The Sports Matrix: Wednesday 20 July 2011

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Guardiola reveals Fabregas talks

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola has revealed that Arsenal have “agreed to negotiate” over Cesc Fabregas’s transfer to Spain. Barça are preparing their third bid, of £35m, and Guardiola hopes that an agreement will be reached by 31 August. MORE

Parks hits peaks in name of charity

The former Wales international Richard Parks has told i of his pride after scaling the highest summit of each of the world’s continents to raise £1m for charity. “I’m incredibly proud,” he said. “I was privileged and humbled to experience [these] highs.” MORE

Contador shows strength in the Alps

A strong showing from last year’s winner Alberto Contador moved the Spaniard into sixth place and back into contention for a fourth title. The 28-year-old was impressive in the rain on the Tour’s first incursion into the Alps. MORE

Terry: Villas-Boas choice ‘not a risk’

John Terry believes that Andre Villas-Boas’s appointment as Chelsea manager is “not brave”, given his previous work there. “They knew him in the first place,” said the Chelsea captain. “The club already had an insight into what he could achieve.” MORE

Idowu boost after Tamgho injury

Phillips Idowu’s chances of successfully defending his triple jump crown at next month’s World Championships in South Korea have been boosted by one of his main rivals, Frenchman Teddy Tamgho, being ruled out with a fractured ankle joint. MORE

Given excited over move to Villa Park

Shay Given can’t wait to play more first-team football at Aston Villa than at Manchester City. “It was frustrating [at City],” he said yesterday “but I think it’s about moving on for me now and hopefully about creating something special at Aston Villa.” MORE

Gröbler keeps faith in out-of-form pair

Great Britain coach Jürgen Gröbler has opted to keep Pete Reed and Andy Triggs-Hodge in the men’s pair for next month’s World Championships in Slovenia, despite the duo losing their 13th consecutive race at the Lucerne World Cup this month. MORE

Moores demands more hard work

Lancashire coach Peter Moores is taking nothing for granted despite going into today’s Roses match in good Championship form. “It’s still tight,” he said. “It’s going to be about how well you play in the next two months. We’ve got to knuckle down.” MORE

Clarke: Bring the Open to Portrush

Open champion Darren Clarke has thrown his weight behind calls for his home club, Northern Ireland’s Royal Portrush, to host the event. “This course is fit to host any tournament,” he said. “It would be great to get a major championship.” MORE

Opinion: James Lawton

The fact that Barcelona treat Arsenal’s Cesc Fabregas as an optional extra in the transfer market shows their strength, and damages any idea that the failures of the English teams last season can be quickly repaired. MORE

Swann: England will be on song if given perfect pitch

Graeme Swann has backed up his belief that England have the world’s best bowling attack – if the conditions are right – with a demand that the right sort of pitches are prepared for the Test series against India. Swann is confident of England’s ability to take 20 wickets against India’s famed batting line-up, if the pitches are green. “I always believe that home advantage should be exactly that,” said the world’s No 2-rated Test match bowler. “I think we should tailor pitches to suit our seam attack because on our pitches it’s the best bowling attack in the world. Whether we actually get those here, we’ll see.” The English attack (and India’s bowlers, too) will have to do without Hawk-Eye, however, due to India’s long-standing opposition to the technology. While there will be no reviews of LBW decisions, other technologies will stay. MORE

Tendulkar is the greatest – Fraser

Angus Fraser, who conceded the runs that gave Sachin Tendulkar his first international century, writes in i why he feels India’s ‘Little Master’ is the greatest player, who has played and thrived under the greatest pressure, in the modern era. MORE

Hannon: ‘Hell of a race’ at Goodwood

Richard Hannon is looking forward to next week’s Glorious Goodwood showdown between Canford Cliffs and his great rival, Henry Cecil’s, Frankel. “It’s going to be a hell of a race,” the 66-year-old enthused. “But one of them has to get beat.” MORE