Daily Digest: Real Madrid deny making a bid to sign PSG superstar Neymar

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Good morning, David Cooper here with everything you need to know in the world of sport.

TOP STORY

Neymar Jr looks on

Real Madrid issued a statement on Friday evening, denying they have made a bid for PSG and Brazil striker Neymar. There has been strong speculation that Los Blancos will move for the star forward this summer as they look to strengthen their attack following Cristiano Ronaldo’s departure to Juventus. But they refuted claims they are interested in the 26-year-old and stressed they have an ‘excellent relationship’ with the Ligue 1 champions.

FOOTBALL

After losing their semi-finals, England and Belgium meet in tonight’s third-place play-off (18:00 start) as they look to end their World Cup campaign on a high. England coach Gareth Southgate confirmed he will make minimum changes to his starting 11 in the bronze medal match at Saint Petersburg.

Away from Russia, Liverpool have made another signing with Switzerland’s Xherdan Shaqiri arriving from Stoke. The 26-year-old has put pen to paper on a five-year deal after joining for 13 million.

CRICKET

England will be aiming to level the ODI series when they take on India later today (14:00 start). India won the first ODI on Thursday and England’s batting coach Graham Thorpe admits they were handed a wake-up call ahead of their second one-day international with India.

TENNIS

Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal will resume their Wimbledon semi-final today (16:00) after play was suspended at the All England Club. Djokovic leads the world number one 6-4 3-6 7-6 (11-9).

Their match only started after 23:00 after Kevin Anderson won a marathon battle with John Isner in the earlier semi, which lasted six hours and 35 minutes.

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WHAT’S ON

Wimbledon – Men’s semi-final: Novak Djokovic v Rafael Nadal, 16:00

Women’s final: Serena Williams v Angelique Kerber (after semi-final)

Cricket: England v India second ODI, 14:00

Football: England v Belgium 18:00

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Daily Digest: Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas pays tribute to Antonio Conte

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Hey everyone, it’s David Cooper here giving you a bitesize look at what’s going on in the world of sport.

TOP STORY

Cesc Fabregas has praised departing boss Antonio Conte

Cesc Fabregas has praised departing boss Antonio Conte

Antonio Conte’s reign at Chelsea seems to be over with Cesc Fabregas paying tribute to the Italian manager. On Thursday, reports claimed Conte has been sacked although there has been no confirmation from the club.

It looks like it will only be a matter of time before they do announce the worst-kept secret in football, with former Napoli coach Maurizio Sarri expected to be his replacement.

FOOTBALL

Manchester City’s new signing Riyad Mahrez revealed that winning the Champions League was the main reason he moved to the Etihad Stadium. The Algerian winger completed a a club-record £60million move and was unveiled to the media on Thursday.

“It’s a club who wants to win this type of trophy. The Champions League is for big clubs and Manchester City are a big club. That’s why I’m here, why I made the decision to come here, because I want to be part of this,” he said.

Meanwhile in London, it looks like there will be no more new faces arriving at Arsenal this summer after Unai Emery suggested he’s happy with his squad.

France Under-20 international Matteo Guendouzi is the club’s latest signing with Stephan Lichtsteiner, Bernd Leno, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Lucas Torreira also arriving. “We signed the players who we needed and only if one player is a big opportunity for us will we sign them. We will only sign a player in the next month if he’s a big opportunity,” said Emery.

CRICKET

India drew first blood in the three-match ODI series after an unbeaten 137 from Rohit Sharma and Kuldeep Yadav’s six-wicket haul sealed an eight-wicket triumph against England on Thursday. Read the main talking points from that game here.

The teams will meet again on Saturday and England skipper Eoin Morgan says it’s crucial that his batsmen play better against Yadav after his impressive performance at Trent Bridge.

CYCLING

It was a day to remember for UAE Team Emirates as Dan Martin gave them their first Tour de France stage in on Thursday. It was Martin’s second Tour de France stage win and he will be back on the bike when the seventh stage begins today.

FEATURE OF THE DAY

12 07 cloud 9

England’s World Cup dream is over for another four years following their semi-final defeat to Croatia on Wednesday. Ahead of their third-place clash against Belgium on Saturday, our man Matt Jones gives his ratings of every England player that featured in Russia.

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WHAT’S ON TODAY

First ODI – Zimbabwe v Pakistan, 11:15am

Wimbledon – Men’s semi-finals from 16:00

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Joe Hart played cricket for local club Shrewsbury as England defeated Sweden at World Cup 2018

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Joe Hart opted not to cheer on England against Sweden on Saturday and played cricket for hometown club Shrewsbury instead.

Hart, 31, omitted from Gareth Southgate’s 23-man squad for Russia 2018, turned out for Shrewsbury Cricket Club while the Three Lions secured their place in the World Cup semi-finals with victory over the Swedes.

The Manchester City goalkeeper, batting at number nine, made six before being caught out as Shrewsbury lost by one wicket in their home Birmingham League Premier Division match against Knowle & Dorridge.

Hart, who also held a catch to remove visiting batsman Ethan Brookes, played cricket for his local club as a youngster before focusing on his football career at Shrewsbury Town.

He has 75 caps for England, but made two costly errors at Euro 2016 in games against Wales and Iceland and has struggled to recapture his best form since.

City boss Pep Guardiola dropped Hart down the pecking order when he arrived at the Etihad Stadium in 2016, choosing Willy Caballero and Claudio Bravo instead.

Hart went out on loan to Torino for the 2016/17 campaign and, after spending last season on loan at West Ham, will return to City for pre-season training next week. He played in nine of England’s 10 World Cup qualifiers, but missed out on a squad place for the finals as Jordan Pickford, Jack Butland and Nick Pope were all given the nod.

Hart’s last England appearance was in the goalless draw against Brazil in a friendly at Wembley in November 2017.

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