The Sport Matrix: Friday 30 May 2014


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The Independent Online

Lambert on brink of sealing £4m move to Liverpool

Liverpool are close to signing the England striker Rickie Lambert for a fee of £4m plus add-ons, with the striker understood to be desperate to join his hometown team, who rejected him as a 15-year-old. Lambert is expected on Merseyside for a medical tomorrow, a mere 48 hours after the Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers’ desire to sign the 32-year-old led the Anfield club to open talks with Southampton.

Lambert would not be first choice if Luis Suarez is still around to lead the line with Daniel Sturridge as the club return to the Champions League. But his signing would provide an alternative way for Rodgers’ side to break down teams next season and the forward is ready to back his ability to flourish.

Rodgers is understood to feel that the presence of a big target man would be a strong addition to his side, whose failure to break down Chelsea at the death last season contributed significantly to them losing the Premier League title to Manchester City.

Murray bites his tongue to progress

Andy Murray eased into the third round of the French Open with a 6-3, 6-1, 6-3 win over Marinko Matosevic, who regularly swore in frustration. Murray controlled his language but sympathised with the Australian, saying: “That’s still something I’m working on.” MORE

Groves: ‘left hook’ will down Froch

George Groves has predicted how he will win his rematch with Carl Froch at Wembley tomorrow. Groves said of Froch, who is defending his WBA and IBF world super-middleweight titles: “It’ll be the left hook that finishes Carl on Saturday.” MORE

Wardle double puts Giants on top

Joe Wardle scored twice as Huddersfield Giants recovered from a 12-0 deficit to overpower injury-hit Wigan Warriors 31-22. Aaron Murphy, Shaun Lunt and Jermaine McGillvary also scored for Huddersfield. MORE

Defeated Watson eyes Wimbledon

Heather Watson crashed out of the French Open after losing to the world No 4 Simona Halep 6-2 6-4 in the second round, but immediately set her sights on excelling at Wimbledon. Watson said: “I want to go far and I want to make the second week [at Wimbledon].” MORE

‘Fantastic’ Jordan in line for Test spot

Chris Jordan is the primary candidate for the third fast bowler’s place in England’s side for the first Test against Sri Lanka. He took 5 for 29 to destroy Sri Lanka in the third ODI and fast-bowling coach David Saker said: “He’s just been fantastic.” MORE

Trump’s pal Arif could buy Villa

A controversial Kazakh property mogul has emerged as the “front-runner” to buy Aston Villa, who were put up for sale by owner Randy Lerner. Tevfik Arif is founder of New Yorkbased property firm Bayrock Group and an associate of Donald Trump. MORE

UCI to investigate Froome’s test claim

The world governing body, UCI, said it will investigate Chris Froome’s claim he has not been drug-tested during a fortnight at a Tour de France training camp in Tenerife. He said Alberto Contador and Vincenzo Nibali had also not been tested. MORE

Lewis Moody

I am backing Northampton to win the Premiership final. Jim Mallinder’s side are buoyant after winning the Amlin Cup while opponents Saracens are licking their wounds from their defeat to Toulon. MORE

Gerrard dismisses Rooney criticism

Steven Gerrard brushed off Paul Scholes’ criticism of Wayne Rooney, insisting the striker will head to the World Cup in better shape than in South Africa four years ago. Gerrard said ahead of tonight’s friendly against Peru: “I think Wayne Rooney has been in terrific form.” MORE

Touré blames the media for PSG link

Manchester City’s Yaya Touré claims his recent comments about a move to Paris Saint-Germain were taken “out of context”. But he did not rule out leaving the Etihad this summer, stating only: “For the moment, there’s nothing planned.” MORE