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The Sport Matrix: Monday 12 August 2013


United ready to move for Bale after Shield procession

Manchester United may offer competition to Real Madrid in the pursuit of Gareth Bale, with Tottenham Hotspur seemingly more receptive to the English champions, having become deeply frustrated by negotiations with the Spanish side.

United have not made a firm offer for Bale, above, but their failure to land a big-money signing this summer may persuade them to make a huge investment. The odds are stacked against a deal coming to fruition. They have been reluctant about the prospect of being strung along by Spurs chairman Daniel Levy, a frustrating sparring partner in past transfers.

United, who laboured to a 2-0 victory over Wigan in yesterday’s Community Shield, are also expected to bid for Everton pair Leighton Baines and Marouane Fellaini this week. “We’re moving forward,” Moyes said. “Every day you get closer – and so does the deadline – but if we have to I am happy to go with what we have. We have a lot of good, young English players.” pages 48-49

Sluggish Bolt puts on after-burners

Usain Bolt recovered from his usual slow start to regain the 100m title at the World Championship in Moscow last night. The Jamaican, disqualified in Daegu two years ago, put in a season’s best of 9.77sec to win his sixth Worlds gold. Britain’s James Dasaolu came eighth. pages 52-53

Brilliant Bell gives England advantage

A third century of the series from Ian Bell helped England into the boxseat on a keenly-contested third day of the fourth Test in Durham. Bell hit an unbeaten 105 as England ended on 234 for 5 - a healthy lead of 202, having earlier bowled out Australia for 270. pageS 50-51

Murray magic runs out in doubles final

Andy Murray and Colin Fleming failed in their bid to become the first British duo to win a  Masters Series doubles title, going down 6-4 7-6 to Alexander Peya and Bruno Soares in the final in Montreal. Murray now turns his attention to the upcoming Cincinnati Open. page 47

Sky Blues edge nine-goal thriller

Coventry City began life at their adopted new home with a remarkable 5-4 victory over Bristol City. Steven Pressley’s side let a three-goal lead slip before taking the win late on. In the Championship, Leicester and Leeds played out a goalless draw at the King Power Stadium.

Farah cautious over gold double

Mo Farah is remaining cautious as he bids to add the 5,000m title to his 10,000m gold at the World Championships. “It would be great,” he said. “It just depends on how the race is run. It’s not a case of me saying I’m going to go there and do it.” page 53

Elliott shows way for Australia

Australia enjoyed the better of the opening day of the Ashes Test at Wormsley, the tourists ending on 243 for three after winning the toss. Sarah Elliott remained unbeaten on 95, while Jessica Cameron also scored a half-century. page 51

Second-half surge claims derby spoils

A strong second-half helped Hull FC claim the derby spoils with a 38-20 win at Hull KR. Kirk  Yeaman, Jamie Shaul, Joe  Arundel, Richard Whiting and Tom Brisco went over after the break as Hull FC moved seventh in Super League. page 45

Wiggins saddled by extra weight

Sir Bradley Wiggins admits he may find it hard adjusting to his bulkier size at the World Championships next month. “I’m going to be 7 or 8kg heavier than when I won the Tour,” he said. “I’ll notice it. You’re carrying extra weight. It’s hard.” page 45

Opinion: Sam Wallace

It is not the fault of Roy Hodgson that his time in charge has coincided with the retirement or career twilight of a good generation of players – or that the next generation is not of the same quality. page 49