The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 17 May 2011

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The Independent Online

Arsenal set sights on £6m man Parker

West HamUnited midfielder Scott Parker is a target for Arsène Wenger this summer, with the Arsenal manager prepared to break his rule about not signing older players on long-term deals. Parker will be sold this summer for a fee of roughly £6m. MORE

Djokovic puts form down to Davis Cup

Novak Djokovic believes that his remarkable run of form, which has seen him win seven tournaments in a row, is thanks to the Davis Cup. “The Davis Cup was the start of this great run,” he said, “it was the best three days in my life as a tennis player.” MORE

Tuilagi in line for three-month ban

Manu Tuilagi, Leicester’s 19-year-old back, is likely to be banned for close to three months for punching Chris Ashton on Saturday. Tuilagi, the youngest of six professional rugby-playing siblings, is eligible for England. MORE

Swansea set for Wembley after win

Swansea reached the play-off final at Wembley last night with a 3-1 second-leg win over Nottingham Forest. Leon Britton and Stephen Dobbie put the Swans ahead early, and while Robbie Earnshaw gave Forest hope, Darren Pratley’s long-range strike won it. MORE

Sri Lanka get the better of Middlesex

Sri Lanka beat Middlesex by four wickets at Uxbridge yesterday, confounding the scepticism over their bowling attack. The tourists bowled the hosts out for 161 – with mystery spinner Ajantha Mendis taking 3 for 28 – before successfully chasing 216 for the win. MORE

Richards urges City to push on for third

Micah Richards has reminded his Manchester City team-mates of the importance of beating Stoke tonight. “Getting third place is still important,” he said, “because there’s the chance we could get the likes of Bayern Munich in the qualifiers if we finish fourth.” MORE

‘Budapest Bullet’ set for UK debut

Overdose, fondly known as the Budapest Bullet, is scheduled to run at Haydock on Saturday. The six-year-old Hungarian horse is favourite for the Temple Stakes, the best sprint of the domestic season so far, which will be his first outing in Britain. MORE

City ‘now say no to £40m players’

Mike Rigg, Manchester City technical director, reveals to i how he has to tell agents that the club will not bend to their prices for players. “We are trying to make them see that the answer to that has to be ‘No’ now,” he said. “We do our own work now.” MORE

France favoured to win Ryder Cup bid

France are favourites to be named as hosts of the 2018 Ryder Cup today, as the selection committee is set to resist the emotional pull of the death of Seve Ballesteros. The five-times major champion, who died last week, was the patron of the Madrid bid. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Where was David Sullivan’s daring when Avram Grant was left to struggle on as West Ham manager? He offered only platitudes while West Bromwich replaced their coach and fashioned Premier League survival. MORE

West Ham target Lambert as coach

West Ham want Paul Lambert as their new manager after sacking Avram Grant. Lambert has led Norwich City to consecutive promotions, from League One to the Premier League, and he is the preferred option of West Ham co-owners David Gold and David Sullivan. It would be a struggle to tempt him away from Premier League football at Carrow Road but Gold and Sullivan believe he can be persuaded. Last night former England manager Steve McClaren ruled himself out of the running for the job, saying that he was flattered to be linked but that he did not wish to be considered. The former Wolfsburg coach is understood to prefer a move to the Premier League. West Ham may have to broaden their search to include Brighton manager Gus Poyet, QPR manager Neil Warnock, or former Newcastle coach Chris Hughton. MORE

Redknapp in hunt for new striker

Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is looking for “one or two players” in the summer as his squad try to finish in the top four again. He said that a centre-forward was his priority and that he would “go abroad two or three times a week” to scout. MORE

England 2018 chief joins BOA’s board

Andy Anson, the former chief executive of England’s failed bid for the 2018 football World Cup, has been announced as one of two new independent directors of the British Olympic Association. Anson joins the 16-strong board on a voluntary basis. MORE