The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 20 March 2012


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The Independent Online

Chelsea plot move for Newcastle pair

Chelsea are planning a £30m summer move for the Newcastle United pair Cheick Tioté and goalkeeper Tim Krul.

Despite the removal of Andre Villas-Boas, Chelsea are keen to refresh their squad this summer with two young players who have helped Newcastle up to sixth place this season.

Chelsea would be willing to offer up to £20m for Tioté. The Ivory Coast midfielder is in his second season at Newcastle, and is seen as one of the league's best. He could earn a major improvement on his current wages of roughly £67,000 per week. Newcastle have watched Dutch midfielder Adam Maher as a potential replacement.

Tim Krul is in his first year as Newcastle's first-choice goalkeeper, but Chelsea believe the Dutch international would be available for £10m. MORE

Berbatov resigned to United exit

Dimitar Berbatov's agent says that the Manchester United forward will be graceful about his departure this summer: "We accept that Ferguson is [building] his next United for the next three to four years and the future of United is not related to [Berbatov]." MORE

Calls for improved heart screening

A cardiologist has called for football clubs to give young players annual heart screening, to pick up on possible chronic heart failure, as suffered by Fabrice Muamba. The Bolton player was last night said to have shown "small signs of improvement", his heart beating without medication. MORE

Tevez may return against Chelsea

Fit-again Carlos Tevez hopes to be on the bench for Manchester City's clash with Chelsea tomorrow night. The 27-year-old striker, who has not played for City since September, has lost weight and is now in better physical shape than in pre-season. He returned to training only last month. MORE

Woods faces music after book leaks

Leaked extracts from a new book on Tiger Woods have revealed his dislike for some of his rivals. The book, written by former coach Hank Haney, mentions Woods being angered when Ian Poulter "mooched a ride" on his plane, and also tells of his dislike for the "opinionated" Phil Mickelson. MORE

Broad set to sit out final warm-up

Stuart Broad is unlikely to be risked in England's final practice match against a Development XI in Sri Lanka as the bowler contends with a minor ankle injury. The 25-year-old stepped on a boundary rope during a match last week and may be rested ahead of next week's first Test. MORE

Amir: I was tricked into no-ball scam

Pakistan bowler Mohammad Amir has claimed he was tricked into bowling no-balls during a 2010 Test match in England, while also admitting that he panicked under a police investigation and initially refused to admit his guilt. "I was so stupid," the 19-year-old said. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

It is understandable that Bolton Wanderers might not want to return to Tottenham, but it would be wrong for them to withdraw from the FA Cup. Sometimes football has to be played in the worst of times. MORE