David Turnbull is on his way to Norwich to hold talks over his £3.25million switch from Motherwell.
Fir Park chiefs accepted an offer from the Premier League new boys on Tuesday night on the same terms previously offered by Celtic.
And Press Association Sport understands the Scotland Under-21 playmaker, who scored 15 goals for his boyhood club last season, is now travelling south to open discussions with Canaries boss Daniel Farke over a move to Carrow Road.
The Hoops pulled out of the running to sign the 19-year-old midfield ace after issuing a take-it-or-leave ultimatum last week.
They said they had made Turnbull a “magnificent offer” but were ready to “move on” to other targets if Turnbull was not ready to accept.
Well bosses were hoping to cash in a “transformational” sum that would secure the fan-owned club’s future, but that was threatened when Celtic finally backed out on Tuesday night.
However, Norwich have stepped forward to offer an up-front bid of £3million, with further payments to come if additional clauses are triggered – including a sell-on fee.
If Turnbull does agree to join Farke’s side, the Scottish Football Writer’s Association’s Young Player of the Year could find himself lining up alongside Scotland internationals Kenny McLean and Grant Hanley as well as former Celtic forwards Patrick Roberts and Teemu Pukki.
Celtic could face Estonians Nomme Kalju or Shkendija of North Macedonia if they can fight past FK Sarajevo to reach the second qualifying round of the Champions League.
Neil Lennon’s side kick off their bid for the group stages against the Bosnians on July 9-10.
And the Parkhead boss is likely to turn to winger Jonny Hayes for advice if his side ends up facing Shkendija in the next round.
The Irishman was part of the Aberdeen side which claimed a 1-1 Europa League draw in Tetovo in 2015 as Derek McInnes’ Dons edged the Macedonians out on away goals.
Kalju have a familiar face in their ranks too having recently signed former St Mirren winger Sander Puri. The 31-year-old made the first of three appearances for the Buddies against Lennon’s side back in 2013.
Before worrying about that, however, the Hoops must take care of a Sarajevo side managed by former Hearts striker Husref Musemic.
The treble-treble winners are due to play at home in the first leg on July 9-10, although selections are subject to change.
The Hoops missed out on a place in last year’s group stage after being dumped out in the third qualifying round by Greek champions AEK Athens, although the team did progress to the last 32 of the Europa League under former boss Brendan Rodgers.
If Celtic fail to beat Sarajevo, they have been handed a safety net from UEFA in the shape of a bye to the Europa League’s third qualifying round.
Meanwhile, Northern Irish champions Linfield have learned they will face Bate Borisob of Belarus or Poles Piast Gliwice if they can sneak past Norwegians Rosenborg in their opening Champions League qualifier.
Ireland’s Dundalk start their campaign against Latvians Riga, with the winner taking on either Qarabag of Azerbaijan or Albanians FK Partizani.
The New Saints of Wales will be rewarded with a clash against FC Copenhagen if they come through the first qualifying round unscathed.
The Oswestry side face the winners of the preliminary round, which sees Kosovans Feronikeli take on Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar, while San Marino’s Tre Penne meet FC Santa Coloma of Andorra on June 25, with the two victors progressing to a play-off three days later that will decide who enters the competition proper.
Paul Jubb will make his debut at Wimbledon after being awarded a wild card.
The 19-year-old from Hull shot to prominence last month when he became the first British winner of the National Collegiate Athletic Association men’s singles title in the United States.
Had he been American, the achievement would have earned him a wild card into the US Open, and Wimbledon have rewarded him with entry into the main draw.
Jubb, ranked 579, has demonstrated strong form on the British grass so far, winning his first match at second-tier Challenger level in Nottingham last week and two more in Ilkley this week, beating 104th-ranked Thiago Monteiro in the second round on Tuesday.
He wrote on Twitter: “Beyond happy to play my first @Wimbledon and be given this amazing opportunity. Thx to @the_LTA for all the support and everyone else on this journey with me. As a young lad growing up in Hull it was a big dream to get to SW19.”
Jubb will be unable to collect the guaranteed £45,000 in prize money, though, as he intends to stay amateur and complete his final year at the University of South Carolina.
Six British players in total have been given places in the main draw, with Jubb joined by Jay Clarke, James Ward, Heather Watson, Harriet Dart and Katie Swan.
Wimbledon junior champion Iga Swiatek, from Poland, has also been awarded a wild card along with All England Club favourite Marcos Baghdatis.
Katie Boulter, who is continuing to recover from a back injury, is a notable absentee while Naiktha Bains and Katy Dunne, both in the world’s top 250, have also missed out.
Dunne has been given entry into qualifying but Bains, who recently switched back to representing Britain, may have to go through pre-qualifying.
The 21-year-old, who is ranked 229, was born in Leeds but moved to Australia with her family aged eight and had been playing for her adopted country until April.
Bains will play at the All England Club, though, having been given a doubles wild card alongside Naomi Broady.
Among the other recipients of qualifying wild cards are up-and-coming teenagers Jack Draper, Emma Raducanu and Aidan McHugh and Frenchman Nicolas Mahut, famous for his epic match against John Isner in 2010.
Former England captain Casey Stoney believes the crowds at the 2019 Women’s World Cup in France are “disappointing” because FIFA and the local organisers failed to promote the tournament properly.
While the television audiences have been breaking records for the women’s game, attendances at the matches have been a different story.
England’s opener against Scotland in Nice, which attracted a peak UK audience of 6.1 million viewers, was watched by just over 13,000 fans in the stadium, only 38 per cent of its tournament capacity.
The same venue was only a quarter full for Sweden’s 5-1 win over Thailand on Sunday, while three of the four games staged in Le Havre so far have been less than half full.
Some critics have suggested that fans were put off because FIFA had given the impression the games were nearly sold out.
In May, the official twitter account of world football’s governing body said tickets were available for “only a few matches”, while president Gianni Infantino told reporters just before the tournament that 20 of the 44 matches were sold out.
A week later, FIFA was forced to admit only 14 matches had sold out – mainly the latter stages and the games involving France – and that a sixth of the one million tickets it had “allocated” were given out free to media, sponsors, staff and VIPs, and even this left 300,000 tickets available.
Speaking to Press Association Sport, Stoney said: “I’ve been to lots of games and some of the crowds have been really disappointing.
“I don’t think the organisers did enough to market the tournament – in some of the cities you would not know the Women’s World Cup was on until you get to the stadium.”
The 37-year-old, who played in three World Cups for England, also believes FIFA initially made it too difficult for fans to buy tickets by insisting they use cards supplied by VISA, a big sponsor, and they have not publicised the fact that tickets are available at the venues on match days.
“Why would you put up barriers to selling tickets like that?” said Stoney.
On a more positive note, Stoney believes the quality of football has been “fantastic” but the captain of Great Britain’s London 2012 team has been less impressed by the use of video assistant referees at the tournament.
“I’m not a fan, to be honest,” she said.
“I was at the Australia-Brazil game and there were three VAR interventions that took more than seven minutes to sort out. We want better decisions but it’s got to be quicker than that.
“And the decision to retake the French penalty against Nigeria was ridiculous (on Monday). She put it wide, so the ‘keeper moving early had nothing to do with it and the French players were encroaching, too.”
Stoney’s last game for the Lionesses was in 2017 and she played another season in the Women’s Super League for Liverpool before joining England manager Phil Neville’s coaching staff in early 2018.
But it did not take long for someone to offer her a manager’s job and last summer she became the first boss of newly-formed Manchester United Women. Twelve months and a Championship title later, she and United are looking forward to their first season in the top division.
Despite two wins out of two, England’s start at this tournament has not been quite so smooth, as the world’s third-ranked side have had to work hard to get past 20th-ranked Scotland and 37th-ranked Argentina.
They meet seventh-ranked Japan, the 2011 world champions and 2015 runners-up, on Wednesday but Stoney believes England are in good shape to kick on.
“The team’s form wasn’t that great coming into the tournament – we didn’t play well in the two warm-up games – but you don’t want to be absolutely firing from the start,” she said.
“It’s about getting points on the board and giving yourself something to build on – we’ve done that. This game is the first big test but we’re going in the right direction.”
Having joined Chelsea Ladies aged 12, Stoney knows women’s football has probably never been more popular in the UK than it is now but it still lags behind most men’s sport in terms of media coverage.
This is why she is supporting Adobe Stock’s “Squad Behind the Squad” campaign – a collection of pictures of five inspirational women who work in the British football industry that will be available to download and use from June 19.
“The game is in a good place but it’s not where we want it to be yet,” she explained.
“The FA has been doing a great job, especially in terms of getting more girls to play, but I always say we shouldn’t just be thinking about women.
“Men make up half of the population and a lot of them love football. They are the fathers, brothers, husbands and boyfriends of potential female players – let’s promote the game to everyone.”
:: Casey Stoney is partnering with Adobe Stock to celebrate the women working at the heart of the football industry, aiming to redress the coverage women’s football receives long-term. Check out the new collection now: https://adobe.ly/2Nablj5
Mesut Ozil has been urged to replicate Dennis Bergkamp’s consistency and fire Arsenal back into the top four by Gunners’ Invincible Ray Parlour.
Ozil’s future in north London remains uncertain, with Arsenal chiefs willing to listen to offers for the 30-year-old in a bid to slash their wage bill and free up transfer funds for manager Unai Emery.
Ozil has two years to run on his current deal but it is unlikely another top-level European club will be prepared to match his reported £350,000-a-week salary.
“If Mesut is going to play a part in getting Arsenal back in the top four, then the club should keep him,” Parlour told Press Association Sport. “But he has got to work hard.
“I played with Dennis Bergkamp and he very rarely had a poor game – you always knew what you would get out of him – and that is what Mesut needs to do, too.
“The best players are consistent and I want to see that from Mesut. He is a quality player but he goes in and out of games, and it could be argued that he goes missing in the big matches. That is when you need your top men to perform.
“He should have that in his locker. He has won the World Cup and starred for massive clubs. He just needs to show that desire to play for his team-mates and show more energy.”
Emery might have just £45million at his disposal this summer after Arsenal finished outside of the Champions League places and then failed to qualify via the Europa League after losing against Chelsea in the final.
Arsenal made Ozil the highest earner in the club’s history only last year and Parlour, who won three Premier League titles with the Gunners, says the former Germany international will call the shots over his future.
“The investment is going to be very important for Arsenal if they want to get back into the top four,” added Parlour, 46, who was speaking at the McDonald’s & FA Fun Football Festival at Ryan FC.
“Mesut is the one who is on big wages that they might need to free up. It is a massive decision for the club.
“But players hold all the power these days and not every player wants to leave. If they are on a good contract it is very hard to get a player out and that could be hard for Arsenal if they want to move Mesut on.
“Arsenal will do the best for Arsenal Football Club, but Ozil has got two years on his contract and if he doesn’t want to go anywhere the club will have to pay him for those two years. That will be the key as to whether he stays or goes.”
:: Ray Parlour was speaking at the McDonald’s & FA Fun Football Festival at Ryan FC. These festivals are taking place across the UK this summer, giving thousands of children the chance to enjoy the game. Find your nearest festival at www.mcdonalds.co.uk/funfootball
Former UEFA president Michel Platini said he was hurt by questioning from the French police after he was detained over the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar.
Platini, who has never denied voting for the Gulf State in December 2010, was questioned by anti-corruption officers in a Paris suburb on Tuesday.
He has always rejected claims of wrong doing and was released in the early hours of Wednesday morning.
France’s financial prosecutor’s office, the Parquet National Financier, has been investigating the decision to give the World Cup to Qatar since 2016.
Platini, 63, said he was taken into custody and attempted to answer all of the police’s questions. He added that the experience had been a painful one, but said he now felt at peace.
“It hurts for everything I can think of [and] everything I’ve done,” said Platini.
“But after all, they did their job and then we tried to answer all the questions.”
Qatar beat bids from Australia, Japan, South Korea and the United States in a vote by the executive committee of world football’s governing body FIFA, but more than half of that 22-man panel have now been accused of receiving bribes.
Platini was head of European football’s governing body until 2015 when he was handed an eight-year ban over ethics breaches that was later reduced to four years on appeal.
A statement released on behalf of Platini on Tuesday said he was co-operating fully with the authorities.
“Michel Platini, after being heard in the same investigation in open court last year, is now questioned under police custody for technical reasons,” read the statement.
It said his lawyer, Mr William Bourdon, “strongly asserted that this is in no way an arrest”, but rather Platini was heard “as a witness” by the investigators to ensure those being questioned could not consult with each other during the process.
It added: “Michel Platini expressed himself serenely and precisely, answering all the questions, including those on the award conditions of Euro 2016, and provided useful explanations.”
It also said he had “nothing to reproach himself for” and was “absolutely confident” about the outcome.
Platini’s ban expires this October and he has previously suggested he intends to return to football politics.
Platini and former FIFA boss Sepp Blatter were struck off for eight years by FIFA’s ethics committee in December 2015, although a FIFA appeal body reduced that to six years, for a “disloyal payment” of £1.5million paid by Blatter to Platini.
Platini had a glittering playing career, winning the 1984 European Championship and also league titles in France and Italy with St Etienne and Juventus. He won the Ballon d’Or in three successive seasons from 1983 to 1985.
Tuesday proved to be a complete wash-out at Queen’s Club so the British hopefuls will try again on day three of the Fever-Tree Championships.
Dan Evans and Kyle Edmund are both in action against seeded players, and Jay Clarke takes on Lucas Pouille, while there are plenty of other big names involved, including Juan Martin del Potro and Nick Kyrgios.
British number two Cameron Norrie almost caused an upset against Kevin Anderson on Monday and our tennis betting tips assess the chances of his countrymen today.
Stan Wawrinka vs Dan Evans
Two titles in two weeks on the Challenger Tour mean Evans is certainly not short of match practice on grass and he should be full of confidence as he steps up to the main tour.
Success at Surbiton and Nottingham have lifted the 29-year-old up to 63rd in the world and he said: “It was obviously two good weeks. I’m happy with the way I was playing. It was the perfect two tournaments for me to start the grass-court season, really.
“Even if I didn’t win, it would have been great preparation for this tournament. I’m happy with how they went, obviously, and hopefully I’ll play well against Stan.”
Evans has won the first set in two previous meetings with Wawrinka but the Swiss star has come back to claim victory on both occasions and the match to go to a deciding set kicks off our tennis tips.
Stefanos Tsitsipas vs Kyle Edmund
Edmund is making his return to action for the first time since he pulled out of his second-round match at the French Open due to a knee injury.
He would have hoped for a favourable draw to ease his way back into action but instead has been paired with top seed Tsitsipas.
Edmund insists he is fully fit, in which case the home support and the move to grass will suit the Yorkshireman.
Tsitsipas was top seed at the Libema Open last week but crashed out to Nicolas Jarry in the first round and Edmund looks good value as the underdog to condemn the Greek star to another early exit.
Nick Kyrgios vs Adrian Mannarino
Mannarino made it seventh time lucky by winning his maiden ATP Tour title at the Libema Open in ‘s-Hertogenbosch last week.
The Frenchman had lost all of his six previous Tour finals but defeated Australian Jordan Thompson 7-6 (7) 6-3 after saving three set points in the opener.
Assuming that has not taken too much out of him, Mannarino looks great value to get the better of the inconsistent and temperamental Kyrgios, who fell at the first hurdle at the MercedesCup in Stuttgart last week.
He was defaulted at the Rome Masters and pulled out of the French Open so the momentum is clearly with Mannarino.
Stan Wawrinka vs Dan Evans to go to three sets Kyle Edmund to beat Stefanos Tsitsipas Adrian Mannarino to beat Nick Kyrgios
Dan Evans has won the first set but lost in his two previous meetings with Stan Wawrinka.
Stefanos Tsitsipas was beaten in the first round as top seed at the Libema Open last week.
Adrian Mannarino won his first ATP Tour title at the weekend.
Geraint Thomas remains optimistic about his chances of defending his Tour de France title despite being forced to withdraw from the Tour de Suisse on Tuesday.
The Welshman came off his bike around 30 kilometres from the end of stage four and received medical attention at the side of the road.
However, the 33-year-old reassured fans that he will be on the start line in Brussels on July 6 with a positive update on Wednesday morning.
Thomas wrote on Twitter: “Thanks for all your messages!! Gutted to leave @tds but luckily I’m all ok.
“I hit my head and needed stitches above my eye, so the doctors stopped me getting back on my bike. It just means I’ll need some big training rides next week now.”
Thomas also “suffered abrasions on his shoulder” but no significant injury after passing an initial concussion roadside test and returned to the team hotel on Tuesday evening following further scans and X-rays at a local hospital.
“There was a lip in the road that came out of nowhere,” Thomas said on teamineos.com about the incident.
“An Astana rider hit the lip and crashed and I had nowhere to go. I landed on my shoulder and my face and there was quite a bit of blood.
“You’ve always got to be cautious with a head injury, and whilst I was keen to carry on, the doctors made the right decision to pull me out of the race.”
Thomas is due to lead Ineos at this year’s Tour after team-mate Chris Froome crashed while in France for the Criterium du Dauphine last week.
Froome underwent extensive surgery following his high-speed crash, which left him with multiple injuries, including a broken femur.