Halford sweet on Guineas hopes Sinawann and Ridenza

Sinawann and Ridenza are on course to bid for Classic glory in the Irish 2,000 and 1,000 Guineas respectively next month.

The Mick Halford-trained pair made a good impression in their juvenile season, with Sinawann breaking his maiden at the Curragh before taking second behind Mogul in Group Two company at Leopardstown on Irish Champions Weekend.

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Havertz refuses to be drawn on Barca, Liverpool and Man United links

‘I don’t want to mess it up in any way’: Kai Havertz refuses to be drawn on links with Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United after scoring another brace for Bayer Leverkusen

  • Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid Kai Havertz refused to talk on transfer links
  • The midfielder scored a second brace in two games as he continues to impress
  • Barcelona, Liverpool and Man United are all interested in €100m midfielder 

Bayer Leverkusen wonderkid Kai Havertz refused to talk about his future at the club after scoring another brace in the Bundesliga in a 3-1 victory over Borussia Monchengladbach. 

Havertz has become hot property across Europe with Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United all showing interest in the creative midfielder. 

Leverkusen have been clear that they are not going to accept any offer less than €100million for the 20-year-old as he has continued his incredible season as the Bundesliga returned to action. 

Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz refused to address links with transfer away

Havertz scored his second brace in two games as he continues to impress in Bundesliga

When questioned on his future in Germany and his links to the European giants, Havertz told Sky: ‘I do not like to say, of course, that there is a lot of speculation.

‘I’m concentrating on this season and will see what happens afterwards.

‘I am very grateful to Leverkusen and I don’t want to mess it up in any way.’

The German international scored his second brace in two games as Leverkusen hit the ground running in their comeback after the coronavirus pandemic caused the suspension of the Bundesliga. 

Barcelona, Liverpool and Manchester United are all interested in €100million-rated midfielder

The club climbed to third place in the table, but could potentially drop down to fourth after RB Leipzig’s match-up with Mainz on Sunday. 

Havertz said that Leverkusen deserved the win against fellow Champions League contenders Monchengladbach. 

He added: ‘We’re happy about the win. We put it on ourselves to win here and we did that.

‘We had to really give everything today and I think we deserved to win in the end.’




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Barcelona focused on signing Juventus' Miralem Pjanic 'no matter what'

‘No matter what’: Barcelona focused on making Juventus’ Miralem Pjanic a ‘key piece’ of their side… regardless of whether club can convince unwanted squad players to go to Italy in the deal

  • Miralem Pjanic has emerged as a key target for Barcelona in this summer window
  • The Bosnian midfielder is seen as versatile and could bolster their midfield
  • Due to coronavirus pandemic, finances at the Catalan club have taken a hit
  • Swap deals have been mooted but Barcelona want Pjanic ‘no matter what’ now 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Barcelona are ready to press on with plans to sign Miralem Pjanic this summer, regardless of whether they can include players surplus to requirements at the Nou Camp as part of the deal, according to reports.  

The Bosnian midfielder looks to be available to depart Juventus this summer with Maurizio Sarri plotting to freshen up his midfield, with Chelsea’s Jorginho and Barcelona’s Arthur two players of interest. 

Mundo Deportivo report on Wednesday’s cover that Barcelona want Pjanic for his ‘versatility’ and the Catalan side believe he can become a ‘key piece’ of the side in the middle of the park.  

Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic is being pursued by Barcelona for a transfer this summer

‘No matter what’ is how the headline reads on Wednesday’s front page of Mundo Deportivo

The report goes on to add that while the club would have a preference to include players plus cash in a deal, they want Pjanic ‘no matter what’ and could press ahead for a cash-only deal to seal a move. 

Pjanic is said to have ‘told Barcelona he wants to join them’ and the 30-year-old knows he is looking at his last major contract should he move. 

He spent five years at Roma between 2011 and 2016 before moving to Turin where he has been a major success, winning three Serie A titles and two Coppa Italia’s. 

Barcelona boss Quique Setien is keen to shuffle his squad and bolster his midfield options

Arturo Vidal is one of the players Barcelona could offload to open a spot for Pjanic with a role alongside Frenkie de Jong seen as the future of the midfield from next season.  

Setien’s side were top of the LaLiga standings at the time of the lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic in March. 

They have now returned to training and will look to keep Zinedine Zidane’s side at bay to retain their league title won by Setien’s predecessor Ernesto Valverde. 

But nonetheless, the former Real Betis boss is aware of the need to shuffle the squad to play his particular style of football and midfield has become a key area of focus. 

Barcelona still have Philippe Coutinho under contract and Setien has previously suggested he could yet still have a future at the club.  

Pjanic, arriving at Juventus’ training ground on Tuesday, is seen as ‘versatile’ by Barcelona

But the financial impact on Barcelona from the coronavirus pandemic has been damaging and they have been one of the worst hit sides in LaLiga. 

That has seen a need to sell any player aside from Lionel Messi if the correct valuation is met and that would allow them to make one or two statement signings this summer. 

Along with Pjanic, Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez is a primary target in attack.  




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Michael Jordan on allegations he pushed off for Game 6 winner vs. Jazz: ‘Bulls—’

Michael Jordan’s parting shot with the Bulls — a Game 6 winner in the 1998 NBA Finals — has long prompted complaints from Jazz fans that he pushed off on Bryon Russell to find enough space to pull up.

Jordan took the final episode of “The Last Dance” on Sunday as a chance to insist there was no offensive foul on the play.

“Everybody said I pushed off,” Jordan told the documentary crew. “Bulls—. His energy was going that way. I didn’t have to push him.”

It’s predictable that Jordan would want to defend one of his most memorable moments in strong terms. After all, he spent the entire documentary series beating back much smaller inferences he ever did wrong on the court. It’s also possible that he’s correct and the push never occurred, though fans in Utah would disagree with that assessment.

After Jordan said his piece on the moment, broadcaster Bob Costas appeared to agree that no push happened.

It would have been great to hear the perspective of a Jazz player regarding the play. History, though, is written by the victors.

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Is ‘The Last Dance’ on Netflix? How to stream the Michael Jordan documentary after ESPN

ESPN’s documentary “The Last Dance” focuses on Michael Jordan’s final season in Chicago, the 1997–98 Chicago Bulls.

While ESPN got the majority of the credit for putting together the hit 10-part documentary series, it’s actually a joint production with Netflix. But U.S. customers may be wondering why the series doesn’t show up when they’re looking through Netflix’s library.

Also, since ESPN gets production credit, you’d probably think the company would put it on their own streaming platform, ESPN Plus. Again, however, ESPN Plus customers won’t find “The Last Dance” on there either. So what gives? We’ll explain all of that below.

THE LAST DANCE: TV schedule | Best moments of documentary



(ESPN)

The Last Dance
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Is ‘The Last Dance’ on Netflix?

Yes and no. Outside of the United States, the documentary is currently available for next-day streaming on Netflix. “The Last Dance” will arrive on Netflix in the U.S. on July 19, 2020.

The entire 10-part series will be available on that date to binge watch as you please. For reference, the series will air its final two episodes on television on May 17, so there’s about a two-month waiting period for Netflix viewers.

Is ‘The Last Dance’ on ESPN Plus?

Not currently. ESPN Plus subscribers won’t be able to stream “The Last Dance” until July 2021, a full year after appears on Netflix in the U.S. market. This is because distribution arrangements for “The Last Dance” were made before ESPN Plus was launched in April 2018, according to Front Office Sports.

How to stream ‘The Last Dance’ episodes

If you have access to a cable provider, you can stream episodes of “The Last Dance” on ESPN.com or the ESPN app. You can watch these episodes as they air, or afterwards in case you missed it live. Outside of that, you’ll need to patient for the series to arrive on Netflix or ESPN Plus.

‘The Last Dance’ TV schedule

Two new episodes of “The Last Dance” will air on ESPN (uncensored) and ESPN2 (edited for language) each Sunday through May 17. The two previous parts of the documentary series can be watched before the new episodes premiere.

Netflix will roll out episodes in similar fashion for international viewers with two new parts hitting the streaming service following the live showings in the U.S.

ESPN and ESPN2 (United States)

Netflix (International)

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Irish racing back on June 8 behind closed doors

Racing is set to resume under strict protocols and behind closed doors in Ireland on June 8.

The Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine said last week that racing, as a spectator-free sport, would fall into the third phase of the Irish Government’s plan to ease lockdown restrictions, meaning a June 29 restart looked likely.

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Adam Silver decision on NBA season may come in 2-4 weeks, reports say

The basketball world could have an answer as soon as late May to the question of whether the NBA will resume play this season.

League commissioner Adam Silver will decide on the season’s status in the next two to four weeks, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported late Tuesday. Silver met with the league’s Board of Governors earlier in the day, and the feeling coming out of the meeting was increased optimism about the season resuming, sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Wojnarowski reported that the league will review several coronavirus-related factors before before making a decision, including ones involving testing, new cases in states that are reopening for business, and seriously ill patients. 

One other factor will be getting league personnel on board with continuing play after there is a positive test. The league has been suspended since March 11, when the Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive for COVID-19. 

The NBA remains focused on a “bubble” system for housing players and team personnel in the event the season resumes. Teams would play in Las Vegas and Walt Disney World in Central Florida. It’s not known how many players would need to be in this environment because, according to Wojnarowski’s sources, the league is still deciding whether to jump directly into the playoffs if it decides to play again. 

Several teams have been cleared to open their facilities for individual player workouts. Sources told Wojnarowski that the league expects 22 of its 30 facilities to be opened by Monday.

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Formula 1 drivers on lockdown: Bananas, mummy planks and singing dogs

Seeing drivers in race suits, wearing custom-designed helmets and celebrating on the podium may have been put on hold for now.

But that doesn’t mean a total lack of Formula 1 content. It’s just a bit… different.

And by different, we mean bizarre.

As lockdown restrictions continue around the world, here’s part two of how some drivers have been keeping entertained in isolation…

F1 fancy dress

The under-25s of the Formula 1 grid have been letting fans into their lockdown lives on a daily basis, with Charles Leclerc the biggest online star.

Ferrari’s young gun has become a permanent fixture on the live streaming platform Twitch, playing a mixture of games and lifting the spirits of his subscribers from sunrise to sunset.

As well as virtual trucking across the UK and racing souped-up lawnmowers around famous tracks, Leclerc has also dabbled in some Fortnite action with Barcelona and France striker, Antoine Griezmann.

Following the stream with Griezmann, a fan kindly sent the 22-year-old a banana costume in honour of the Fortnite character, Peely.

With a reputation as a future world champion contender at stake, Leclerc politely declined to give it go at first.

But in the end, not even a Scuderia driver can resist a spot of dressing up, and so Leclerc decked out as a banana will forever be on the internet.

Fitness with a difference

Do you want to see a 40-year-old man bounce along on a row of trampolines?

“Not right now, thanks” would probably be your answer.

What if it was Kimi Raikkonen jumping up and down like a kid at a birthday party?

“Absolutely. Press play now.”

There’s something strangely hypnotic in seeing the 2007 world champion joyfully bouncing back and forth before your very eyes.

Well, as joyful as you can be for Kimi.

George Russell has gone to the next level in pursuit of the ultimate at-home workout.

As if the standard plank position wasn’t hard enough, the 22-year-old displayed this punishing version with a little help from his fitness coach, who is staying with the Williams driver at his parents’ home during lockdown.

Once again during an F1 workout, the ever increasing neck muscles take a serious hit.

Plus, there doesn’t seem to be any official name given to this style of planking, so ‘The Egyptian Mummy Neck Plank’ is all yours, George.

Show us your skills

Lockdown has seen many stay-at-home sport stars take on a challenge or two to keep busy.

As Formula 1 doesn’t quite lend itself to an indoor activity, drivers have had to look elsewhere to get in on the action.

Lando Norris chose to have a go at the BBC’s Big Night Spin challenge, where participants spin around 10 times and attempt to kick a football, hit a cricket stump, swing a golf club, or anything else sport-related they can get their hands on.

Norris went for the footie option – complete with McLaren helmets for goal posts – and was perhaps lucky not to a) smash a window or b) break an ankle in the process.

Over on the other side of the world…

Daniel Ricciardo may have inadvertently created a brand new challenge all by himself.

The Renault man showed off his throwing prowess by successfully chucking a water bottle into a bin on the back of a moving truck.

Maybe give this one a miss during your own bin collection if you don’t live on a sprawling Australian farm like Ricciardo.

And finally…

A sure-fire crowd pleaser on social media is to post a video of a beloved pet.

If said pet can then perform a special talent on cue, then you’ve got a certified viral hit on your hands.

There may have been a few tuning issues for Carlos Sainz’s dog Olivia to begin with but by the time ‘Heart and Soul’ kicks in, she’s cracked it.

A duet of Sainz’s favourite ‘Smooth Operator’ could be on the cards soon.

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Arsenal on the lookout for free transfers and swap deals

Arsenal on the lookout for free transfers and swap deals due to financial impact of coronavirus pandemic with Chelsea winger Willian on their radar

  • Arsenal will be searching for cut-price deals during the next transfer window
  • The Gunners asked their players to take pay cuts due to the coronavirus crisis 
  • Chelsea winger Willian is one out of contract player that is of interest to Arsenal 
  • Here’s how to help people impacted by Covid-19

Arsenal are actively on the lookout for free transfers and swap deals, underlining their financial position after stressing the need for their players to take pay cuts.

Arsenal, who asked their stars to reduce their wages by up to 12.5 per cent until next March due to the impact of coronavirus, are resigned to having a limited budget before player sales when the next window opens and having to shop shrewdly.

As a result they are focusing on out-of-contract players while they have also put feelers out to see if there are any potential player trades that could be arranged.

Chelsea winger Willian, who is out of contract in June, is one player Arsenal are considering

Chelsea winger Willian, whose agent Kia Joorabchian has close ties with Arsenal and their technical director Edu, is one free agent of interest to the north Londoners.

Swap deals are harder to strike due to the difficulty of the two parties agreeing on the value of both players involved.

Arsenal, though, were part of one of the most high-profile of recent years when Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan swapped between the Gunners and Manchester United in January 2018.

The exact date when the summer transfer window will open has yet to be confirmed due to the delay to the season following the coronavirus outbreak.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta is on the lookout for free transfers and swap deals this summer

Arsenal’s plans highlight their tight financial situation and the importance of their players agreeing to become the first in the Premier League to take pay cuts rather than deferrals.

Mikel Arteta’s players will only be repaid in full if Arsenal qualify for the Champions League while the reduction will be lowered to 7.5 per cent if they make the Europa League.

The topic of the club’s transfer plans was raised in the discussions with players wanting to know if they would end up seeing the club splash out in the summer after being asked to reduce their wages.

 


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Terry opens up on difficult relationship with Rafa Benitez at Chelsea

‘We just didn’t get on from day one… every meeting we had it was, “We used to do this at Liverpool”‘: Chelsea legend John Terry opens up on difficult relationship with Rafa Benitez

  • John Terry has opened up on his time playing under Rafael Benitez at Chelsea
  • Terry lifted Europa League trophy with Benitez in charge but pair didn’t get on
  • He says Benitez used to mention his previous success at Liverpool in meetings
  • Terry took him to one side and warned him that the players weren’t taking to him 

John Terry has opened up on his difficult relationship with Rafa Benitez at Chelsea, admitting that the pair ‘didn’t get on from day one’. 

Benitez spent six months at the Blues in the 2012-13 season, winning the Europa League at the end of his spell at the club.

Despite the trophy success, Terry – club captain at the time – admits he didn’t get on with the Spaniard from the very start.

John Terry has opened up on his time playing under Rafael Benitez at Chelsea back in 2012-13

Terry admits that he didn’t get on with Benitez (right) from the very start of their time together

‘It was tough, I have to be honest. When he first came, I was really looking forward to working with Rafa initially,’ Terry told Sky Sports in the latest edition of Off Script.

‘The supporters never took to him and wanted him out from day one. You could say he was quite successful, we won the Europa League under him of course, but for me personally you want to develop and learn. 

‘I’d seen tactically how he’d set up against us previously. You give everyone a fair chance and it’s down to them to prove to you otherwise, but we just didn’t get on from day one.’

Terry then went on to explain exactly why, with Benitez’s insistence on bringing up his previous spell at Liverpool a big contributing factor.

Terry says Benitez regularly brought up his success with Liverpool, to the annoyance of players

He spent six years at Anfield, winning the Champions League and FA Cup along the way, and Terry says he would regularly bring up his Merseyside success stories. 

‘Every meeting we had it was, “We used to do this at Liverpool”,’ the Chelsea legend said. ‘I had to have a few conversations with him and say, “Gaffer, you have to forget Liverpool, you can’t keep saying we this, we that, you’re at Chelsea now, it’s not going down well with the lads.”

‘I was injured when he arrived, and then I struggled to be fair. I was out for probably six weeks, but then I was working back towards fitness, I played in a couple of games, away at Fulham, scored two, he dropped me for the next game. It was all those little bits that added up.’

Terry (right) was captain of the club but he was dropped by Benitez during his time at Chelsea




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