Hughes frustrated as Berahino negotiations stall

Stoke City manager Mark Hughes is frustrated at the lack of progress in the club's pursuit of West Bromwich Albion forward Saido Berahino, saying negotiations had reached an impasse.

Berahino, who has featured five times for West Brom in all competitions this season and has not played since Sept. 10, has made no secret of his desire to leave the West Midlands club.

"It sways from one end of the scale to another to be honest," Hughes told a news conference on Friday.

Boro fans want more aggression at home, says Boateng

By Claire Bloomfield
| LONDON

LONDON Middlesbrough manager Aitor Karanka should take more risks and set up his team to be more attacking at home in order to keep the fans happy, according to former captain George Boateng.

The Spanish manager has been accused by fans and pundits of tactical inflexibility for choosing to prioritise defensive solidity and rarely adopting a less cautious approach.

"I've always been very impressed with the way Aitor Karanka sets his team up away from home, it's fantastic," Boateng told Reuters.

Life is beautiful, Venus says, brushing off commentator row

By Melanie Burton
| MELBOURNE

MELBOURNE Seven-times grand slam winner Venus Williams on Friday brushed off a remark made about her at the Australian Open which led to a TV commentator being stood down by broadcaster ESPN.

Doug Adler, commentating on the African-American 13th seed's second-round match against Switzerland's Stefanie Voegele on Wednesday, provoked outrage on social media when he was taken to have described Williams charging "like a gorilla". Adler, a former tennis professional, said he had said "guerrilla".

Scotland's Nel ruled out of Six Nations due to neck injury

Scotland prop Willem Nel has been ruled out of this year's Six Nations Championship because of a neck injury, the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU) said on Friday.

Nel, who picked up the injury playing for his club Edinburgh last weekend, had been named in Scotland coach Vern Cotter's 37-man squad for the tournament.

A scan revealed that the 30-year-old South African-born forward had damaged an intervertebral disc in his neck and he will now see another specialist to decide if he needs surgery.

British worker dies in Qatar World Cup stadium

DOHA A British man has died while working on the construction of a stadium for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, authorities said.

An investigation was underway to determine the cause of death, the Supreme Council for Delivery and Legacy, which is responsible World Cup infrastructure, said in a statement.

The 40-year-old man died on Thursday at the Khalifa International Stadium, it said, without giving other details.

Manchester City paid record sum for 13-year-old Burns - report

Premier League high-flyers Manchester City paid a record 175,000 pounds ($215,000) to sign 13-year-old defender Finley Burns from third-tier Southend United last week, the Times reported on Friday.

The newspaper said the overall cost of the transfer could rise to more than 250,000 pounds if Burns goes on to sign professional terms at the Abu Dhabi-owned club.

No fee or details about subsequent payments were given by either club at the time of Burns's signing.

U.S. consortium reveals failed bid for Nottingham Forest

Nottingham Forest owner Fawaz Al Hasawi has rejected an improved bid from the U.S.-based consortium that is trying to take over the struggling English Championship club.

Ex-San Diego Padres owner John Jay Moores and fellow entrepreneur Charles Noell, who head the consortium, said in a statement that Al Hasawi, who took over Forest in 2012, had turned down their latest offer.

"We have been firmly committed to completing the acquisition since we opened negotiations in August and we remained optimistic throughout that the sale would be completed," they added.

British battler Evans downs local Tomic to reach last 16

MELBOURNE Dan Evans continued his fairytale run at Melbourne Park by downing local world number 27 Bernard Tomic 7-5 7-6(2) 7-6(3) on Friday to give Britain two men in the last 16 of the Australian Open for the first time in 16 years.

The 26-year-old, who upset seventh seed Marin Cilic in the second round, prevailed at the end of a thrilling two-hour 48-minute battle in a highly-charged atmosphere on Hisense Arena to end Australia's interest in the men's singles draw.

West Brom sign midfielder Livermore from Hull City

West Bromwich Albion have signed midfielder Jake Livermore on a four-and-a-half-year deal from relegation-threatened Hull City, the Premier League club said on Friday.

Although no financial details of the transfer were released, media reports suggested West Brom paid 10 million pounds to lure the 27-year-old Livermore to the Hawthorns.

"Albion have completed the signing of Jake Livermore from Hull City for an undisclosed fee," West Brom said in a statement.

Genge in for England as Jones sticks with tried and tested

By Mitch Phillips
| LONDON

LONDON Eddie Jones sprang few surprises when he announced his 34-man Six Nations squad on Friday, with three uncapped players included and a recall for prop Ellis Genge, the only man drafted in from the Elite Player Squad.

Leicester's 21-year-old Genge, who has one cap as a replacement in last May's game against Wales, could go straight on to the bench for the opening game against France at Twickenham on Feb. 4 with Matt Mullen expected to start at loosehead in the absence of injured duo Mako Vunipola and Joe Marler.

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