In Brief

Pochettino is Saudi-backed consortium’s ‘No.1 choice’ for Newcastle job

Ten things from the world of sport on Wednesday 29 April

1. Poch is ‘No.1 choice’ for Toon

Sky Sports reports that the prospective new owners of Newcastle United want Mauricio Pochettino to be the club’s next manager. 

Steve Bruce currently holds the position but he is only likely to remain in charge at St James’ Park until the end of the season. 

The Saudi-backed consortium which is in talks to take over Newcastle are keen to recruit “No.1 choice” Pochettino and are willing to pay the Argentine £19m a year.

Sky says the former Spurs manager wants to return to the Premier League and is “known to be interested in the role”. 

2. Auba could be sold for £30m 

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang could be sold by Arsenal for just £30m, The Sun reports, because the Gunners are “desperate” not to lose their captain for nothing next year when his contract expires.  

3. Prem restart fears 

The Sun also leads on its back page with the declaration from Fifa’s top doctor Michel d’Hooghe that football should forget about any resumption in the coming months and concentrate on starting afresh in September.

His comments will be an embarrassment for the British government who apparently have been quietly supportive of the idea of restarting the Premier League in order to lift the nation’s spirits.

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4. Three more MotoGPs are off

The June and July MotoGP races in Germany, Holland and Finland have been cancelled. As things stand the opening 11 races of the MotoGP season are off and a revised calendar is not yet published.  

5. Tour de Yorkshire likely to be in 2021

The next Tour de Yorkshire cycling event looks set to take place in 2021. After the event was postponed there were hopes it could take place later this year but Welcome to Yorkshire chief executive James Mason said: “The longer this goes on the more likely it is that it will be next year. There are too many imponderables as to when mass sporting events can take place again and they’re all backing up.”

6. Moeen: Hundred should be delayed 

England cricket star Moeen Ali has backed a delay for the inaugural season of The Hundred. English cricket’s new 100-ball competition is due to start this summer but the sport is currently suspended until 1 July at the earliest because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Moeen, who is set to captain Birmingham Phoenix, said: “It is better for it to be delayed. As players, we want The Hundred played with all best players around the world available to come and play so it makes more sense that way. 

“It is probably going to be too much to squeeze in the last couple of months of the season. It would be hard work to squeeze in The Hundred as well. It is such a big deal for us in this country and we want it to be played when everything is right and no problems around the world.”

7. Watford sign Gueye 

Le Havre midfielder Pape Gueye has signed a five-year contract with Premier League side Watford. The 21-year-old’s current deal expires this summer and he will officially become a Watford player from 1 July.  

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8. Olympics delay will cost IOC millions 

International Olympic Committee (IOC) president Thomas Bach says the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games to next year will cost the organisation “several hundred million dollars”.

In an open letter Bach said: “Although it is too early to give an exact figure, we already know that we have to shoulder several hundred million US dollars of postponement costs. This is why we also need to look into and review all the services that we provide for these postponed Games.”

9. Vettel and Sainz to swap teams in 2021?

Sebastian Vettel could leave Ferrari for McLaren in 2021 with Carlos Sainz tipped to go the other way. That’s according to German Formula 1 commentator Sascha Roos who said: “Sebastian Vettel is not about money. He is interested in having a successful car with the status he likes within the team. McLaren is also going to have a Mercedes engine, which is not a bad thing. It could be a reason that is attractive for Vettel, rather than having poor terms and being the less popular choice at Ferrari.” 

10. ‘Big summer events are a challenge’

Dr Brian McCloskey, a public health adviser to the World Health Organization, has told BBC Sport that hosting big sporting events this summer will be a “challenge” and that community events could be first to return after the lockdown. 

He said: “The bigger the match, the bigger the competition, the more complicated those mitigating actions will have to be - and therefore the less likely it is that they can be done safely. A local event - community football, community running - is much easier to see how that happens. Bigger events will be a challenge this summer.”

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