The Sports Matrix: Thursday 5 July 2012


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The Independent Online

City lead chase for the departing Van Persie

Manchester City and Juventus lead the chase for Robin van Persie after the Arsenal striker admitted he would not be signing a contract extension to stay at the Emirates Stadium.

Juventus have already had an £8m offer for the 28-year-old turned down while City's manager Roberto Mancini has repeatedly expressed his desire to sign the forward.

City are believed to be prepared to pay around £20m for the Dutch forward, but may have to offload at least two of their forwards to hasten a deal.

The outburst from Van Persie, delivered on his own website, criticised the Arsenal manager, Arsène Wenger, the chief executive, Ivan Gazidis, and the direction Arsenal, who have not won a trophy since 2005, are taking. "I personally have had a great season but my goal has been to win trophies with the team and to bring the club back to its glory days," he said. MORE

Murray battles to reach semi-final

Andy Murray reached his fourth successive semi-final at Wimbledon after beating David Ferrer in four tough sets yesterday He will face France's Jo-Wilfried Tsonga tomorrow as he aims to become the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final since Bunny Austin in 1938. MORE

Greats set for first match on grass

Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic will meet for the first time on grass in the semi-final tomorrow, after they both won their quarters in straight sets yesterday. "I am looking forward to it," Djokovic said. "It's always a pleasure playing him. He is a great champion." MORE

Serena holds all the aces

"Serena Williams has the advantage over today's opponent Victoria Azarenka in her service. Her serving against Petra Kvitova was awesome. No woman could have answered that. She was hitting up to 120mph!" MORE

Rain costs England ODI top spot

England were deprived last night of the opportunity to become the world's top-ranked one-day side when their match against Australia in Birmingham was called off because of rain. They had to win all five games of the series to go top. MORE

Pile-up leaves Cavendish dazed

A late crash in yesterday's fourth stage into Rouen saw Mark Cavendish cross the line well behind the main pack, as the German Andre Greipel was victorious. Cavendish will fancy his chances in today's relatively flat stage between Rouen and San Quentin. MORE

SPL rejects Rangers ahead of next vote

The Scottish Premier League voted yesterday to reject the Rangers Newco's application to play in the SPL next season. The Scottish Football League will vote on 12 July to choose whether Rangers play in the First or Third Division. MORE

Chelsea frustrated by Mata Spain role

Roberto Di Matteo said it was "not ideal" that he could lose Juan Mata for the start of Chelsea's season because he will be playing in the Olympics. He was "optimistic" that Danny Sturridge would play, despite suffering from meningitis.

Radcliffe enlists 'Healing Hans' help

Paula Radcliffe flew to Munich yesterday afternoon to see whether Hans-Wilhelm Müller-Wohlfahrt, the celebrated sports doctor known as "Healing Hans" could help ease a foot problem that is threatening her marathon participation. MORE

Feature: Olympics

UK Sport has predicted Great Britain's 550-strong team could gather as many as 70 medals, with fourth in the table a stated aim. Sir Chris Hoy spearheads cycling's medal challenge. MORE