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The Sport Matrix: Thursday 18 July 2013


Chelsea and United remain divided over Rooney future

The future of Wayne Rooney continued to domimate pre-season prepartions at two of the Premier League's leading clubs yesterday, with the Manchester United forward confirmed as the target of a bid from Chelsea.

Manager Jose Mourinho admitted the London club had made a move for the England international, above, their priority this summer, indicating he was Chelsea's only transfer target. "Chelsea is interested in the player," Mourinho said. "Chelsea made an official bid. What we did we did do officially. You have to respect Man United and you have to be ethical in this process. We made a bid and now it's up to Man United."

Chelsea issued a statement denying that David Luiz or Juan Mata were offered as part of any deal, while claiming that United had briefed press in Sydney over the deal - bemusing the Premier League champions.

The Manchester United chief executive, Ed Woodward, departed Sydney, where the club are playing a friendly this weekend, to attend to transfer matters, with a move for Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fabregas also on the club's agenda. MORE

Froome racks up another stage win

A fine performance in yesterday's time trial gave the Tour de France leader Chris Froome his third stage win in little over a week, the Briton passing another key test with just four days' racing left. Froome finished nine seconds ahead of nearest rival Alberto Contador. MORE

McIlroy hits back at Faldo claims

Rory McIlroy last night rejected Sir Nick Faldo's advice that the Northern Irishman should "concentrate on the golf". "I know he wasn't trying to get on my case," McIlroy insisted ahead of today's start of the Open. "But he has to remember how hard this game can be at times." MORE

Broad can handle pressure, says Cook

England captain Alastair Cook backs Stuart Broad to handle any aggression in the second Ashes Test after his refusal to walk in the first. "He has always been very combative," Cook said. "That is one of his great strengths. He is a fine cricketer and can deal with anything." MORE

Powell: We have a mountain to climb

Hope Powell admits her England side have a "mountain to climb" when they take on favourites France tonight seeking the win that might take them into the Euro 2013 quarter-finals. "We know it is a mountain," she said ahead of the match in Linköping. "We are in a fight now."

Riders set for double climb

Today's 18th stage of the Tour de France forces riders to tackle the infamous mountain climb of Alpe d'Huez. Twice. "TV viewers will see both the 'crazy' side of the Alpe, and the other side," Tour director Christian Prudhomme said. MORE

Rose eager to add another major

Justin Rose's victory at last month's US Open has given him more confidence heading into Murifield. "The Open as a Brit is the one you look forward to," he said. "Coming here off the back of my first major makes it even more special and exciting." MORE

Arthur could not cope with factions

There were factions within the Australia team and Mickey Arthur could not cope with that. He did not manage the system in a way which could get the best out of his players. It saddens me that he has felt the need to say these things. MORE

Lees and Jaques on century duty

Alex Lees was in fine form as Yorkshire piled on the runs against Derbyshire, putting on 311 for the second wicket with Phil Jaques as both made centuries. Lees was on 171 not out at stumps as Yorkshire ended proceedings on 367 for 2. MORE

Telescope zooms in on return

The one-time Derby hope Telescope makes his comeback in a minor contest at Leicester today, with his syndicate of owners hoping he could yet become a proper St Leger contender in the autumn.

James Lawton

Rory McIlroy was distinctly underwhelmed when Nick Faldo and double major winner Tony Jacklin issued their work plans. It was Faldo, left, though, who went most deeply under McIlroy's skin. MORE