Sport shorts: Pochettino would ‘love’ Premier League return and Bairstow is dropped from England Test squad
Ten things from the world of sport on Wednesday 12 February
1. Poch is ready to return
Former Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino has revealed that he would “love” a return to the Premier League.
The Argentine, 47, has been out of work since being sacked by Spurs in November and has been linked with jobs in England and in Spain.
Speaking to Sky Sports’s Natalie Pinkham on the In The Pink podcast, Pochettino said: “To be honest, I would love to work in the Premier League. It’s going to be difficult, I know, and for now it’s a moment to wait and we’ll see what happens.
“It’s a moment of recovery, to think about yourself a little bit, and to be ready because in football always something can happen and you need to be ready.
“I’m ready and waiting for a new challenge. I have the belief and confidence that the next challenge will be fantastic.”
2. Wilder: Fury is scared
WBC heavyweight champion Deontay Wilder believes Tyson Fury is scared of facing him in their title rematch in Las Vegas on 22 February.
American Wilder, 34, said: “When you get knocked down by someone, you never forget it or how they did it. Deep down I feel he’s nervous, very nervous from what happened the first time.
“When you go in there for a second time it has to be stressful and you definitely can’t sleep at night. He’s worried and I don’t think his confidence is that high because of the state I left him in before.
“I gave this man concussion and it will happen again because the head is not meant to be hit, especially by the power of Deontay Wilder, so he has a lot to think about.”
3. Bronze on award shortlist
England’s Lucy Bronze is on the five-player shortlist for the 2020 BBC Women’s Footballer of the Year award.
The Lyon star is joined by Julie Ertz (USA and Chicago Red Stars), Sam Kerr (Australia and Chelsea), Vivianne Miedema (Netherlands and Arsenal) and Megan Rapinoe (USA and Reign FC).
Votes can be cast on the BBC website before 9am on Monday 2 March. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 24 March.
4. Back to business for the Bulls
Red Bull Racing have released a picture of their 2020 Formula 1 car, the RB16. Driver Max Verstappen will take the new car for a spin on the track at Silverstone later today.
The team said: “It’s straight back to business in our iconic matte livery as the Bulls pick up where they left off and prepare to charge into the 2020 Formula 1 season.”
Meanwhile, Ferrari launched their 2020 challenger, the SF1000, in a glitzy event last night at the Romolo Valli Municipal Theatre in Reggio Emilia. The unveiling featured a full orchestra, choir, ballet dancers, a DJ set and even a flashmob.
5. Chinese GP to be postponed
The F1 Chinese Grand Prix on 19 April will be aborted because of the coronavirus outbreak. The Times claims that “the decision has been made not to stage what would have been the fourth race of the season on that date in Shanghai”.
The Daily Telegraph adds that the first-ever Vietnam GP is also at risk and should both races be called off it would leave the F1 season in “chaos”.
6. Bairstow out, Foakes and Jennings in
Jonny Bairstow has been left out of England’s cricket squad for next month’s two-Test tour of Sri Lanka.
In comes wicketkeeper-batsman Ben Foakes while there is a return for opener Keaton Jennings, who has struggled for consistency in previous outings but wins his place because of his reputation against spin.
James Anderson, England’s leading Test wicket-taker, was not considered for selection as he recovers from a cracked rib suffered in the 3-1 series win in South Africa last month.
Joe Root (captain), Ben Stokes (vice-captain), Dom Bess, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Zak Crawley, Sam Curran, Joe Denly, Ben Foakes (wicketkeeper), Keaton Jennings, Jack Leach, Matthew Parkinson, Ollie Pope, Dom Sibley, Chris Woakes, Mark Wood
7. Ref banned for headbutting goalkeeper
News agency ANSA reports that an Italian football referee has been given a one-year ban after headbutting a goalkeeper who he had sent off in a minor league match earlier this month.
Borgo Mogliano goalkeeper Matteo Ciccioli was shown a red card by referee Antonio Martiniello and after the game went to the changing rooms to seek an explanation from the official. Martiniello headbutted Ciccioli, who was then taken to hospital to treat his injuries.
8. Chelsea eye Ziyech
Ajax winger Hakim Ziyech is a target for Chelsea, The Daily Telegraph reports, with the Premier League club set to watch the 26-year-old for the remainder of the season. The Blues failed to land Ziyech in January but if the player impresses then Frank Lampard could make a move in the summer.
9. Premier Golf League approach Woods
BBC Sport reports that Premier Golf League - a proposed competition to rival the PGA Tour - has approached 15-time major champion Tiger Woods.
Premier Golf League is an 18-event world tour featuring 48 players and a prize fund of $240m (£183m).
American golfer Woods said: “My team’s aware of it and have delved into the details of it. There’s a lot of information that we’re still looking at and whether it’s a reality or not.”
10. Back pages: Sancho is in demand
The future of Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho is the hot topic in a number of tabloids this morning.
The Daily Star, Daily Mirror and Daily Express all devote some of their back pages to whether Sancho will leave Germany at the end of this season and return to England. The consensus is “yes”, but will the teenage sensation choose Chelsea or Manchester United?