Daily Digest: Liverpool nearing deal with Lyon's Nabil Fekir to bolster midfield

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Hey guys, Jay Asser here giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on this morning in the world of sport.

TOP STORY 

0604 Nabil Fekir

Liverpool are on the verge of adding midfielder Nabil Fekir, according to reports.

After bringing Fabinho into the fold last week, Liverpool are nearing a deal for the Frenchman, who is reportedly valued at €60million by Lyon.

With the French national team set to fly out to Russia on Saturday, Liverpool and Lyon are eager to get the deal wrapped up before the start of the World Cup.

If the deal goes through, Jurgen Klopp‘s midfield would suddenly be looking much stronger, with Naby Keita also set to join from RB Leipzig after signing last summer.

Read more on Liverpool’s pursuit of Fekir here.

FOOTBALL

England had a promising performance in their final dress rehearsal before the World Cup with a 2-0 win over Costa Rica on Thursday night. Marcus Rashford delivered a beautiful first goal before Danny Welbeck came off the bench to head in the second. Read more on the Three Lions’ victory here.

Elsewhere, new Manchester United addition Fred suffered an ankle injury in Brazil’s training session. The 25-year-old tried to carry on after the knock before receiving treatment on the sidelines.

CRICKET

Mithali Raj became the first Indian cricketer to score 2,000 runs in T20 internationals, beating Virat Kohli to the milestone. The star of India’s women’s team achieved the feat in a seven-wicket win over Sri Lanka on Thursday, producing 23 runs on 33 balls.

Meanwhile, phenom Rashid Khan helped Afghanistan hold on for a one-run victory against Bangladesh to complete a 3-0 series whitewash. The 19-year-old was given the ball in the final over and kept Bangladesh from scoring the nine runs required for the win.

US SPORTS

The Washington Capitals hoisted the Stanley Cup after taking down the Vegas Golden Knights 4-3 in Game 5 to win the championship series 4-1. Alex Ovechkin took home playoff MVP honours and added an ever-elusive title to his impressive resume.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

Duo

With the Golden State Warriors on the cusp of clinching their third title in four years, our man Jay Asser examined the race for Finals MVP between Kevin Durant and Stephen Curry. Both have excelled and had their moment in the Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers, which means Game 4 could determine who earns the award if the series ends in a sweep.

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WHAT’S ON TODAY

French Open: Marco Cecchinato v Dominic Thiem, semi-final, 15:00

Rafael Nadal v Juan Martin del Potro, semi-final, 17:30

Football international friendlies: Germany v Saudi Arabia, 21:30

NBA Finals: Cleveland Cavaliers v Golden State Warriors, Game 4 (0-3), 05:00 +1

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Robert Pires keen to join Unai Emery's backroom team at Arsenal

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A return to Arsenal? Robert Pires

Former Arsenal midfielder Robert Pires believes he would be a good fit in new boss Unai Emery’s backroom team.

Pires, 44, spent six years with the Gunners before leaving for Villarreal in 2006 and has maintained a close connection with the club.

The Frenchman, a World Cup winner in 1998, trains regularly with the first-team squad and feels he could help Emery launch a new era at the Emirates Stadium following Arsene Wenger’s departure.

“If I join Unai Emery’s staff, I think it should be good for me, and I hope it should be good for Unai Emery,” Pires told ESPN FC at Arsenal’s new Puma kit launch in London.

“I could be like a bridge between him and the players. Because I know the players. For two years I have trained with the guys. So all of them, they respect me.

“And I respect the players, I was an ex-player. So the relationship between the players and me is good. That’s why I think I can help Unai Emery.”

Pires never had an official coaching role under Wenger, but hopes to keep training regularly with the Gunners and to speak with Emery.

“I don’t know what will happen in a couple of months, but if I can train with the guys I will, because for me it’s very important,” Pires added.

“With Arsene Wenger it was easy to keep fit and to still train with the first team. So now, I need to talk with the new manager.”

Retired skipper Per Mertesacker spent last season preparing to take up his new role as Arsenal’s academy director this summer and another former Gunner, Swede Freddie Ljungberg, will also become part of the academy coaching set-up.

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Former Liverpool colleagues dominate Steven Gerrard's backroom staff at Rangers

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Steven Gerrard and Gary McAllister will be reunited at Rangers.

Rangers have confirmed the make-up of Steven Gerrard‘s back-room staff.

As the new Ibrox boss revealed at his unveiling last month, his former Liverpool team-mate and ex-Scotland captain Gary McAllister will act as his number two.

The Anfield link continues with ex-Reds academy coach Michael Beale moving to Glasgow to take up the role as Gers’ first-team coach, while Tom Culshaw – Gerrard’s assistant when he was in charge of Liverpool’s Under-18s – has been appointed as a technical coach.

Jordan Milsom also worked with the new Gers manager on Merseyside as Liverpool Under-18s fitness coach and has now been given the title of the Light Blues’ head of performance.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper coach Colin Stewart – who was already on Rangers’ payroll – will continue in his position looking after shot-stoppers Wes Foderingham and Allan McGregor.

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