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Updated: 41 min 10 sec ago

Many NFL teams have valid excuses for ignoring Kaepernick: these three don't

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 07:39

The former 49er is still without a job after his protest - but many teams already have good quarterbacks. Then there are those whose stance makes no sense at all

The Buffalo Bills signed someone called Keith Wenning on Monday. If you know that name, you are either Keith Wenning’s parents – and you should be very proud of your son – or you are Buffalo Bills general manager Brandon Beane, and you should be ashamed of what you’ve done.

Wenning, a journeyman quarterback who has now joined his fourth team in the four seasons since he was drafted by Baltimore in the sixth-round in 2014, has never actually journeyed far enough to make it onto the field in a real NFL game. He has yet to throw a regular season pass for the Ravens, Bengals (2015) or Giants (2016) and, if things go Buffalo’s way, Wenning will never throw one in a Bills uniform either. (Note: since things never go Buffalo’s way, don’t be surprised if Wenning gets a lot of playing time there.)

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David Squires on … Liverpool v Arsenal and Bilic on the brink

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 07:00

Our resident cartoonist picks his highlights from week three of the Premier League season, including Arsenal’s disastrous trip to Liverpool and Frank De Boer’s shaky start at Palace

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England v West Indies: second test, day five – live!

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 06:37

11.37am BST

11th over: West Indies 19-0 (Brathwaite 8, Powell 10), target 322. Powell flicks another slightly awry legside delivery from Anderson down to the boundary for four, before Jimmy resets himself and slants some better, more challenging deliveries across him outside off-stump.

11.33am BST

10th over: West Indies 15-0 (Brathwaite 8, Powell 6), target 322. The floodlights are on, adding to the seamer’s paradise vibe, but Brathwaite is largely untroubled, until he dabs and misses at a lovely teasing outswinger and is then DROPPED when the next one finds his outside-edge and flies to Cook at first slip who puts it down. What a Test this has been for drops (11 in all) – a lot of 50p fines will be being gathered in those dressing rooms.

More 1984 talk (sorry) from Neil Harris: “The wisden report from on the 2nd test at Lords in 1984 regarding the England declaration

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Transfer roundup: Stoke sign Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham for £18m

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 06:23

• Austria defender agrees five-year deal with Stoke
• Lyon sign Tottenham target Pape Cheikh Diop

Stoke have completed the signing of Kevin Wimmer from Tottenham for £18m, the 24-year-old Austria defender agreeing a five-year deal.

Mark Hughes, the Stoke manager, said: “Kevin is an undoubted talent and he will significantly add to the quality of the group of players at my disposal. We put a real emphasis on trying to enhance the defensive areas of the squad this summer and we feel that we have been able to do that.”

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Lucy Bronze’s thirst for a challenge takes England defender to Europe’s peak | Suzanne Wrack

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 06:00
Manchester City and England defender grabbed the chance to move to Lyon where she hopes to fulfil her dream of winning the Champions League

It is rare that the transfer of a woman footballer makes a splash. Before Euro 2017 Toni Duggan’s switch from Manchester City to Barcelona did just that. Duggan graced the front pages of most national newspapers gripping the iconic blaugrana shirt and featured in Sky Sports’ rolling news throughout the day. Perhaps the fuss was because she was the first English player to sign for Barcelona since Gary Lineker or because of how global a club they are. Either way the England striker’s move generated off-season excitement not seen before.

On 18 August another England star announced she was departing these shores. England’s right-back Lucy Bronze has also left the WSL 2016 champions but to much less fanfare and fewer column inches. Yet this move is much bigger than Duggan’s. In fact it is the biggest by an English player. Bronze has joined Lyon and, although the French club may not seem as impressive as Barça, in women’s football at present there is no bigger.

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Manchester City offer Raheem Sterling in bid to sign Arsenal’s Alexis Sánchez

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 05:31
• City attempt to break Arsenal’s resolve to keep Chile forward
• England winger Sterling understood to be open to move

Manchester City have attempted to break the impasse over Alexis Sánchez by indicating that they would be prepared to include Raheem Sterling in a deal.

Sterling, who joined City in 2015 from Liverpool for a British record transfer fee of £49m, has been offered to Arsenal in part-exchange for the Chile international after being informed he could leave. The England international, 22, is understood to be bemused at the decision after scoring twice in City’s opening three Premier League matches but is open to moving back to London, where he began his career playing for QPR’s youth team before moving to Anfield.

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I lost to the better player, says Johanna Konta – video

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 05:29

Johanna Konta, No7 in the world, has admitted that she was beaten by the better player in her 6-4, 3-6, 4-6 defeat to the unseeded Serbian Aleksandra Krunic, who lies 71 places below her in the rankings. Konta goes out of a slam tournament in the first round for the second time this year, after her defeat to the world No109, Su-wei Hsieh, at Roland Garros

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Kylian Mbappé going home to Paris with sights on Neymar partnership | Igor Mladenovic

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 05:00

Kylian Mbappé first played football at his father’s non-league club in the Paris suburbs – and is set to join PSG for £167m next summer after a season-long loan

When Kylian Mbappé completes a move to Paris Saint‑Germain which values him as the second most expensive player ever, he will return to the city where it all began. Just over a dozen years ago a young Mbappé begged his father to sign him up at the local club of the suburb where they lived in the French capital.

The team was non-league AS Bondy, where Wilfried Mbappé, a former player, was the coach. Wilfried was reluctant to bring his son under his wing there, fearing he would not be objective. Yet such was Kylian’s persistence that Wilfried gave in to the five-year-old and the boy made such a first impression that he was promoted to play above his age group. When the elite academy INF Clairefontaine offered Kylian a scholarship a few years later he was again pushed up, this time among the best prospects of his generation.

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Transfer liveblog: Mbappé, Sánchez and Oxlade-Chamberlain latest – live!

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 04:38

9.38am BST

Get a load of THIS:

Man City make player-plus-cash offer for Alexis Sanchez involving Raheem Sterling

9.34am BST

Morning all. What will today have in store for us? Anything exciting? Anything concrete? Maybe! We’ll bring you a red-hot rumour shortly...

Meanwhile: email any thoughts you have to, or tweet @NickMiller79

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Jordan Pickford ruled out of England’s squad for World Cup qualifiers

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 04:24
• Everton goalkeeper to miss games against Malta and Slovakia with injury
• No replacement called up with Joe Hart, Jack Butland and Tom Heaton in squad

Everton goalkeeper Jordan Pickford has withdrawn from England’s World Cup qualifiers against Malta and Slovakia.

The uncapped 23-year-old linked up with the squad on Sunday but a muscular injury sustained at the weekend means he has returned to his club.

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Football transfer rumours: Juventus to sign Emre Can from Liverpool?

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 04:23

Today’s fluff is weighing up a move

Look at the state of the Premier League. With three days left of the transfer market, almost every club is rushing around on a desperate spending spree, pushing and hollering like citizens stocking up on tinned food before the outbreak of war. It is as if no one told them until now that the transfer window shuts on Thursday.

At least Manchester United and Huddersfield Town did their shopping early so now all they have to do is sit back and laugh at everyone else. Or perhaps join everyone else in laughing at Arsenal, whose years of frugality have somehow led to the club having a surplus of inadequate players and a couple of gaping holes in their bloated squad. At least it looks like Arsenal are going to flog Shkodran Mustafi to Internazionale and Kieran Gibbs to Watford so Arsène Wenger may still get an opportunity to splash out on a top-class holding midfielder in time to leave him on the bench for the next big game.

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Bangladesh v Australia: first Test, day three – live!

Tue, 08/29/2017 - 01:35
  • Live updates from the third day of play in Dhaka
  • Email any thoughts to Adam to get in touch via Twitter @collinsadam

6.35am BST

43rd over: Bangladesh 93-3 (Tamim 59, Mushfiqur 17)

Oh! Agar the man most likely in the stoush against Mushfiqur. He’s done him on the outside edge twice. No pulling inside the line here. No chance to get forward. Classy maiden from the West Australian.

The irony in the fact that Pat Cummins is Australia's only fit first-choice fast bowler

6.32am BST

42nd over: Bangladesh 93-3 (Tamim 59, Mushfiqur 17)

Mushfiqur and Tamim exchanging singles off Lyon, who has been relentless but surely must be tiring in the heat and humidity; bowled all day so far. A couple more to the left-hander, taken against the spin through midwicket to bring up the Bangladesh 100. Huge spin follows, the opener able to keep his bat away from the ball as it fizzes and leaps by the shoulder.

If we need a replacement in the squad, they should send Joel
PARIS to Dhaka Rally

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Socceroos take precautions in Tokyo after North Korean missile launch

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 23:47
  • Missile test not expected to affect Thursday’s World Cup qualifier
  • Robbie Kruse says he ‘didn’t even know it happened’

The Socceroos are taking “appropriate precautions” after North Korea fired a ballistic missile over Japan’s north on Tuesday morning. The Australian squad is currently in Tokyo, preparing for Thursday’s crucial World Cup qualifier against Japan at Saitama Stadium.

In a sign of how impenetrable the team bubble can be for professional footballers, attacker Robbie Kruse was totally unaware of the developments when asked about it. “To be honest I didn’t even know it happened,” Kruse said.

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Maria Sharapova sees off Simona Halep on her return to US Open

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 23:23
  • Russian beats No2 seed 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 at Flushing Meadows
  • Win comes on Sharapova’s first appearance in New York since drugs ban

Maria Sharapova was back in black: in a lace-topped, sparkling diamante outfit that nodded to Audrey Hepburn’s dress in Breakfast At Tiffany’s, one of the Russian’s favourite films. And there was just enough substance alongside the showbiz dazzle on her return to New York for the game’s enduring diva to overpower Simona Halep, the world No2, for the seventh time in a row, as she moved into the second round to keep this US Open at fever pitch.

Her 10th match in 19 months – for reasons obvious to all but aliens – delivered much of the old imperious strut over the two hours and 24 minutes it took her to complete a 6-4, 4-6, 6-3 win. It was a performance that mixed brilliance and vulnerability in front of a goggle-eyed gathering on the tournament’s showcase court, Arthur Ashe. In 18 night matches in New York, Sharapova has never lost. She loves a big stage.

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Bernard Tomic bundled out of US Open as Australian women fly flag

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 19:58
  • Tomic loses 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to 19th seed Gilles Müller
  • Barty, Rodionova and Tomljanovic all advance in women’s draw

Bernard Tomic faces the humiliating prospect of having to qualify for the Australian Open after his year from hell continued with a disastrous first-round US Open loss in New York. But there was better news for Australia in the women’s draw, where all three players in action on the opening day made it through to the second round.

In his first match since being fined a Wimbledon-record $US15,000 for saying he was “a little bored” during his first-round defeat at the All England Club, Tomic succumbed 3-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-4 to 19th seed Gilles Müller.

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Johanna Konta keen not to ‘catastrophise’ her US Open defeat

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 18:21
• Briton loses 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 to Aleksandra Krunic
• Konta admits first-round matches are ‘difficult for me personally’

Johanna Konta, Britain’s best hope of success at the US Open after the shock withdrawal of Andy Murray, crashed out on day one to Aleksandra Krunic, a diminutive Russian-born Serb who admits she has a weak serve and questionable work ethic.

Krunic, who had not beaten a top-10 player since making the fourth round here three years ago, nevertheless had enough in her armoury of slices and deftly placed returns to make the most of Konta’s poor serving – fewer than half of the British player’s 99 first serves went in – and is through to the second round after winning 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in two hours and 17 minutes on a mild day on the Grandstand court.

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Frank de Boer clings to Crystal Palace job after talks with chairman

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 18:04
• Dutchman will have to demonstrate willingness to adapt approach
• Palace have lost first three Premier League games with no goals scored

Frank de Boer is still clinging to his job at Crystal Palace after talks with the chairman, Steve Parish, but will have to demonstrate a willingness to adapt his approach if he is to retain his position much beyond the current international window.

Palace are actively seeking to strengthen their first-team squad this week, and hope to beat West Bromwich Albion finally to secure Mamadou Sakho from Liverpool for around £25m, but their business is being played out amid the turmoil of a dismal start to the campaign and with serious doubts having surfaced over the suitability of De Boer’s summer appointment on a three-year contract.

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Maria Sharapova v Simona Halep: US Open 2017 women's singles – live!

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 18:00

8.24pm BST

Jake will be here shortly. In the meantime, here’s Jacob Steinberg on the favourites for the women’s title in the absence of Serena Williams:

Karolina Pliskova: Last year’s beaten finalist probably had different visions of how she would become the new world No1. She was on holiday in Monaco when it happened and only found out about her new status after checking to see if Simona Halep had won her Wimbledon quarter-final against Johanna Konta. Halep’s defeat confirmed Pliskova’s ascent – five days after losing in the second round at SW19. The circumstances weren’t ideal, feeding the theory that Pliskova is merely a lucky beneficiary of Serena Williams’s absence, but despite lukewarm recent form, the big-serving 25-year-old has a good chance of winning her first grand slam title.

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Everton set to agree £9m deal for Hajduk Split winger Nikola Vlasic

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 16:56
• Croatia Under-21 player has scored 10 goals in 85 appearances
• Chelsea and Tottenham interested in signing Ross Barkley

Everton are close to completing a €10m (£9.26m) deal for the Hajduk Split winger Nikola Vlasic as they look to improve Ronald Koeman’s attacking options before the transfer deadline.

Related: Cesc Fàbregas and Álvaro Morata on target as Chelsea dispatch Everton

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Round-up: Toby Roland-Jones does his best to undo patchwork Surrey

Mon, 08/28/2017 - 15:54
• England bowler takes two early wickets for Middlesex at The Oval
• Essex recover after being bowled out for 159 against Somerset

Had you presented this rather patchwork Surrey XI to Alec Stewart, the director of cricket, back in April, he might just have choked on his tea. Zafar Ansari, Dom Sibley and Mark Footitt are off the staff, Kumar Sangakkara and Mark Stoneman are otherwise engaged, and Tom Curran leads the list of the injured. Thus Ollie Pope and Ryan Patel are debuting as two of four 19-year-olds. And is that really Rikki Clarke?

Having been asked to bowl first Surrey’s thrown-together side did very well indeed to bowl Middlesex out for 247. But then their openers ran into Toby Roland-Jones, returning from and emboldened by his England experience. His four overs before stumps saw Patel (whose medium pace had been better than tidy) hurried into turning to leg gully, then Rory Burns – suddenly the senior batsman – caught behind by a beauty that left him.

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