The Sports Matrix: Friday 11 January 2013


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The Independent Online

Football: Arsenal interested in Rémy tonic

Arsenal have joined the race to sign Loïc Rémy from Marseilles in a deal that could cost them £10m. Arsène Wenger has identified the 26-year-old striker, right, as the forward his side needs to add quality and goals to their attempt to catch Tottenham and Chelsea in the race for a top four Premier League finish.

Sources in France last night insisted the move from Arsenal could be the one to land the 26-year-old France international.

Rémy, who has spoken of his admiration for Thierry Henry and Arsenal, has already drawn interest from QPR, Newcastle and Schalke 04 during the transfer window.

Harry Redknapp flew to France at the weekend but even armed with a deal worth potentially £4m-a-year, could not convince the striker on moving to the league's basement club.

Rémy has not ruled out the possibility of staying with Marseilles for the rest of the season but the interest from Arsenal is sure to have turned his head. He joined Marseilles for £14m in 2010 from Nice. Wenger is also keen on Anderlecht holding midfielder Lucas Biglia.

Olympics: London success inspires Tokyo bid

Tokyo governor Naoki Inose says his city's bid to stage the 2020 Games has been boosted by the success of London 2012. "I saw how London inspired people all over the world," Inose said, suggesting public backing for the bid had grown since. MORE

Football: Coloccini wants to leave Newcastle

Newcastle United have been rocked by the request of their captain, Fabricio Coloccini, to leave the struggling club during the January transfer window. The 30-year-old defender told club officials yesterday that he wants to return home to Argentina. MORE

Football: Arsenal enter race for Zaha signature

Manchester United are leading a two-horse race with Arsenal to sign Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha. United have opened discussions with Palace but face competition from Arsenal, with the club's chief scout Steve Rowley attending several of the 20-year-old's games. MORE

Football: City hope to sell Balotelli to Milan

Manchester City believe that Milan could come in with a £24m bid for Mario Balotelli this month – despite their owner Silvio Berlusconi labelling the player a "rotten apple" – and City would welcome the opportunity to offload the controversial striker. MORE

Football: 'Toxic' atmosphere engulfing Chelsea

Chelsea fans groups warned of a "toxic" atmosphere at Stamford Bridge after Wednesday's 2-0 Capital One Cup semi-final first leg loss to Swansea. Fans booed chairman Bruce Buck and showed discontentment with Fernando Torres. MORE

Football: De Guzman backs Michu for award

Jonathan de Guzman, who assisted Michu's goal in Swansea's 2-0 Capital One Cup semi-final win at Chelsea, backed the Spaniard to win the PFA's Player of the Year award. He said: "Michu should be in the reckoning for the top awards." MORE

Cricket: Cook: England must prove status

Alastair Cook, the England captain, has called on his team to prove their ranking as the world's No 1 one-day side in the series in India, which begins this morning. "If we won it would convince me," he said. "It would prove we are No 1." MORE

Rugby Union: Saints seek win to keep Cup run alive

Northampton rugby director Jim Mallinder hopes the club defeats Castres tonight as they hope to reach the Heineken Cup quarter-finals. Mallinder said: "We need to win to keep our destiny in our own hands." MORE

Australian Open: Murray 'in best position' for Slam

Andy Murray feels ready for the Australian Open after training with coach Ivan Lendl in Florida. The Scot, fresh from winning the Brisbane International, said: "I've put myself in the best position I can to win a match and have left no stone unturned with preparation." MORE

Feature: Gallacher on golf

Bernard Gallacher says the demands on Ryder Cup captains make it hard to combine with playing. "There is a commercial side to it these days," he said. "There is just too much going on." MORE