25m Wijnaldum deal


Liverpool have agreed a £25m deal to sign Netherlands international Georginio Wijnaldum from Newcastle.

The 25-year-old midfielder, who had four years remaining on his contract at St James' Park, will have a medical with the Premier League side on Friday.

Wijnaldum joined Newcastle for £14.5m from Dutch side PSV in 2015, playing in all 38 of the club's Premier League games last season and scoring 11 goals.

He will be the Reds' sixth signing of the summer so far.

Georginio Wijnaldum
Georginio Wijnaldum scored against Liverpool last season

Pochettino sends message to amputee player


Shaun Whiter
David Lee

Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has described a footballer who had to have his legs amputated following a car crash as an inspiration.

Shaun Whiter, 27, was helping his friend Joey Abbs change a flat tyre in Newmarket, Suffolk, on 1 July when the crash occurred, and he is still in hospital undergoing further procedures.

The Spurs fan received a letter from Pochettino praising his "incredible courage".

Martin may miss season's start


Norwich City defender Russell Martin could miss the start of the season because of a back spasm.

The 30-year-old Scotland international has returned from Norwich's pre-season tour of Austria to see a back specialist and potentially have an injection on the ongoing issue.

On this day


In 2012, South Africa captain Graeme Smith marked his 100th Test by scoring 131 on day three of the first Test against England at The Oval.

Graeme Smith
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Question of Sport answer


A Question of Sport Teaser

Earlier on you may recall our friends at Question of Sport asked: 

Sam Allardyce will be the fifth man to take charge of England whose surname ends in a vowel, name the other four.

Well, if you said Fabio Capello, Glenn Hoddle, Stuart Pearce and Don Revie give yourself a pat on the back.

Europa League action coming up


Five British teams are in action in the Europe League second qualifying round second leg this evening:

Ventspils v Aberdeen (0-3 agg) 16:00 BST

AEK Larnaka v Cliftonville (3-2 agg) 18:00 BST

Gap Connah's Quay v FK Vojvodina (0-1 agg) 18:45 BST

Brøndby IF V Hibernian (1-0 agg) 19:00 BST

Hearts v Birkirkara FC (0-0 agg) 20:00

You can follow live text commentary of the Scotland teams here.

BreakingWatford confirm Dja Djedje signing


OFFICIAL: #watfordfc pleased to confirm the signing of Brice Dja Djédjé from @OM_Officiel:…

OFFICIAL: #watfordfc pleased to confirm the signing of Brice Dja Djédjé from @OM_Officiel:…

Ivory Coast defender Dja Djedje. 25, made 23 appearances for Marseille last season.

Wimmer extends Tottenham stay

We are delighted to announce that @kevinwimmer27 has signed a new contract with the Club until 2021. #COYS

We are delighted to announce that @kevinwimmer27 has signed a new contract with the Club until 2021. #COYS

Austria defender Kevin Wimmer, 23, made 10 league appearances for Spurs in his first season in the Premier League.

'Walsh exit is major blow to Foxes'


Pat Murphy

BBC Midlands football reporter

Leicester City have lost their highly regarded head of recruitment Steve Walsh to Everton, where he'll become director of football.

This is a major blow to the Premier League champions, a few days after losing N'Golo Kante to Chelsea and amid doubts that Riyad Mahrez will stay. Walsh was the key man in luring both players to Leicester for bargain sums, along with Jamie Vardy. 

Arguably he became the most important figure in Leicester's football department because he kept delivering unpolished gems from his countless scouting missions without breaking the bank.

He's been tempted away by what he sees as a career promotion and the vision of Everton's majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri.

Moody back in the game


Colchester United have appointed Iain Moody as head of player resources in his first club role since 2014.

Moody resigned as Crystal Palace sporting director two years ago after allegations he shared racist, sexist and homophobic texts with boss Malky Mackay when they were at Cardiff City.

After a "thorough" investigation, the pair faced no action from the FA.

"I come in with a very specific remit for the recruitment of professional players," Moody told BBC Essex.

"The chairman explained to me when I first met him that he's invested a fair sum of money in the academy, but he's quite satisfied that that's beginning to bear fruit and will bear more and more fruit as the years go by."

Iain Moody
Rex Features

Everton confirm Walsh appointment


New Everton director of football Steve Walsh has said he is excited to be part of a "new era" at Everton.

Walsh has left his position as Leicester City assistant to join the Toffees.

He said: “I’m proud and privileged to become director of football at such a fantastic and historic club.

"With a new manager and a new major shareholder, it feels very much like a new era here at Everton and that potential is what is most exciting."

Steve Walsh
Getty Images

BreakingEverton appoint Walsh

BREAKING: Everton appoint Steve Walsh as Director of Football. Welcome to Everton, Steve.

BREAKING: Everton appoint Steve Walsh as Director of Football. Welcome to Everton, Steve.

BreakingWolves takeover completed

NEWS | Wolves are delighted to confirm that a deal has been completed for Fosun Group to take over the Club.

NEWS | Wolves are delighted to confirm that a deal has been completed for Fosun Group to take over the Club.

Chinese storms not worrying organisers


Simon Stone

BBC Sport

China floods
Getty Images

International Champions Cup organisers are playing down the effect of the heavy storms that affected China's capital Beijing on Wednesday.

Areas of China's capital were flooded as a result of the storms.

Manchester City are flying into Beijing on Friday ahead of Monday's eagerly anticipated game with Manchester United, which pits Pep Guardiola against Jose Mourinho for the first time in charge of their respective teams.

Although temperatures are forecast to reach 35C on Saturday, no further rain is forecast until Monday.

"We are sure it will be fine," said ICC spokesman Ben Xiaozheng.

'Don't let your deafness stop you'


Andrew Rees - the first deaf man to swim the English Channel solo
Andrew Rees

That's the message from Andrew Rees, who became the first deaf man to swim the English Channel solo on Sunday (you might remember us telling you about his achievement earlier this week).

Read more of his thoughts about his swim here.

'Allardyce can take away fear factor'


Former chief football writer of the Bolton Evening News Gordon Sharrock has been speaking to BBC Sport about former Trotters and soon-to-be-England boss Sam Allardyce.

"Some of the matches at Euro 2016 were poor. There was little attractive football. Teams didn't want to concede. I didn't see anything there that Sam could not live with. The England players will be feeling intolerable amount of pressure, but Sam will take away the weight of expectation and the fear factor.

"Sam has not won any major trophies. But there are different ways to manage success for each manager. At 61, Sam is at the right age now and commands the respect needed.

"The England job is a difficult one for any manager but he is a dyed-in-the-wool Englishman, someone who has served his time and who lives, breathes and sleeps football."

For some Allardyce anecdotes from Sharrock, including one about animal testicles,click this link.

Sam Allardyce
Getty Images

On this day

In 2008, Petr Cech signed a new five-year contract with Chelsea, the same day they agreed to sell Claude Makelele to Paris St-Germain and Khalid Boulahrouz to Stuttgart.    

Petr Cech
Getty Images

Allardyce's football philosophy


This content only works in the UK.

Sam Allardyce: Potential England boss Big Sam's Football Philosophy

BBC Sport takes a closer look at what England fans should expect from Sam Allardyce's England.

The 61-year-old is expected to be announced as the new Three Lions boss soon.

Lazio bid to win Italian title... 101 years on


Lazio could win their third Italian title... for a championship they played over 100 years ago.

They were due to meet Genoa in the 1914-15 final after both sides came through their regional qualifiers. But World War I broke out and the game was never played.

Four years later, the Italian FA (FIGC) handed the title to Genoa, reportedly because they were considered the better side.

But more than 30,000 Lazio supporters signed a petition and the FIGC is expected to make a ruling on 4 August after setting up a commission.

If Lazio are successful, they will join rivals Roma on three titles.

"It is a legitimate Scudetto," Lazio president Claudio Lotito said. "It was taken away from us by the war."

Jousting for the Olympics?

English Heritage says it is time jousting was taken more seriously as a sport – even suggesting jousters should be able to compete at the Olympics.  

Listen here on the Radio 4 website if the audio doesn't work in this entry.

This content only works in the UK.

English Heritage say jousting should be made an Olympic sport

Arnautovic hasn't agreed new deal yet


Stoke City forward Marko Arnautovic is yet to agree to a new contract, but boss Mark Hughes is hopeful they can keep the 27-year-old.

The Austria international has 12 months left of his deal and has been linked to Paris St-Germain.

"We are where we were with Marko, but we remain very hopeful of being able to keep him here.

"He isn't going to rush into any decision - clearly he has had an offer on the table from ourselves for a period of time now but his advisors want to take a look at the options for him." 

Marko Arnautovic

Get Involved


Adam Taylor: At West Ham, Sam Allardyce was replaced by Slaven Bilic, who plays better football, has more success and international experience. English and not previous manager only reqs.

Mr Chamberlain: Read Big Sam's book. Way more than meets the eye. Best memory, JJ Okocha and Sam dancing on the pitch after staying up 

Chris Swann: My favourite Big Sam memory is not doing anything remotely worth getting the England job

Spain appoint Lopetegui


Spain have named Julen Lopetegui as their new manager.

Vicente del Bosque stepped down after eight years in charge following their disappointing Euro 2016 campaign, which ended at the last-16 stage.

Lopetegui, 49, was sacked as Porto boss in January and has previously coached Spain at youth level.

He had been linked to the Wolves job as recently as 09:15 BST this morning!

Julen Lopetegui
Getty Images

Newcastle sign Hanley


Newcastle have signed Scotland defender Grant Hanley from Championship rivals Blackburn for a reported £5.5m.

The 24-year-old has spent his entire senior career with Rovers until today, playing 201 times.

"It is an exciting step in my career but it doesn't stop there. This is just the start and I am looking forward to helping Newcastle get back into the Premier League," he said.

United manager Rafa Benitez added: "It was clear that we needed another central defender and we were seeking someone with good experience in the Championship.

"Grant is a young player with a lot of ambition to improve and keep growing with us."

Grant Hanley

'Barca need another striker'


Barcelona want a proper number nine, says manager Luis Enrique.

"It's true that we are looking for a forward. We want that player to be motivated, with desire and to score.

“I want a pure striker, who arrives in the area and is capable of scoring goals.”

Meanwhile, Barca attacking midfielder Alen Halilovic, 20, has passed a medical at Hamburg. He is set to join the German side on a permanent deal.

On this day

In 2014, England and Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard announced he was retiring from international football after earning 114 caps over 14 years. During that time he scored 21 goals and played at six major tournaments for the national side.

Steven Gerrard

Do the Double Tin


The what?

Well, if you've already tried The Robot, The Overhead Bean and The Behind-Your-Back Bean moves you'll know what we mean.

If not, let BBC 6 Music's Chris Hawkins and Make Your Move personal trainer Martin Cullen explain.....

This content only works in the UK.

If you want to find out about the other exercises you can find them here - and don't forget that Mary Ann Hobbs will be encouraging you to take a hike on her BBC 6 Music show at the weekend.

Get Involved


Julian Gold: Sam Allardyce - guaranteed to save England from relegation on the last day of the season.

Trevor Gregory: Why do the FA think they are qualified to make the right appointment when they have failed miserably in the past? I suspect the same 'experts' who are saying that Sam Allardyce is the right man for the job said the same about Roy Hodgson

ScillaciRam: England RFU had the players, they added the coach to win. England football have neither, for tournament finals.