Marcos Llorente is wanted by Arsenal and Manchester United (Getty Images)Arsenal and Manchester United have launched offers to sign Marcos Llorente from Real Madrid, according to reports in Spain.The 24-year-old has barely featured for Madrid this season, starting just five games in La Liga and another two in the Champions League.Llorente is keen to leave Madrid this summer and is keen on a move to the Premier League.According to AS, the midfielder has already received proposals from both Arsenal and United, while Roma have also expressed an interest.ADVERTISEMENTZinedine Zidane, who faces a major rebuild at Madrid this summer, will allow Llorente to leave the club. Metro Sport ReporterThursday 9 May 2019 8:02 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link21Shares Llorente has made only 13 appearances for Madrid this season (Getty Images)The Spaniard, who joined Madrid’s academy at the age of 13, will have two years remaining on his current contract at the end of the season.AdvertisementAdvertisementSpeaking about Llorente’s future last month, Zidane suggested that the midfielder was not in his plans for next season.‘I’ve known Marcos for a long time, he is a player that is constantly improving,’ said the Madrid boss.More: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City‘The only thing for him is that he needs to play more because that will help him.‘I remember when he was at Alaves [on loan], he played regularly and he had a phenomenal season there.’More: Manchester United FCRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starNew Manchester United signing Facundo Pellistri responds to Edinson Cavani praiseEx-Man Utd coach blasts Ed Woodward for two key transfer errors Arsenal and Manchester United in race to sign Real Madrid midfielder Marcos Llorente Advertisement Comment Advertisement
For example, the PPF has said that it did not “understand why there was an apparent rush to complete the pre-pack administration” and that it had been led to believe that the publisher had “more than adequate cash reserves”, including to pay the next pension contribution of around £800,000 (€895,000) that was due on 18 November.Commenting on this, Field yesterday said: “It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a company that dumps its pensions liabilities just days before it has to put £800,000 into the pension fund might be up to no good.“It’s clear that the PPF, which is left to foot the bill, has serious doubts about this pre-pack deal.”A spokesperson for TPR said it was looking closely at the circumstances of the Johnston Press pre-pack deal, including timing of the company sale.However, pre-packs could happen at short notice and “it is not possible to launch an investigation into a pre-pack that has not taken place”.“Regulating the process leading to a pre-pack is a matter for the other agencies,” added the spokesperson.“Our role is to focus on a pre-pack’s impact on an employer’s pension scheme.”TPR did not have the power to stop a pre-pack taking place, as there was no requirement for either it or the PPF to pre-approve it. The UK’s Pensions Regulator (TPR) is investigating the bankruptcy of media company Johnston Press amid pressure from politicians over the fate of the company’s defined benefit (DB) pension scheme.TPR did not have the power to stop the ‘pre-pack’ deal, it said in a response to influential MP Frank Field, who had raised concerns about the sale of Johnston Press after it was put into administration. This meant its DB scheme automatically entered the Pension Protection Fund’s (PPF) assessment period, with some members set to have their benefits reduced.In a statement issued yesterday, Field, the chair of the UK parliament’s work and pensions committee, said: “The Pensions Regulator has promised to be quicker and tougher — now would be a good time to start.”The politician had already challenged about the sale of Johnston Press and the offloading of the DB scheme, but followed up on this yesterday after “worrying details” about the circumstances of the sale had come to light.
March 12, 2020 A four-race finals week in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, was canceled last week by the International Ski Federation.“The health and welfare of the athletes and all other participants, as well as the general public are in the forefront and the priority of FIS and all stakeholders,” the governing body said Thursday.Kilde’s runner-up finish in what proved to be the season-ending race — a downhill last Saturday in Kvitfjell, Norway — lifted him to the overall title above French rival Alexis Pinturault.Pinturault also finished runner-up to Kristoffersen in giant slalom. Another Frenchman, Clement Noel, was runner-up to Kristoffersen for the season-long slalom title by only two points, 552-550.Kristoffersen had an outside chance of winning the overall title if the final two races had gone ahead. “We will look at exactly what this will mean for the running of the tournaments for the weeks to come,” said Danish league director Claus Thomsen, adding more information on what will happen with the postponed matches and the rest of the season will be announced later.___10:10 a.m.The Swiss hockey league has ended the season in the top two divisions before the playoffs because of the spreading coronavirus.The league’s decision comes less than two months before Switzerland is due to host the world championships in Zurich and Lausanne. 10:30 a.m.The International Basketball Federation says it is suspending all competitions indefinitely from Friday.FIBA says the decision was made “in order to protect the health and safety of players, coaches, officials and fans.”The suspension includes games in the Basketball Champions League, which is a rival competition to the better known Euroleague, and the second-tier FIBA Europe Cup. The Champions League is part-way through its playoffs.Men’s qualification for the Tokyo Olympics is expected to resume in June with a series of qualifying tournaments overseen by FIBA. Women’s qualifying has already concluded. The league says decisions on awarding titles, and promotion and relegation places, will be decided at a special meeting on Friday.The Swiss soccer leagues have been suspended through March, and Basel is unable to host a Europa League game next week against Eintracht Frankfurt.___10:05 a.m.After the NBA suspended its season, the Euroleague is considering doing the same. ___10:25 a.m.The hockey-like game of bandy has postponed its world championships in Russia because of the spreading coronavirus.The Swedish Bandy Association says the tournament, scheduled to be played from March 29-April 5 in Irkutsk, has been postponed until October.International Bandy Association president Boris Skrynnik says “we know that there are concerns in other countries when it comes to travel and spending time with larger groups.” German broadcaster Sky says it will show some Bundesliga soccer games on a free channel after spectators were barred from the stadiums.Sky will show four league games simultaneously on Saturday on its non-subscription news channel in a “conference” format, with the broadcast switching between each game to show the key action.That includes Borussia Dortmund’s game against Schalke, which is one of Germany’s most heated rivalries.There will be a similar procedure for some second-division games.___ 11 a.m.South Korea’s professional baseball league says it will postpone the start of its season to mid-April because of the coronavirus outbreak.The Korea Baseball Organization says it still hopes to maintain a 144-game regular-season schedule but will consider banning spectators from some games when risks of infections are high.The KBO had already canceled its preseason.___ Associated Press 11:15 a.m.Real Madrid says its soccer and basketball teams have been put in quarantine after a basketball play for the club tested positive for the coronavirus.The Spanish club says the soccer team was also affected because it shares training facilities with the basketball team.___11:05 a.m. The Latest: McLaren team pulls out of Australian GP The under-15 world championships in Arkhangelsk, Russia, at the end of the month will also be played at a later date.___10:15 a.m.Denmark’s top soccer leagues are shutting down for at least two weeks because of the spreading coronavirus.The Danish league made the move a day after the national government announced a lockdown. The small Scandinavian country has 514 cases of people testing positive. 10:55 a.m.The Euroleague says it is suspending all games indefinitely because of the coronavirus outbreak.Europe’s main club basketball competition says it made the decision because of “the increased risks for participants in games, the vast amount of traveling disruptions causing the impossibility to reach certain destinations, and the different recommendations by the health authorities.”The league was scheduled to hold regular-season games in Moscow, Istanbul, Madrid and Tel Aviv on Thursday.___ The Juventus player who tested positive for the coronavirus says he’s “OK” and wants “to reassure everyone who is worrying about me.” Juventus announced late Wednesday that defender Daniele Rugani and “those who have had contact with him” are being isolated. It also said Rugani is not showing any symptoms of the disease.Rugani sent a post on Twitter overnight in Italian.“You’ll have read the news and that’s why I want to reassure everyone who is worrying about me. I’m OK. I want to remind everyone to respect the rules, because this virus doesn’t make distinctions! Let’s do it four ourselves, for those dear to us and for those around us,” he wrote.Rugani is the first player in the country’s top soccer division to test positive for the virus. McLaren says it has withdrawn from the season-opening Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne after a team member tested positive for the coronavirus.The British-based team says the person was self-isolated as soon as they started to show symptoms and “will now enter a period of quarantine.”Team officials have taken the decision to pull out of Sunday’s race “based on a duty of care” for McLaren employees and the wider Formula One family.Qualifying was scheduled to start Friday.___ Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditLONDON (AP) — The Latest on the coronavirus outbreak’s affect on sports around the globe (all times local):___11:30 a.m. ___9:55 a.m.The season-ending men’s World Cup ski races were canceled Thursday to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, giving Norwegian skier Aleksander Aamodt Kilde his first overall title.Giant slalom and slalom races were scheduled for this weekend in Kranjska Gora, near Slovenia’s border with Italy.The cancellations mean Henrik Kristoffersen, another Norwegian, becomes the season champion in both disciplines by tiny margins. The league says it is consulting with clubs about a suspension, something which its players are demanding.“Euroleague and the participating clubs cannot ask from players to put their health and that of their families at risk,” the Euroleague Players Association said.The players’ union asked for the season to be suspended “until health, safety and freedom of movement can be guaranteed.”___10 a.m. Kilde succeeds Austrian great Marcel Hirscher, who won eight straight overall titles before retiring in the offseason.___More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
What is going on in college basketball, specifically the Big Ten right now? Be it football or basketball, the Big Ten is rarely considered the best these days. Yet suddenly, everybody is talking about how the Big Ten is the best basketball conference in the country and could have as many as nine teams playing in the tournament come March.The hype the Big Ten has been receiving lately seems strange – almost oxymoronic. For years the Big Ten has been made fun of for its lack of scoring and “boring” defensive contests. Take, for instance, the two Tuesday night matchups earlier this week of Illinois versus Michigan State and Wisconsin versus Penn State.Illinois served No. 9 Michigan State a 42-41 loss on the road in Champaign, Ill. and No. 19 Wisconsin overcame an ice cold shooting hand in a 17-point first half to earn its sixth straight conference victory at State College, beating the Nittany Lions 52-46.Arguably, in any other season, analysts would have been droning on and on about how terrible Big Ten basketball is. So what is the difference in 2011-12 that has the Leaders and Legends flying so high in the eyes of so many college basketball experts?First and foremost, it seems the defensive prowess of the Big Ten is finally getting some of the respect it deserves. The Big Ten boasts four teams in the NCAA top 50 in points allowed per game, two in the top 10.Wisconsin, boasting the top-ranked defense in all of college basketball, is the only team to allow fewer than 50 points per game (49.6 ppg). The Badgers also lead the country in field goal percentage defense at 36.3 percent. Ohio State is ranked seventh at 55.6 ppg, Michigan State sits at No. 32 with 60.2 and Michigan falls in at No. 44 at 61.1.People can complain about lack of offense all they want, but Big Ten players don’t lack the offensive talent that conferences like the Big 12 and ACC are known for. The work Big Ten players put in on the defensive end of the floor simply surpasses that of any other league, forcing offensive players to play against the best defenses in the nation.Perhaps the increased amount of respect also has to do with the fact Big Ten teams aren’t just holding other Big Ten teams to impressively low scoring lines. There is a notable list of offensive juggernauts that have had their offenses suffocated by Big Ten defenses.To name a few, No. 7 Duke, ranked 11th in scoring at 80.3 ppg, managed just 63 in a loss to Ohio State. Wisconsin severely frustrated the offenses of No. 11 UNLV, which is ranked ninth at 80.6 ppg, and No. 5 North Carolina, which is the top ranked offense in the country at 84.9 ppg, allowimg just 62 and 60 points, respectively, in both games.Although the timeless adage of “defense wins championships” lives on, Big Ten defense has long outshone other conferences, so it seems fair to assume that the caliber of defense isn’t the only reason the conference is garnering increased national attention.In Joe Lunardi’s most recent ESPN.com bracketology update, eight Big Ten teams would be included in the Big Dance in March, including (in order of projected seeding): Ohio State (1), Michigan State (3), Michigan (4), Wisconsin (5), Indiana (5), Purdue (9), Illinois (10) and Minnesota (11).It’s not just the defense – the Big Ten is winning! And winning against quality competition.All eight teams have six or fewer overall losses, which is incredible due to the average strength of schedule for the eight schools: 27.75 (Sum of each team’s strength of schedule divided by eight projected bids). If Northwestern can pull any sort of late season turnaround and get into the tournament, the Big Ten’s resume would look even more impressive, as the Wildcats are ranked No. 8 in strength of schedule but have thus far failed to capture enough important victories.Eight projected bids was only second to the perennial frontrunner Big East’s nine, but a quality 16-team league is bound to receive more bids.Comparing the combined overall records by conference also reveals the top-to-bottom strength of the Big Ten. Out of the six major basketball conferences, the Big Ten is nearly running away from the pack. The Big Ten boasts a .679 overall win percentage; the only conference comparatively close is the Big 12 at .674. The winning percentages of the four other leagues, the ACC (.629), Big East (.653), Pac-12 (.565) and SEC (.660), prove that top to bottom, no conference can match the depth of talent in the Big Ten.The improvement by the Big Ten compared to rival conferences is unprecedented. Since 2000, there have only been three seasons where seven Big Ten teams were called on Selection Sunday, the current Big Ten record for NCAA tournament bids in one season. If current projections follow through, a minimum of eight selections, the Big Ten has a great opportunity to set a new record.When Selection Sunday does finally arrive, don’t write off the Big Ten teams as you fill out your brackets. In 2012, the conference’s high intensity defenses and sometimes slow and methodical offenses know how to win and are capable of beating the best. March Madness is what Leaders and Legends are made of.Brett is a senior majoring in journalism. Do you think the Big Ten will pull off a record number of bids in the tournament, or will the Big Ten falter? Let Brett know at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet him at @BAsportswriter.