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Sheffield United players get 'balls out' into interview

What's going on a Sheffield United?

Goalkeeper Mark Howard and left-back Bob Harris both managed to mention the phrase "get the balls out" in an interview with our friends over at ITV Calendar today.

The pair even managed to get sports reporter Chris Dawkes to repeat the phrase in a question to manager Nigel Adkins, who replied with a wry smile.

United begin their League One campaign at Gillingham on August 8th.

Maria Sharapova edges into Wimbledon last four

Sharapova is bidding for her second Wimbledon title. Credit: PA

Maria Sharapova has reached the Wimbledon semi-finals for the fifth time in her career with a three sets victory over Coco Vandeweghe.

The Russian overcame her American opponent 6-3 6-7 (3-7) 6-2 and will play either Serena Williams or Victoria Azarenka in this week's last four.

Sharapova is bidding for her sixth grand slam and the first since her victory over Simona Halep in last year's French Open final.

The 28 year-old's only Wimbledon title to date arrived back in 2004 when she shocked Serena Williams less than three months after celebrating her 17th birthday.


Mo Farah to compete at Olympic Stadium this month

Mo Farah has confirmed he will return to the former Olympic Stadium in London to take part in the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games later this month.

Farah will compete in London at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games. Credit: PA

It will be Farah's first competitive appearance in Britain since the BBC broadcast doping allegations against his coach Alberto Salazar and team-mate Galen Rupp.

Salazar and Rupp both strenuously deny the allegations made against them and there is no suggestion that Farah has done anything wrong.

The race will form part of his preparations for the World Championships in Beijing next month, in which he is aiming to defend his 5,000m and 10,000m titles.

Farah said:

The race will be exciting on the Friday night at the Olympic Stadium. My training is going well and it is just what I need to prepare more for the IAAF World Championships.

This year's World Championships are hugely important to me and the 3,000m at the Sainsbury's Anniversary Games will be the best possible preparation.

I can't wait to run in front of a home crowd again and thank the British public for all their support. I hope that the fans will come out and cheer me on at the Olympic Stadium on Friday, 24 July.

– Mo Farah

Valencia tie-up deal for Belgium winger Zakaria Bakkali

Valencia have completed the signing of Belgium international Zakaria Bakkali on a five-year contract.

Bakkali is thrilled to be joining Valencia in La Liga. Credit: PA

The 19-year-old winger has joined the Spanish outfit as a free agent after recently rejecting a new deal to remain at PSV Eindhoven.

A statement from Valencia read: "Valencia CF have reached an agreement with Belgium international Zakaria Bakkali until June 30, 2020."

Bakkali, who was strongly linked to Atletico Madrid last year, is thrilled to have joined Los Che:

I'm very young and for me this is a great step to join a club like Valencia CF that has tradition and a high level," he said on the club's official website.

The Primera Division is an attractive and competitive league. I've come here ready to work hard and help my new team-mates. Since I decided to move on from PSV and conclude my chapter there, I've had many offers but Valencia and the Spanish league is a dream come true for me.

– Valencia forward Zakaria Bakkali

Blackpool Supporters' Trust offer Oyston £16m for club

Blackpool Supporters' Trust has tabled a £16m bid to buy the club from owners Owen Oyston and his family.

Owen Oyston is under pressure to sell Blackpool. Credit: PA

BST has sent an open 'letter of intent' to Oyston, who bought the club for £1 in 1987, urging him to sell "and thereby prevent any further damage being done to Blackpool FC, its reputation and its future prospects".

Blackpool were in the Barclays Premier League five years ago but have since been relegated to the third tier.

Fans have protested loudly at the way the club has been run for the last two years and relations between them and both Owen Oyston and his son Karl, the club chairman, reached rockbottom at the end of last season.

BST opened its letter:

The action you take in responding to this bid is just as important to the future of the Football Club as was your decision to buy the Club for £1 in 1987.

The question now facing you and your family is whether you still care enough about the well-being and reputation of Blackpool FC to sell it (ie. your complete shareholding in Segesta) to the Trust for just over £16million.

– Blackpool Supporters' Trust


Djokovic completes comeback over Anderson

Reigning champion Djokovic is through to the quarter-finals. Credit: PA

Novak Djokovic has booked his place in the Wimbledon quarter-finals after completing his comeback against Kevin Anderson.

World number one Djokovic won the match 6-7 (6-8) 6-7 (6-8) 6-1 6-4 7-5 to book his place in Wednesday's last eight against Marin Cilic.

The reigning champion had fallen two sets behind against the big-serving South African, but levelled the fourth-round match when fading light brought play to a halt on Monday evening.

When play resumed today, the final set went with serve until Djokovic broke at 5-5, and the Serbian held on to win the deciding set 7-5.

Man United agree deal to sign Italian international

Darmian appears to be on his way to Man United. Credit: PA

Man United have agreed a £12.7m fee with Torino for Italian right back Matteo Darmian, according to Sky Italia.

The 25 year-old has won 13 senior caps for Italy since making his international bow in a friendly against Ireland at Craven Cottage in May last year.

He was included in Italy's 2014 World Cup and played all three of Italy's matches in Brazil, including the 2-1 victory over England.

Juventus chief offers Man City hope in Pogba pursuit

Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has provided a glimmer of hope for Manchester City and other clubs interested that Paul Pogba is not a certainty to remain with the Italian champions next season.

Where will Pogba be playing next season? Credit: PA

The Turin giants already turned down a reported 80million euros offer from Barcelona for Pogba last week.

Reports in England claim Manchester City have made a 100million euros bid to Juve for the French international midfielder, who is also a reported target of Paris St Germain and Barcelona.

When asked if Pogba was not on the market, Agnelli said to Turin sports newspaper Tuttosport: "In football everything is possible.

"I remember that some years ago we wanted to keep (Christian) Vieri at Juventus.

"The player was considered non-transferable but a few days later, Vieri was sold to Atletico Madrid.

"Hence, my players are non-transferable from September 1st."

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