The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 29 January 2013


Redknapp rattled by transfer 'war'

QPR manager Harry Redknapp says this January transfer window is "like gang warfare" with footballers' agents trying to scupper deals. "I have never seen anything like it," said the 65-year-old. "Every agent seems to be trying to screw one another – it's scary." MORE

Murray looks for spring recovery

Andy Murray returned to training soon after his Australian Open final defeat by Novak Djokovic to set his sights on performing well over what is usually a tough spring period for the British No 1. He has his sights on chasing down Djokovic at the top of the world rankings. MORE

Drogba leaves China for Turkey

Galatasaray have agreed to sign former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba from Shanghai Shenhua on an 18-month deal. The Ivorian, currently playing at the African Cup of Nations joined the Chinese side in June.

We want quick fix, says busy Pardew

Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew insists his new-look side must perform immediately as they prepare to face Aston Villa tonight. "The most important thing is that we get performances and we hit the ground running" he said. MORE

Usmanov: 'Arsenal sales are a concern'

Arsenal shareholder Alisher Usmanov is concerned that the team is turning into a feeder club by selling players in their prime. The Russian also revealed former former striker Thierry Henry had urged him to buy the club outright.

Tuilagi misses out on England opener

Centre Manu Tuilagi is out of England's opening Six Nations match against Scotland on Saturday because of an ankle injury.

Head coach Stuart Lancaster said he was confident Tuilagi would be in full training nextweek. MORE

Giles sees defeat as a learning curve

Limited-overs coach Ashley Giles believes England's one-day series in India was not a disaster, despite losing the five-match tour 3-2. "We've seen a lot of different guys and learnt a lot of different things even in games we've lost," Giles said. MORE

Lancaster joins in coaches' think tank

England head rugby coach Stuart Lancaster and British cycling's Dave Brailsford have set up a talking shop of top coaches from across different sports, including Chelsea director Mike Forde, former Liverpool director Damien Comolli and McLaren's Geoff McGrath. MORE

Balotelli edging closer to Milan

Milan were last night pushing hard to secure the services of Mario Balotelli from Manchester City within the next 48 hours, with the player's agent, who is now in England, significantly less emphatic about the prospects of him staying.

Balotelli travelled to London yesterday and, contrary to rumours of the opposite, he was with the squad last night preparing to face Queen's Park Rangers in the Premier League tonight. But it appears that Balotelli, above, may fly straight out of London to Milan, to talk to the Serie A club after the match at Loftus Road. Though there has been no Milan bid, communication between the two clubs has taken place and a figure of £17m – £7m less than City paid Internazionale for the player in August 2010 – is believed to have been floated. City are pressing for at least £20m.

Balotelli's agent, Mino Raiola, did not rule out the prospect of a move taking place within the next 48 hours, last night: "Until now (the position) has not changed. He is not going there (to Milan)."

Raiola declined to discuss the issue further and referred the inquiry to City, though he has categorically ruled out a move for the 22-year-old in the past.

Villa owner gives Lambert backing

Aston Villa owner Randy Lerner has given his support to the club's under-pressure manager Paul Lambert in a statement issued yesterday. The American has not spoken publicly about the club since May 2010, but has now replied to the club's disappointing recent form. MORE

Opinion: Neil Warnock

To beat a strong Tottenham side everyone had to do a bit more and they did. I did not have a man of the match, everyone was a nine out of 10 for me as they had all done their jobs. MORE