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Press Association Ahead of Mourinho’s first match of his second spell in charge in Bangkok, Chelsea issued a statement, which read: “Chelsea Football Club can today confirm that yesterday it made a written offer to Manchester United for the transfer of Wayne Rooney. “Although the terms of that offer are confidential, for the avoidance of doubt and contrary to what is apparently being briefed to the press in Sydney, the proposed purchase does not include the transfer or loan of any players from Chelsea to Manchester United.” The stunning development comes less than 24 hours after the depth of Rooney’s anger at comments made by United manager David Moyes became known. With it looking increasingly like Rooney’s nine-year stay at Old Trafford is coming to an end, Chelsea have made their move. Yet the Blues believe Mata and Luiz are key to their long-term plans and want Rooney to be part of Mourinho’s second coming. Spain playmaker Mata and Brazil defender Luiz are absent from Chelsea’s Asia tour after being granted an extended break following the Confederations Cup. It is clear Rooney is the number one target for Mourinho, who said on Tuesday he had no plans to sell any of his players. That United should dismiss the offer so quickly is no surprise. In recent weeks they have repeatedly insisted Rooney is not for sale, and the idea of selling to a domestic rival is particularly unpalatable. Yet it is difficult to envisage how United can possibly hold that line right until the transfer window closes. It increasingly appears Rooney’s position is untenable, with United fans likely to turn against their one-time hero. And for Moyes, it represents a tricky situation given he is attempting to bolster his squad rather than weaken it. Chelsea have confirmed they have made a bid for Manchester United’s Wayne Rooney – but insist no player was offered as part of the deal. Jose Mourinho last week expressed his admiration for Rooney and the offer came with the England striker absent from Australia, where David Moyes’ United are on tour, due to a hamstring injury. Chelsea, however, are adamant that none of their players were offered to Old Trafford in exchange, after Juan Mata and David Luiz were reported to be possible make-weights in the deal. Yet Rooney’s reaction to those comments given in a briefing during United’s stay in Bangkok last week has been the trigger for a further deterioration in the relationship between club and player. Though it is thought Moyes did not wish the comments to come across as disparaging towards Rooney, that is exactly how they have been received, with the player – now back in Manchester for treatment on a hamstring injury – said to be “confused and angry” over their content. The offending words were delivered to Sunday newspaper journalists during a briefing with Moyes in Bangkok last week. Moyes said: “Overall, my thought on Wayne is that if for any reason we had an injury to Robin van Persie we are going to need him and I want as many options as possible.” As far as Rooney is concerned, he is at the peak of his career and has no intention of playing second fiddle to anyone, or being reduced to the rank of a squad player. With four Premier League titles and a Champions League winner’s medal to his name, the 27-year-old does not believe he has anything to prove at United. Yet he feels as though he has been put on trial by Moyes at a time when he should be concentrating his efforts on recovering from the hamstring injury that saw him sent home from United’s pre-season tour within hours of landing in Thailand on Thursday. After months of speculation about his future, and no statement of intent to stay from the player, it is now clear that unless there is some major repair work undertaken, Rooney will be leaving. The manner of United’s response is the first major test for Moyes and chief executive Ed Woodward since they replaced Sir Alex Ferguson and David Gill respectively at the beginning of the month.
NATIONAL SPORTS FESTIVALThe Minister of Youth and Sports, Solomon Dalung, on Monday in Benin City commended the Government of Edo State for its preparedness to host the 20th edition of the National Sports Festival billed for 2020.The Sports Minister who paid an unscheduled visit to the state to assess the level of work going on at facilities earmarked for the Games now being referred to as “Benin 2020”, was full of plaudits for the state. Some of the sports facilities visited by the minister include; the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Benin Technical College sports ground as well as the University of Benin Sports Complex.“I must confess that from what I have seen on ground, the Edo State Government is more prepared for the hosting of the National Sports Festival than I had imagined.“Of course, there is still the need for some touches here and there but that is where the Federal Government comes in because the National Sports Festival is a Federal Government event. Even the University of Benin from the facilities I see on ground, can successfully host the games and I seize the opportunity to commend the founding fathers of the institution for this great initiative.“I am totally happy with all the locations visited here in Benin-City”, the minister declared.Asked to comment on the renovation work done so far on the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium, Dalung said he was more than satisfied.“The contractor has already assured me that the stadium will be ready by April. The stadium from what I have seen is capable of becoming the best in the country but I have already advised the Edo State Government not to compromise quality. The stadium is going to become not only a state monument but also a national monument hence the need to emphasize the use of quality materials and products”, the minister stated.Responding on behalf of the Edo State Government, the Chairman of the Edo State Sports Commission, Godwin Dudu-Orumen, re-iterated the readiness of the state to host the best National Sports fFestival. He said the state will leave no stone unturned to achieve this.“The Governor Godwin Obaseki led administration is already re-constructing the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium to international standard and we are building 20 mini stadia in the 18 local governments areas of the state. “We not only want to host the games, we want it to be the best ever since the inception of the games and you can be rest assured that we are going to put every machinery in place to achieve that,” stressed the Edo Sports Commission boss.Edo State was awarded the hosting rights for the 20th National Sports Festival at the close of the 19th edition which was held in Abuja last December.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram
Well aware of the threat of rain in Darlington on Wednesday, NASCAR reportedly has a 7 p.m. ET start time on Thursday in mind in the event it needs to postpone Wednesday night’s race. Of course, the weather forecast in Darlington on Thursday is similarly gloomy, with an 80 percent change of rain during the day and a 50 percent chance of rain at night.It’s unclear whether NASCAR can try to squeeze in a Darlington Cup race on Friday should it need to do so. The Coca-Cola 600, NASCAR’s longest race, remains scheduled for just a couple days later on Sunday, May 24.The NASCAR Xfinity race that was scheduled to run Tuesday night at Darlington has been rescheduled to noon ET Thursday due to rain. Wednesday night’s race at Darlington, the second Cup event in the span of four days at the same track on NASCAR’s modified schedule for 2020, was originally set to run at 7:30 p.m. ET. But because there’s such a high chance of rain in the Darlington area Wednesday night, NASCAR changed the race’s start time to 6 p.m. ET. The race needs to reach only the halfway point (Lap 114) to be considered official.Below are the details of the weather forecast that promoted NASCAR to change the start time of Wednesday night’s Darlington race.Radar shows clearing. Right now nothing behind it. pic.twitter.com/gdhdxF4X0D— Bob Pockrass (@bobpockrass) May 20, 2020Once again, the rain has stopped and NASCAR has ordered track drying to begin anew.They are starting the Air Titans.It’s also cold and humid, which isn’t helping.Radar does look increasingly promising.— Matt Weaver (@MattWeaverAW) May 20, 2020MORE: When will fans be able to return to NASCAR races?NASCAR race weather forecast for DarlingtonAccording to weather.com, there is a 90 percent chance of precipitation in the Darlington, S.C., area on Wednesday night. Thunderstorms are “likely” with the potential for heavy rainfall. The National Weather Service has a flash flood watch in effect for the Darlington area through Thursday.A live weather radar for Darlington, S.C., can be found here. Darlington weather https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/sporting_news/9e/13/nascar-weather-051920_1kjqhozkqqm5q1fu6cebvjbi9h.png?t=802786754&w=500&quality=80This is why NASCAR already moved the start time for Wednesday night’s race up to 6 p.m. ET after originally scheduling the event for 7:30 p.m. ET.Some have wondered why NASCAR won’t move the start of Wednesday’s race to an even earlier time. As Fox Sports’ Bob Pockrass explains, the “screening process right now is five hours for officials, road crews and pit crews.” The new 6 p.m. ET start time is as early as NASCAR can start a race that was originally scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET. Go figure: NASCAR finds a way to return to racing after a two-month hiatus during the coronavirus pandemic, and Mother Nature finds a way to ruin the fun.Based on the weather forecast for the Darlington, S.C., area on Wednesday night, the second race in NASCAR’s 2020 reopening plan might not be as successful as the first. That NASCAR already changed the start time for Wednesday night’s Cup Series race tells us all we need to know about how it feels regarding the threat of rain. (weather.com)