The Sports Matrix: Friday 10 June 2011

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The Independent Online

United in talks with Arsenal’s £8m Nasri

Manchester United yesterday began exploratory negotiations with Arsenal midfielder Samir Nasri’s representatives. Nasri has only has one year remaining on his contract with the Gunners. The talks were only conducted among intermediaries from both sides and did not include the Frenchman’s agent, Jean-Pierre Bernes. United’s willingness to open talks with the 23-year-old suggests they may be ready to capitalise on the fact Arsenal have not tied Nasri to a new contract, possibly obtaining the France international for as little as £8m. Should Nasri leave, it is understood he would like to stay in England, and Chelsea have indicated they are not interested. Nasri could join Ashley Young at Old Trafford next season, with a £17m deal for Aston Villa’s forward all but completed last night. MORE

Bolt sets year’s fastest 200m time

Usain Bolt last night ran 19.86sec, the world’s fastest time this year, in the 200m to win at the Diamond League meeting in Oslo. It was the sprinter’s first race over the distance in 13 months. “Apart from the weather, it was all good,” the Jamaican said. MORE

Pearce: I’d snap up Jordan and Jones

England Under-21 coach Stuart Pearce has claimed the transfer market is “distorted”, but said Jordan Henderson and Phil Jones, who have cost a combined £37m in transfer fees, are talented players. “I would buy those two at the drop of a hat,” he said. MORE

Martinez set to stay with Wigan

Roberto Martinez appeared last night to have decided against a move to Aston Villa, opting to stay asWigan manager for another season. The 37-year-old saved the club from relegation on the final day of last season.Villa may now turn to Owen Coyle. MORE

I was stupid but not angry, claims Prior

Matt Prior has admitted he felt “stupid” following the incident in which a dressing-room window at Lord’s was smashed on Tuesday. “I felt stupid more than anything else,” he said. “There wasn’t any malice or anger in it at all... it was a complete freak accident.”

Doctor told Touré pills were safe

Manchester City defender Kolo Touré, who is banned until September after taking dietary aids, told the Football Association that his club’s doctor had assured him that the pills which have led to his six-month ban were “OK” to take. MORE

Mustard too hot for Northants

In the t20 last night, Durham beat Northamptonshire by nine wickets. Northants finished their innings 124 for 9, but Phil Mustard hit an unbeaten 61 to steer Durham to victory. Elsewhere, Yorkshire defeated Worcestershire by two runs at Headingley.

Ian Bell: the next England captain?

It is not only Ian Bell’s stature as a batsman that has altered. The view of him as tactically aware has also gained in popularity. MORE

Murray stands up to Queen’s test

Andy Murray’s injured ankle came through another test yesterday, as he defeated Janko Tipsarevic in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals at Queen’s. “I fell down a couple of times,” the world No 4 said. “But luckily the ankle’s fine.” MORE

Wiggins retains Dauphiné lead

Bradley Wiggins remains in the the leader’s jersey as German John Degenkolb won yesterday’s fourth stage of the Dauphiné Libéré. Wiggins’ Team Sky colleague Edvald Boasson Hagen was second in a mass sprint at the end of the 108-mile trek. MORE