Palmer adds Donington Park to his circuit empire

BIRMINGHAM, England Jonathan Palmer, father of Renault Formula One racer Jolyon, has acquired the Donington Park circuit, his Motor Sport Vision (MSV) company said on Thursday.

MSV, who reached the agreement with Donington owner Kevin Wheatcroft, also owns and operates Britain's Brands Hatch, Oulton Park, Snetterton and Cadwell Park circuits as well as the Bedford Autodrome.

Ranieri urges Leicester to regain focus in league campaign

Champions Leicester City have struggled to maintain focus in the English Premier League this season and have found it easier in the Champions League due to the tournament's shorter format, manager Claudio Ranieri said.

Leicester have failed to build on their title triumph and despite a fine Champions League campaign, the Foxes are languishing in 15th in the standings after 20 games, just six points ahead of the bottom three.

Former England manager Taylor dies, aged 72

LONDON Graham Taylor, the former England football manager, has died at the age of 72, according to media reports on Thursday.

Taylor, who had a playing career with Grimsby Town and Lincoln City, was a successful manager in English football's top flight with Watford and Aston Villa.

He was best known, though, for his turbulent reign as England manager between 1990 and 1993 when he was widely criticised for failing to take the national team to the 1994 World Cup finals.

Radwanska meets Konta in Sydney final

SYDNEY Second seed Agnieszka Radwanska dismissed a jaded Barbora Strycova in straight sets at the Sydney International on Thursday, setting up a final against British number one Johanna Konta.

The 2013 champion brushed aside Strycova 6-1 6-2 to maintain her impeccable record against the Czech and reach her second final in Sydney.

The Pole had never lost to Strycova in their previous six meetings and her opponent looked helpless as the trend continued at the Ken Rosewall Arena.

Man United trigger one-year extension in Fellaini's contract

Manchester United have triggered a clause in Marouane Fellaini's contract that will keep the midfielder at Old Trafford until 2018, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

Fellaini, who scored his first goal of the season during the Tuesday's League Cup win over Hull City, signed a four-year deal with the option of a further year when he joined from Everton for 27.5 million pounds in 2013.

"Manchester United have confirmed a clause has been triggered in Marouane Fellaini's contract to extend his stay with the club," the club said on its website.

Sri Lanka remove South Africa openers before lunch

JOHANNESBURG Sri Lanka claimed the wickets of South African openers Stephen Cook and Dean Elgar on the first morning of the third and final test as the home side went to lunch at 79 for two wickets at the Wanderers on Thursday.

Having won the toss and elected to bat on a greenish seamer-friendly wicket, the home batsmen toiled with JP Duminy (23 not out) and a tentative Hashim Amla (six not out), playing in his 100th test, set to resume after the interval.

The tourists got some reward for probing line and length bowling as they seek to avoid a series whitewash.

Combative Allardyce keen to reinforce Palace defence

Crystal Palace manager Sam Allardyce is looking for backline reinforcements during the January transfer window to shore up one of the Premier League's most porous defences as the club fights to remain in the top flight.

Palace have the joint-third worst defence in the league, conceding 37 goals in 20 games, and have needed to rely on their attack to salvage results this season as they sit 17th in the table on 16 points, a point above the relegation zone.

West Ham's Bilic says won't sell Payet despite his desire to leave

Manager Slaven Bilic has said that West Ham United will not sell Dimitri Payet despite the influential midfielder informing the Premier League club he does not wish to play for them anymore.

Payet, who is reportedly refusing to train with the squad, was made the club's best-paid player when he signed a five-year contract in February, earning 125,000 pounds a week, according to British media reports.

"Let's get serious. I have a situation with a player. It is Dimitri Payet. He wants to leave. We are not going to sell him," Bilic told reporters on Thursday.

Koscielny, Giroud and Coquelin pen new deals at Arsenal

French trio Laurent Koscielny, Olivier Giroud and Francis Coquelin have all signed new long-term deals at Arsenal, the Premier League club said on Thursday.

Koscielny, who has made 273 appearances since his arrival in 2010, revealed on his Twitter account that he has extended his stay until 2020.

Striker Giroud, who has scored nine goals in 19 appearances this season, was the club's top scorer last campaign with 24 goals in all competitions, while Coquelin is a key midfield figure who has made 131 appearances for the club.

Hull strike will ease pressure on Fellaini, says Mata

Marouane Fellaini's goal in Tuesday's 2-0 win against Hull City will provide a much-needed boost to the under-pressure Belgium international, according to team mate Juan Mata.

Fellaini has drawn criticism for his performances in the first half of the season and the fuzzy-haired midfielder's running celebration of his second-half goal in the League Cup semi-final looked like a release of emotion.