The Sports Matrix: Tuesday 29 May 2012


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The Independent Online

Hazard announces his decision to sign for Chelsea

The Lille forward Eden Hazard last night claimed that he would sign for Chelsea. The 21-year-old Belgium international had been considering offers from both Manchester clubs as well as Chelsea, but only announced his intention yesterday evening, ending weeks of speculation.

There was no official confirmation from Chelsea last night that they had agreed with Lille a fee that is expected to be near £40m.

"I'm signing for the champions league winner," Hazard wrote on Twitter. Earlier in the day he had stoked the story by writing, "I made up my mind. see you later."

If the move is completed, Hazard will be the second highly-rated young player to join Chelsea this summer; owner Roman Abramovich has already bought Marko Marin from Werder Bremen for around £7m. There is likely to be another forward signed to replace Didier Drogba – Radamel Falcao, Edinson Cavani and Hulk are under consideration.

Chelsea's goalkeeper, Petr Cech, signed a four-year deal yesterday and the striker Fernando Torres said he would stay. MORE

England cruise to series victory

England took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the Test series against West Indies yesterday. England won by nine wickets, chasing 108, losing just Andrew Strauss for 45. Earlier they bowled the visitors out for 165, man-of-the-match Tim Bresnan taking four for 37. MORE

Strauss calls for side to win 3-0

England captain Andrew Strauss wants to complete a clean sweep of the West Indies in next week's third Test at Edgbaston. "I don't think we're looking at South Africa [yet]. We have built up some early momentum. Why wouldn't we want to make it 3-0?" MORE

No Liverpool move for Rodgers yet

Liverpool have yet to make an official approach to Swansea City for the manager Brendan Rodgers, who came back from the US yesterday without making contact with Liverpool's owners. Swansea, meanwhile, signed Gylfi Sigurdsson for £6.8m. MORE

New match-fixing case hits Italy

Former Fifa head of security Chris Eaton has warned about the new match-fixing case in Italy, saying it is "the most important investigation into football match-fixing in the world today". Italy's Domenico Criscito pulled out of Euro 2012 after being questioned. MORE

Cook turns to BOA over exclusion

Aaron Cook has appealed to the British Olympic Association after being left out of the Olympic team, despite being European taekwondo champion. Cook believes it is because he withdrew from British Taekwondo's training programme. The BOA will meet today. MORE

Federer starts with victory in Paris

Roger Federer beat Tobias Kamke 6-2, 7-5, 6-3 in the first round yesterday. "Sometimes you have to come through when you're not playing your very best," he said. Federer is one win away from beating Jimmy Connors' record of 233 Grand Slam wins. MORE

FA change youth football system

The Football Association council agreed to the Youth Development Review yesterday, changing how young players will learn the game. Under-8s will play 5 v 5, under-10s will play 7 v 7 and under-12s 9 v 9; league tables will be banned until under-12s level. MORE

Barry replaced by Jagielka in squad

Gareth Barry yesterday pulled out of the England squad after tearing a stomach muscle. He will be replaced by the Everton defender Phil Jagielka, as Phil Jones is capable of playing in midfield. Roy Hodgson will submit his 23-man squad to Uefa today. MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

Few captains have ever re-exerted themselves as impressively as Andrew Strauss has just done. Pressure was building after the winter, but he went back to the basics of his own game, and scored two centuries. MORE