Wednesday's Sportsday as it happened

England start tour match with Ian Bell ton, build-up to Chelsea v Middlesbrough, plus Champions League winner predictions.

27 February 2013 Last updated at 18:54

Get involved

To get involved contact us in any of the following ways

As it happened

  1. 1853: 

    Tom Rostance has already started live text commentary for this evening's football matches. Middlesbough host Chelsea in the FA Cup, while David Beckham is set to make his full debut for PSG. As well as regular updates from Tom, you can listen to live coverage of Middlesbrough's match with Chelsea on BBC Radio 5 live from 19:45 GMT. Before kick-off, however, Mark Pougatch will present a round-up of the day's sports news.

  2. 1849: 

    Tiger Woods has reiterated his support for banning players from anchoring long putters to their body - despite the PGA Tour's recent public opposition to a proposal from golf's rule makers to outlaw the practice.

    "My position hasn't changed. I still think it should be swung, it shouldn't be anchored and that hasn't changed at all," said Woods. "Obviously nothing is set in stone, nothing is firm."


    Matthew Robson: "All pressure on Chelsea and Rafa, who has never won at Riverside, so a narrow victory for Boro 2-1."

    Gus Fletcher: "Chelsea need to stick together to get any success from this terrible season, another new manager is not the answer."

    Nick Main: "If Chelsea draw today we face a ridiculous fixture schedule: Saturday, Monday, Thursday and Sunday. 4 games in 9 days! Insane!"

  4. 1838: 

    McLaren team managing director Jonathan Neale said the first two tests in Jerez and Barcelona this month had thrown up no unpleasant surprises.

    "Our car appears normal, we've had no major issues," he said. "The drivers report that the handling is good. Sergio (Perez) is getting to learn to drive a McLaren, which has slightly different characteristics to what he's been used to.

    "I don't think we've seen anybody yet do a lap time that we felt we couldn't have done if we'd changed the fuel load."


    BBC Radio 5 live presenter Mark Pouhatch: "Boro v Chelsea, @MichaelVaughan on the lessons of the Tom Maynard inquest, @domfifield on Beckham&PSG v Marseille, plus Rangers @bbc5live."

  6. 1833: 

    Mark Williams continued his run of poor form as he went out in the first round of the World Open in China at the hands of Hong Kong's Marco Fu.

    His 5-2 defeat by Fu was his third first-round loss in the past five ranking events, a run that has seen the left-hander win only two matches.


    John Todd: "The first goal will play a large part in tonight's game but it's the magic of the FA cup isn't it! 3-2 Boro win!"

    Nutty: "Both teams out of sorts. Whoever wants it most should prevail."

    Umar12: "Hoping for a nice, comfortable win with respect to Boro! Lampard to equal Bobby Tamblings record tonight with a hat-trick."

  8. 1828: 

    If you want a round-up of the day's sports news then Sportsday is about to start on the BBC News channel (and on this website).

  9. 1824: 

    Australian Open champion Novak Djokovic is through to the third round of the Dubai Tennis Championships after a 6-1 7-6 (7-4) victory over Roberto Bautista Agut of Spain. Earlier, second seed Roger Federer beat Marcel Granollers of Spain 6-3 6-4.


    Ali Skeech: "Chelsea haven't gelled under Bentiez. If Boro get stuck in from kick-off and get under their skin, can be done!"

    Ahmzzz': "Chelsea fans should be worried , Ferreira wasn't good enough as a player... what makes you think he's good enough as a manager?"

    Roddy SW: "Chelsea fans talking about the loss before the game has been played! No wonder their managers don't last long."

    Send us your thoughts on the FA Cup match between Middlesbrough and Chelsea using the hashtag #bbcsportsday.

  11. 1813: 

    Bobby Crutchley has been appointed head coach of England and will also lead Great Britain at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

    He steps up from his previous role as assistant to Jason Lee, who was recently named head coach of the England and GB women's squads.

  12. 1804: 

    Former Formula 1 test driver Maria de Villota has been cleared to get behind the wheel for the first time since losing her right eye in a crash.

    The Spanish driver suffered serious head and facial injuries in an accident last July when testing for Marussia for the first time in Cambridgeshire.

    "Last week they gave me permission to return to driving," she said. "The distances I can already calculate quite well and it feels like nothing ever happened."


    Lee serradimigni: "If you could guarantee that Rafa would be gone in the morning I would quite happily accept an embarrassing 4-0 defeat."

    Rob Corr: "Read online that Ferreira is doing his coaching badges with eye on CFC job, may find truth sooner if they lose tonight."

    Send us your views on the FA Cup tie between Middlesbrough and Chelsea using the hashtag #bbcsportsday.

  14. 1753: 

    Former Southampton forward Matthew Le Tissier has revealed that six years ago he made a bet with a friend that Gareth Bale would win 100 caps for Wales, play for a top-four club and appear in the Champions League.

    "As soon as Gareth gets to 100 caps, it's all over," Le Tissier told the Daily Mail. "From the minute he stepped into the Southampton first team in 2006 and looked so comfortable, you knew.

    "I can see the comparisons with Cristiano Ronaldo, but for me Bale needs to improve in the air and become a better two-footed player."

  15. 1745: 

    Masters champion Bubba Watson has no doubt Rory McIlroy will be in the mix at Augusta National in April.

    McIlroy has suffered a poor start to the season after switching equipment manufacturers in a multi-million pound deal, missing the cut in Abu Dhabi and losing to Shane Lowry in the first round of the WGC World Match Play last week.

    "I think Rory is going to be number one for a while," Watson said. "There is no-one in the history of the game who is 100% in making cuts."

  16. 1737: 

    Lord Seb Coe is in Glasgow to promote the city's bid to host the Youth Olympics in 2018.

    Asked whether the benefits of hosting last year's Olympics were already evident, Coe said: "We have seen a big increase in participation numbers. The Commonwealth Games in 2014 and (potentially) the Youth Games in 2018 gives us the opportunity over a decade to go on and inspire young people to take up the sport."


    Judy Murray: "All set for an evening at Hampden with Seb Coe. Lucky me."

  18. 1731: 

    Stoke have confirmed they will not appeal the Football Association's violent conduct charge against Robert Huth and the defender will now serve a three-match ban.

  19. 1730: 

    Former England captain Michael Vaughan has said out-of-competition drug testing would be a "step forward" in the wake of Tom Maynard's death.

    "If you had [drug testing] on a regular basis, there would be a starting point of potentially wiping it out completely," Vaughan told BBC Sport.

  20. 1718: 

    Ryan ten Doeschate and Owais Shah have both signed new contracts with Essex. Doeschate has signed a two-year deal, while Shah has committed to a further year.


    Lewis Sullivan: "If a player from my home, non-league Hastings United, can score at the Riverside in the FA Cup, there's hope for Torres yet..."

    Ofori George: "I can't see how Boro will win against Chelsea."

    John Ellis: "Tonight's game is win-win. If we win, we're through the round, or we lose & Rafa gets closer to the sack."

    Who will win this evening's FA Cup tie? Can Middlesbrough cause an upset and beat Chelsea? Send us your views using the hashtag #bbcsportsday.

  22. 1719: 

    Edinburgh centre Nick De Luca has been suspended for 13 weeks following his red card for a tip tackle on Tom Grabham in Friday's PRO12 match against Ospreys.

  23. 1716: 

    Former Aston Villa and West Ham striker John Carew will not be signing for Italian side Inter Milan following a trial, according to a statement on the club's website.

    "F.C. International would like to thank the Norwegian striker John Carew for the great dedication and professionalism demonstrated," read the statement.

    "His current athletic condition, however, would force over a period of specific work not compatible with the needs of the club."

  24. 1711: 

    Scotland fly-half Ruaridh Jackson feels going back to basics has been crucial to their improvement in this year's Six Nations.

    "We have really stripped back things and are simplifying. We are targeting a few areas we want to work on and that is our focus," he said.

    "It has really narrowed that focus down and it seems to be working. Hopefully we can keep on that uphill rise and hopefully get a third win."


    Can Middlesbrough upset Chelsea in tonight's FA Cup tie. Send us your views using the hashtag #bbcsportsday.

    Diag O'Nally: "Terry to score an own goal if he plays. If he doesn't, a Chelsea win equals a cupset."

    Fahad Khan: "If Chelsea loses tonight, I am 99.99% sure Abramovich will appoint Terry as his next manager. No on-field troubles that way."

    Chris Wills: "Hard to get a result at Riverside?!? This the same place where Barnsley won 3-2 and Bristol city won 3-1?"

  26. 1658: 

    Former England captain Mark Ramprakash tells BBC Radio 5 live that cricket "doesn't have a major problem" with recreational drug use by players.

    He says: "The evidence would suggest not. There is fairly rigorous testing that goes on in cricket and has done for quite a long time in match time, in the competition period, which tests for performance-enhancing drugs and recreational drugs.

    "I think there's only been one positive test in the last five years. That would suggest that cricket doesn't have a major problem."

  27. 1654: 

    Ireland prop Cian Healy is free to play in their next Six Nations match against France a week on Saturday after successfully appealing against the timing of his three-week ban for stamping on England's Dan Cole.

  28. 1649: 

    Great Britain short-track star Jon Eley believes the world-beating performances of Elise Christie this season can inspire the rest of the team to achieve a new level of success.

    Christie has swept all before her on the World Cup circuit with nine top-three finishes and she will head into the season-ending World Championships in Debrecen on March 8 ranked number one in the world.

    Eley said: "When you've got someone in your team doing that well it raises the performances of everyone else."

  29. 1645: 

    We are asking if Middlesbrough can upset Chelsea in the FA Cup tonight. Tell us your views using hashtag #bbcsportsday.

    Anthony Botfield: "Chelsea should win but I wouldn't be surprised to wake up to headlines of Boro shock win and Rafa fired shambles."

    peter logan: "Chelsea to win at a canter."

    Olly: "I think it's a shock if Chelsea win - so hard to get a result The Riverside."

  30. 1640: 

    McLaren managing director Jonathan Neale believes the team are firmly in the shake up for this season's Formula One titles as none of their rivals have so far stood out from the crowd.

    The third and final pre-season test that starts tomorrow in Barcelona will offer more of an indication as to the likely pecking order ahead of the opening grand prix in Australia on March 17.

    But there appears to be little separating frontrunners McLaren, Red Bull, Ferrari, Mercedes and Lotus.

    "Our car appears normal, we've had no major issues and the drivers report the handling is good," said Neale.

  31. 1634: 
    nacho_monreal Arsene Wenger feels defender Nacho Monreal will soon develop into a potent attacking threat for Arsenal. He says: "The first thing you want from your defenders is to defend well, so we cannot reproach him for that. You will see the other aspects of his game more when his confidence has settled."
  32. 1628: 

    Swansea chairman Huw Jenkins vows to throw everything into their maiden Europa League campaign, and has hit out at other clubs for treating the competition as second-rate.

    He says: "I don't think anyone at our club will be talking about having too many games to play or too much travelling because it's something we should all be proud of and really happy we're taking part in Europe."

  33. 1623: 

    Warrington have recalled winger Rhys Williams from his loan spell at Salford after discovering that Joel Monaghan suffered an abdominal tear during their 24-10 win at Hull last Saturday.

    Williams, who was on loan to Castleford last season, has played in all four of the City Reds' games so far, including Sunday's 38-34 win over Hull KR.


    There is more FA Cup action tonight with Chelsea trying to avoid an embarrassing defeat by Championship Middlesbrough. Do you think Boro can pull off a cup shock? Tell us your views at #bbcsportsday.

  35. 1614: 

    Wakefield will be without captain Danny Kirmond for up to a month after he was forced to undergo knee surgery.

    The former Huddersfield second rower hurt his left knee during Sunday's 18-16 home defeat by his old club.

    Wildcats coach Richard Agar says: "Danny is having an operation on a cartilage today."

  36. 1608: 

    Oran O'Callaghan: "I think Man Utd are being very under rated! Top of the PL by 12 and with rvp and rooney injury free...who would doubt them?"

    YAHYA KURA: "BVB will win it."

  37. 1601: 

    World number one Rory McIlroy says his recent poor form is down to a technique issue rather than struggling to adapt to his new Nike clubs.

    He penned a multi-year deal with Nike last month, widely reported to be a 10-year contract worth as much as £150m, but missed the cut at the Abu Dhabi Championship by four shots.

    He says: "It is more about how I'm swinging the club. That's the real concern.

    "The biggest thing was finding a driver that suited me and I feel like I've got one now that really works. I just need tournament rounds to get that confidence in it.

  38. 1556: 

    Christopher Sharman: "I really think Man United have the quality to win the treble this season, especially if AC can get rid of Barca!"

    charlie pinkney: "Whoever wins next weeks 2nd leg between #MUFC V #RealMadrid will go on to win the final at Wembley."

    BoroFanChris: "Bayern, MU and Barca will be able to rest players from league matches towards the end of the season, which is a big advantage."

    Who is your pick to win the Champions League? Tell us using hashtag #bbcsportsday

  39. 1552: 

    Midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson warns the race for Champions League football will not be over even if Tottenham beat derby rivals Arsenal at White Hart Lane on Sunday.

    Spurs are up to third place. That's four points ahead of the Gunners, who sit fifth.

    Sigurdsson says: "The league was won in the last minute on the last day, so even if we beat them it is not finished."

  40. 1547: 

    European Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley challenges Scotland's golfers to make a big impact on the team for Gleneagles in 2014.

    The Irishman says he would like Scots to make up a quarter of his team, as Ireland did on home soil in 2006.

    He tells BBC Scotland: "The gauntlet I'd throw down is what we did when we played in Ireland, which was 25% of the team."

  41. 1543: 

    James Curley: "Bayern to win champo league this year, been unlucky in their last 3 finals and the best team in Europe at the moment."

    Niven Marston: "I can see a repeat of the 1999 final, with a different outcome. Manchester United vs Bayern Munich. 1-2 Gomez double."

    Sweet: "It will be Man United vs Juventus."

    Tell us your views on Twitter using hashtag #bbcsportsday

  42. 1539: 

    FIFA are extending bans issued to 74 players and officials found guilty of involvement in match-fixing.

    The disciplinary committee of football's world governing body applied the sanction to 70 individuals embroiled in match-fixing in Italy and a further four from South Korea.

  43. 1536: 
    Robert Huth Stoke are given an extra 24 hours to decide whether to appeal Robert Huth's charge of violent conduct.
  44. 1531: 

    Bobby Crutchley is the next head coach of the England men's team. He steps up after being an assistant coach to the senior men's programme since 2005.

    Crutchley, 42, succeeds Jason Lee who was recently appointed as head coach of the senior women's squad.

  45. 1526: 

    Everton keeper Tim Howard wants to bring the Wembley feelgood factor back to Goodison Park.

    David Moyes's side are a game away from returning to the national stadium after beating Oldham 3-1 in a replay to set up a home FA Cup quarter-final against Wigan.

    Last season, the Toffees lost to city rivals Liverpool at Wembley at the semi-final stage.

    Howard says: "You kind of puff your chest out when you know you're going to go to Wembley."

  46. 1522: 

    With Real Madrid in top form and Barcelona hitting a rough patch, the Champions League is looking more interesting than ever. On #bbcsportsday we are asking who you think will win May's final at Wembley.

    Hishaam Habib says: "PSG are definitely contenders. A Beckham free-kick to win the final at Wembley."

    NICKS says: "R. Madrid -Dortmund would be an exciting game to watch, also Real's 10th CL n perfect way for Jose to say Good Bye at Wembley."

    Darren McConville says: "Bayern are the team to watch. Classic German efficiency with a deadly sting in their tail. Pure class."

  47. 1516: 

    Sunderland keeper Simon Mignolet moves to quell speculation he could quit the Black Cats in a bid to regain his place as Belgium's number one.

    Comments from his agent Guy Vandermissen to the Belgian media suggested that the 24-year may have to consider his future on Wearside after he fell behind Thibaut Courtois in the pecking order.

    But Mignolet tells his club's website: "Of course, my ambition is to regain the number one spot with my national team, but I feel I can do that with Sunderland."

  48. 1512: 

    Martin Jol is turning his attentions to securing sorting out contracts for some of 11 first-team players whose deals end in the summer.

    Winger Damien Duff recently penned a new contract but Mark Schwarzer, Brede Hangeland, Giorgos Karagounis and Philippe Senderos are all free agents in June.

    Jol told the Fulham Chronicle: "There's a lot of players finishing their contracts and we are talking to most of them."

  49. 1507: 

    Sport Bild reports that Adrian Sutil has landed the Force India drive.

  50. 1503: 

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh says: "Hidden Cyclone to miss Cheltenham Festival and may be aimed at Galway Plate."

  51. 1458: 

    Neil McCracken: "If United overcome Madrid and if Barca go out then I think the winner will be one out of Man United, Bayern Munich or Juventus."

    Rhys Quinney-Newland: "Am I the only one who seriously thinks PSG are in with a good chance of winning the champions league??"

    Rory George-Wheble: "I can see Arsenal pulling a win off this year... Not CL of course, maybe against Reading or something.."

  52. 1452: 

    Rangers defender Ross Perry's season could be over after a scan revealed his hamstring is torn.

    The Scotland Under-21 defender suffered a recurrence of the injury during his side's 3-1 win at Berwick.

  53. 1448: 

    China Racing joins the new Formula E electric series that hopes to start next season.

    They are the second team to sign up for the city-based championship after Britain's Drayson Racing.

    Team China chairman Yu Liu says: "We believe this is a good platform for Chinese and global electric vehicles companies to do our part to help create a sustainable planet."

  54. 1444: 

    Stuart Pearce's England Under-21 team will play Romania at Wycombe in March as part of their build-up towards the 2013 European Championships in Israel.

    The Young Lions will head to Adams Park on 21 March, four days before taking on Austria in Brighton.

    Pearce said: "I will be putting out a strong side for both games and having a look at all my squad before we fly to Israel."

  55. 1438: 

    Andres Iniesta insists Barcelona are not falling apart despite their hammering at the hands of the Real Madrid in the Copa del Rey.

    Madrid's 3-1 victory at the Camp Nou on Tuesday night rounded off a terrible week for the Catalans.

    They also face a huge task if they are to progress to the last eight of the Champions League after losing 2-0 to AC Milan in the first leg of their last 16 tie.

    Iniesta says: "We need to recover the feeling of being a compact and infallible team. I am convinced that we can recover this tonic."

  56. 1433: 

    Juan Martin del Potro defeats India's Somdev Devvarman 6-4 6-4 to win through to the quarter-finals of the Dubai Championships.

  57. 1427: 

    The wife and a neighbour of former Fulham footballer John Paintsil have both withdrawn complaints against him in relation to a domestic incident in Ghana last week.

    Paintsil was accused of causing harm to his wife and a neighbour at the footballer's home in Accra on Friday. Local police say the case is now being dropped.

    Paintsil was hospitalised on Tuesday because of "exhaustion and dehydration,'' but was released later the same day.

  58. 1423: 

    The idea that T20 cricket could be an Olympic sport in 2020 is being debated on Twitter. Add your views using hashtag #bbcsportsday.

    Lewis Powell: "T20 in Olympics, smart idea, 3 games in a day at same ground similar to finals day! Bring fun & excitement 2 crowd great idea."

    Daniel Woodley: "A T20 tournament at the Olympics is a brilliant idea. Will showpiece the sport and could potentially find more competitors."

  59. 1419: 

    Ai Miyazato withdraws from the Women's Champions in Singapore as a precaution after she was hurt in a weekend car accident.

    Miyazato, the 2010 champion, pulled out after hitting balls for about 15 minutes.

    She says: "I still have some stiffness in my neck, shoulder, and back area but it is also a precautionary measure so as not to risk further injury this early in the season."

  60. 1413: 

    Stuart Wilson: "Man united for me, have shown so much resilience and fight this year.. Not to mention that goal machine RVP."

    Nabil Dhala: "Dortmund and Real are doing poor in the league, Juve and Barca are showing signs of slowing down. Winner to be Man U or Milan."

    Robert Key: "Is it just me or has this Champions League been more exciting than in years past? The teams all seem to have evened up!"

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday

  61. 1409: 

    Russia is planning a world-class velodrome on the site of the 2014 Winter Olympics in the hope of creating a Tour of Russia with a Red Square finish.

    The head of Russia's cycling body, Igor Makarov, says: "We decided to transform one of the skating rinks which are now under construction in Sochi into a top-class cycling racing track after the end of 2014 Olympics."

  62. 1406: 

    Norwegian cross-country great Petter Northug wins his first gold medal of this year's Nordic world championships in the 15-kilometer individual freestyle.

    Northug beat Johan Olsson of Sweden by 11.8 seconds, finishing in 34 minutes, 37.1 seconds. Tord Asle Gjerdalen was third, 22.3 seconds behind Northug.

  63. 1403: 

    Danny Shittu says Millwall are looking at how they can tackle racism after fan Gerrard Scanlon was fined for hurling racist abuse at Leeds striker El-Hadji Diouf.

    Scanlon was arrested after Sky Sports News broadcast footage showed him insulting Diouf.

    Shittu said: "As the current Millwall captain, racism is something I do not stand for or condone.

    "I am currently in talks with the club about any further measures we can take in dealing with and eradicating racism at matches."

  64. 1357: 

    Wigan coach Shaun Wane says Salford City Reds have no chance of signing full-back and reigning Man of Steel Sam Tomkins from the Warriors.

    Wane confirmed an offer was made, telling BBC Radio Manchester: "They weren't playing games. I'm really pleased Salford have got an owner who's willing to put his hands in his pocket and make a genuine bid for one of the best players in the competition, but it was never going to happen. Sam is our player, I want to do things this year and I'll do them a lot better with Sam in our team."

  65. 1355: 

    Earlier, the Question of Sport team asked: Who are the four New Zealand bowlers to have taken 200 or more Test wickets?

    Answer: Chris Cairns, Chris Martin, Daniel Vettori, Richard Hadlee

  66. 1352: 

    Ralph Brooker: "T20! Olympics? Absurd. I'd prefer to combine field and road events. How about out hop, skip & a marathon!"

    What other sports would you like to see or see removed from the Olympics list? Get involved at #bbcsportsday

  67. 1345: 

    Martin Hutchinson: "Barca to beat Milan if Milan do not score at Camp Nou, then they will probably win, if not, Bayern or Man Utd looking good"

    Tony de Lacey: "Real vs Bayern is the match to want to see. Real have the class to make anything possible, Bayern are pure perfection."

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday

  68. 1339: 

    Fast bowler Kyle Abbott, who took nine wickets on his Test debut last week, is added to South Africa's squad for the one-day international series against Pakistan.

  69. 1330: 

    The Scottish Premier League is due to deliver its verdict on Rangers at midday on Thursday.

    The SPL set up an independent commission last year to investigate allegations that Rangers failed to fully declare payments to players between 2000 and 2011.

    The three-man panel, chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith, have been looking at whether the club broke league rules.

    If found guilty, the club could face the prospect of being stripped of league titles - they won five during that period.

    For all the latest go to the BBC Scotland sport page.

  70. 1322: 

    The MCC World Cricket committee are backing the inclusion of Twenty20 cricket at the 2024 Olympic Games, believing it could lead to "a potential boost" in the profile of the sport.

    A statement said: "The committee accepts that, were cricket to be played in the Olympics, there would be a short-term loss in income for the ICC, and therefore for dispersion to its members, but is impressed with the potential boost for the game worldwide if cricket were to be included.

    "Furthermore, the committee advocates Twenty20 cricket as the format to be played at the Olympics, thereby providing the 'pinnacle' of that form of the sport."

  71. 1317: 

    Erik Cummins: "Real will have a bad game and get knocked out, Milan to win on penalties."

    Luke Gilder: "I'd love to see the Drog & Galatasaray pick up the Champo's League, however think Jose will win Madrid it as a parting gift."

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday

  72. 1310: 

    It was going well for former world number one and top seed Caroline Wozniacki at the Malyasian Open. The Dane won the first set of her first-round clash against China's Wang Qiang 6-2, but then lost the next two 7-6 (7-1) 6-1. She's out.

  73. 1304: 

    Glasgow captain Alastair Kellock is released from the Scotland camp so he can lead out his club side for this Friday's RaboDirect PRO12 meeting with Cardiff.

  74. 1256: 

    China's top player Ding Junhui defeats England's Michael Holt in a final-frame decider to reach the second round of the World Open in Haikou, China. The former UK champion made a 50 break to secure a 5-4 win.

    "Michael played well and I did well in several frames," he said.

    "It's hard to play your best during the opening match of a tournament. But I'll try my best. I'm still bothered by jet lag and I have to go to bed early in the evening."

  75. 1251: 

    QPR forward Hogan Ephraim might be set to join former team-mate Ryan Nelsen with a loan move to Major League Soccer club Toronto FC.

    "We're in hopefully the final stages of signing him to a loan agreement with Queens Park Rangers," Toronto president Kevin Payne told the league's official website.

    "We hope that will be concluded in the next day or two."

  76. 1243: 

    BBC's chief F1 writer Andrew Benson: "Interesting story [in auto motor und sport] about FIA stamping on Renault's attempts to play w engine mapping again. Could harm Red Bull/Lotus."

  77. 1237: 

    Barcelona announce that forward Lionel Messi has a fever which prevented him from attending Wednesday's scheduled training session.

  78. 1228: 

    Jonathan Poole: "Bayern unlucky not to win it last season and have only gotten stronger. Cant see past them - maybe Dortmund."

    David Kimberley: "I'm an Arsenal fan and feel Bayern look very strong this year. But I'm thinking a Real-Juventus final would be most lovely!"

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday

  79. 1220: 

    Andrew Pozzi and Conrad Williams withdraw from the Great Britain squad which is heading to Gothenburg for this weekend's European Indoor Championships.

    Hurdler Pozzi has failed to recover from a hamstring injury and will rest ahead of the outdoor season, while 4x400m relay runner Williams is also out and has been replaced by Michael Warner.

  80. 1214: 

    Third seed Tomas Berdych cruises into the third round of the Dubai Championships with a 7-5 6-1 win over Tobias Kamke.

    However, there was bad news for eighth seed Mikhail Youzhny who lost 6-4 6-4 to Daniel Brands of Germany.

  81. 1208: 

    The agent of Sunderland goalkeeper Simon Mignolet is reported to have said that his client might have to move away from the Stadium of Light to realise his interrnational ambitions.

    Guy Vandermissen told Belgian broadcaster ATV: "Our ambition is for Simon to play somewhere that he can engage in competition with Thibaut Courtois for the place in goal for Belgium.

    "Courtois is fortunate that he is playing for a team that has been doing well lately."

  82. 1159: 

    Joe McKeogh: "If United beat Madrid then they'll win the Champions League- Juventus or Bayern to win otherwise."

    Samson: "No one mentioned Malaga? surprise package, beat Milan and topped their group, I fancy them as a dark horse."

    So who do you think will win the Champions League - get involved in the debate #bbcsportsday

  83. 1153: 

    Super League club Wakefield say they have been left with a six-figure shortfall following the collapse of their main sponsors.

    The decision of Eric France Metal Recycling, who trade under JKL (Wakefield) Ltd, to enter into into a creditors' voluntary liquidation has also hit Championship club Dewsbury.

  84. 1148: 

    BBC Sport's Frank Keogh was in London to hear four-time world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan reveal he would defend his Crucible crown.

    Read his thoughts and those of legend Jimmy White on the BBC Snooker page.

  85. 1143: 

    Play is currently taking place at the WTA event in Malaysia and the ATP tournament in Dubai.

    World number 10 Caroline Wozniacki has won the first set of her match against Qiang Wang 6-2 and leads 2-1 in the second.

    Men's world number six Tomas Berdych looks set to win his match at the Dubai Championships - he leads Tobias Kamke 7-5 3-0

  86. 1136: 

    PSV Eindhoven striker Jeremain Lens has been suspended for three matches by the Dutch FA after a clash with fellow international Joris Mathijsen following a league match against Feyenoord on Sunday.

    The pair clashed during Feyenoord's 2-1 win and the row continued after the game when winger Lens grabbed Mathijsen by the shirt outside the dressing rooms.

    Lens said on Monday: "I should not have waited for him outside the dressing rooms."

  87. 1129: 

    World number one Mark Selby after his 5-0 win over Lu Haotian at the World Open: "Played well, managed to avoid a first-round banana-skin! Happy to be through and hope I can maintain that form...."

  88. 1119: 

    Christopher McArdle: "Fancy Bayern and either Dortmund or Juventus to be playing the final, all 3 are fantastic sides."

    Sam Johnson: "PSG could prove to be the real dark horse of the competition, I'd put nothing past them lifting the UCL crown."

    Fayaz Adam: "If United can overcome Madrid, then I think Fergie will tactically out-smart his opponents to go on to win."

    Get involved at #bbcsportsday

  89. 1114: 

    Arsenal's home league match against Everton, on Saturday 9 March, is rescheduled after the Toffees secured their passage into the FA Cup quarter-finals.

    A new date will be announced soon.

  90. 1106: 

    Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson says the pitch at Old Trafford has improved, having expressed concerns over the state of the playing surface earlier this month.

    "I must say, the one thing that is going to help us [in this period] is that the pitch has improved a tremendous amount," Ferguson told MUTV.

    "Against Reading it was much, much better. It was not as good as the start of the season obviously but it is getting there. With a further 10 days between the Reading and Norwich games, I expect it to be back to normal."

  91. 1101: 

    Ready for today's teaser?

    Who are the four New Zealand bowlers to have taken 200 or more Test wickets?

    We'll have the answer at 14:00 GMT or you can find the answer at @QofS_Official on Twitter.


    We have been asking who do you think will win the Champions League this year, here are some of your thoughts:

    Danny Porter: "Dont forget Barcelona are far from out yet. Expect a surprise but Bayern Munich looked solid against Arsenal."

    Jonathan Shepherd: "Dortmund will win the champions league. To get out of that group of death with such ease was very impressive!"

    Sam Peck: "I see Barcelona have been largely written off. Still the best in Europe and still in the competition. Don't count them out"

    Let us know what you think via Twitter using hashtag #bbcsportsday

  93. 1051: 

    Chelsea interim manager Rafael Benitez insists he has a "fantastic" relationship with the club's players and retains their full support.

    Reports suggested Benitez, 52, was involved in a heated exchange with members of his squad after their 2-0 defeat at Manchester City on Sunday.

    "I can guarantee the players know what we're trying to do and believe in what we're trying to do," said Benitez.

  94. 1044: 

    Former world number one Rafael Nadal beat qualifier Diego Sebastian Schwartzman 6-2 6-2 in his first round match at the ATP Tour's Acapulco event.

    Nadal, who recently returned after a seven-month injury layoff, needed just 68 minutes to beat Schwartzman in Mexico.

    The 11-time Grand Slam champion now faces Argentine qualifier Martin Alund as he hunts his 38th clay-court title.

  95. 1037: 

    From BBC Monitoring: Nigerian forward Obafemi Martins, 28, is unhappy at Levante and is willing to join America side Seattle Sounders according to El Pais. The former Newcastle and Birmingham City player was signed by the Spanish club just eight months ago.

  96. 1030: 

    Force India driver Paul Di Resta: "En route to Barcelona, last test already before Melbourne. Should get more of an idea where we are as a team. Feeling a lot of laps!"

    There are four days of testing to go before the season begins in Australia on 15 March. You can follow live text commentary of the the testing on the BBC Sport website.

  97. 1025: 

    World champion Jorge Lorenzo led the way on the second of three days of MotoGP testing at Sepang. The Yamaha rider edged out Dani Pedrosa's Honda bike as Britain's Cal Crutchlow completed the top three.


    We have been asking who do you think will win the Champions League this year, here are some of your thoughts:

    Oli Cary: "Bayern, twice finalist in 3 years, deserve and have strength to win. Juve and United to make semis, and make it interesting."

    Andy Byard: "I fancy one of the 2 German clubs to make it to the final, but i think the overall winner will come from the Utd v Real game!"

    Sam Fenning: "Real Madrid to win the Champions League. More all-round unit than Munich."

    Let us know what you think via Twitter using hashtag #bbcsportsday

  99. 1013: 

    Real Madrid captain Iker Casillas is hoping for more of the same from his side as they look to follow up last night's superb 3-1 Copa del Rey triumph over Barcelona with a Champions League success over Manchester United next week.

    Having drawn 1-1 at home with United in the first leg of their last-16 tie, and Casillas wants his side to replicate last night's performance at Old Trafford next Tuesday.

    The Spain goalkeeper said: "We have to transfer this to the match against Manchester United. It is also 1-1 and we have to score and keep a clean sheet. That's the aim that we're going with. We have to take what we have done (against Barca) to Old Trafford."

  100. 1005: 

    From BBC Monitoring: Former Germany international Torsten Frings, 36, has announced his retirement from professional football. The midfielder, who had been playing in Canada with FC Toronto, said that his recovery from hip replacement surgery was taking too long for him to continue playing.

  101. 1000: 

    Wales manager Chris Coleman says Swansea could continue to thrive even if successful boss Michael Laudrup moves at the end of the season.

    Dane Laudrup guided the Swans to their first major trophy at the weekend - a 5-0 Capital One Cup win over Bradford at Wembley.

    That has led to increased speculation over Laudrup's future. But ex-Swans defender Coleman said: "Hopefully they don't lose him, but I'm sure they'll get by."

  102. 0953: 

    From BBC Monitoring: Ferrari boss Stefano Domenicali has said that his team's car will not be the fastest on the circuit in the new season. Speaking in Barcelona, he told Tuttosport: "We do not expect to be the fastest in the first race… but the season is long and everything is possible."

  103. 0946: 

    From BBC Monitoring: French midfielder Paul Pogba, 19, has pledged his future to Juventus following speculation in the Italian press of a move to another top European club. A representative of the former Manchester United player told Football Italia: "It is hard to find another player like him around… Everyone at Juventus is helping him to grow and there are no signs that he will be saying farewell at the end of the season."

  104. 0941: 

    Jason Kenny, who won the keirin title at the World Championships in Belarus last week, insists there will always be improvements for British Cycling to strive for. He told BBC Breakfast: "It is never perfect, there is always something you can come back and learn from."

  105. 0934: 

    BBC Sport's Phil Cartwright: "Bolton Wanderers manager Dougie Freedman confirms that midfielder Mark Davies has agreed a new contract."


    We have been asking who do you think will win the Champions League this year, here are some of your thoughts:

    Barry Redknapp: "Depends on the draw. I think Bayern will beat anyone over 2 legs but they are beatable in a final, especially at Wembley"

    Jamie Freeman: "Borussia Dortmund are a very good side and could win the Champions League despite falling behind Bayern in the league."

    Jamie Mulholland: "Bayern Munich will win the Champions League. They play with such confidence and have great firepower."

    Let us know what you think via Twitter using hashtag #bbcsportsday

  107. 0927: 

    Inter Milan manager Andrea Stramaccioni has confirmed former Aston Villa and West Ham striker John Carew is having a trial with the Serie A team. He told the club's official website: "I think that with [Diego] Milito's injury the club wanted to look around to see if there's a certain type of player who might fit our purposes.

    "Obviously we're talking about free agents within a certain date, so the options are limited. Our directors have identified that type of player in Carew and now he's going to have a trial with us, then we'll decide whether to sign him or not. It's a fairly normal procedure in other countries."

  108. 0917: 

    Lotus owner Gerard Lopez has assured Romain Grosjean of his long-term future with the team as he is convinced the Frenchman has learned the error of his crash-happy ways.

    Grosjean was effectively put on probation for the final few races of last year after earning a one-race ban for instigating a first-corner pile-up in the Belgian Grand Prix.

    "Romain's a different guy," said Lopez. "He knows what he has to do. He doesn't have that pressure, stress as we have essentially told him he's a long-term future with us."

  109. 0911: 

    From BBC Monitoring: Diego Maradona says he believes that he was a better player than compatriot Lionel Messi, whom he described as "a great kid" in AS. The Argentine legend is currently in Italy for talks with the Treasury over allegations of a failure to pay more than 30m euros in tax during his time with Naples.

  110. 0905: 

    Everyone finds it difficult to sleep every now and again but Tim Bresnan is trying to do so as a machine drains scar tissue from his injured elbow. The England bowler reveals he is trying everything to recover from an elbow injury in the Daily Mail.

    "England will have an extra supporter glued to the TV in the early hours watching next week's first Test," Bresnan writes. "That's because I am virtually housebound with a machine strapped to my arm squeezing the scar tissue out of my elbow throughout the night.

    "It is not easy to sleep in that contraption, but I am not complaining. It is helping to save my career. While the England boys are in New Zealand, I have been in Rochester, Minnesota, having a second operation on the elbow injury that has affected me for more than a year."

  111. 0900: 

    Amir Khan will fight in Britain for the first time in two years after it was confirmed the light-welterweight will face Julio Diaz in April. The Bolton boxer is expected to fight the tough Mexican in Sheffield.


    We have been asking who do you think will win the Champions League this year, here are some of your thoughts:

    Rafael De Nito: "Winner of the Madrid-United tie will go on to win the title, they have way too much firepower than the rest of the field"

    Paul Green: "Reckon Bayern Munich might go all the way this year. Quality team"

    Ed Dugdale: "Real Madrid will knock United out and then march on to take the crown, there's only one 'Special One'"

    Let us know what you think using hashtag #bbcsportsday

  113. 0850: 

    Middlesbrough host Chelsea tonight in their FA Cup fifth-round clash with Manchester United waiting in the quarter-finals for the winner. Former Boro midfielder Craig Hignett told BBC Radio 5 live: "I think it is a good chance for Middlesbrough to put their league form to one side, not worry about getting three points and have a really good go tonight.

    "The league has been disappointing, they look like they are lacking in confidence in league matches and a good result against Chelsea could boost their confidence and get them back on the right track."

  114. 0842: 

    English cricket bosses are planning to step up testing for recreational drugs following the death of Tom Maynard. Batsman Ian Bell agrees, he told BBC Radio 5 live: "I would welcome testing for recreational drugs. Other sports are doing it, why not? It is important whatever is put in place; what has happened never happens again."

  115. 0837: 

    Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers admits he will have to protect forward Raheem Sterling, 18, to ensure he does not suffer burn out according to a number of today's national newspapers.

    "This is a kid we're talking about so we have to take a wee step back," said the Liverpool manager. "I dare you to look around Europe and tell me a 17-year-old who has made such an impact in one of the big leagues. There aren't many.

    "It is so mentally and physically draining this league. It hurts experienced professionals and this boy has just stepped up from the Academy and played first-team football and earned a contract off that. We have to nurture that and at times he's got to have that mentality to keep learning."

  116. 0832: 

    English cricket bosses are planning to step up testing for recreational drugs following the death of Tom Maynard. According to post-mortem examination evidence presented at an inquest, the Surrey batsman was high on cocaine and ecstasy when he was electrocuted before being hit by a train last June.


    So, with Barcelona 2-0 down in their last-16 Champions League clash with AC Milan, Real Madrid and Manchester United's tie delicately poised and teams like Shakhtar Donetsk, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Paris St-Germain and Juventus looking impressive, who do you think will win the Champions League? Let us know what you think via Twitter using hashtag #bbcsportsday

  118. 0819: 

    Paris St-Germain are interested in signing Manchester United's £40m-rated striker Wayne Rooney. The French league leaders want to improve their attacking options and have identified 27-year-old Rooney as a potential target to partner Zlatan Ibrahimovic. (The Times)

    Everton face a battle to keep hold of 25-year-old midfielder Marouane Fellaini this summer after Real Madrid, Chelsea and both Manchester clubs expressed interest in the Belgian. (Daily Mail)

    Manchester United could be set to make a move for Leicester City striker Jeffrey Schlupp after the powerful 20-year-old made a surprise appearance for Sir Alex Ferguson's reserves. (Daily Mirror)

  119. 0812: 

    Ronnie O'Sullivan may play on for several years and beat Stephen Hendry's record of seven world snooker titles, says his friend Jimmy White. Four-time champion O'Sullivan, 37, ended a break from the game announced in November to say he would return in April to defend his title.

  120. 0807: 

    Ian Bell hit an unbeaten 127 as England closed on 357-7 on the opening day of their tour match against a New Zealand XI in Queenstown.

  121. 0803: 

    Real Madrid inflicted a painful 3-1 defeat on rivals Barcelona, completing a 4-2 aggregate win in the Copa del Rey semi-final second-leg in the Nou Camp. While in England, Everton brought League One Oldham's FA Cup run to an end as the Premier League side showed their superiority to earn a last-eight tie against Wigan.

  122. 0800: 

    Hello and welcome along to another Sportsday, from the BBC Sport Centre in Salford Quays. There is much to get through this morning but we begin with a look at the top stories on the BBC website.

Share this story

Gossip logo Today's football gossip

All the latest gossip and intrigue from the football rumour mill.

The BBC Sport app

BBC Sport app

BBC Sport brings you all the breaking news on its free smartphone app for users in the UK