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David McCourt’s Midweek Sports Talk

Footy transfer news, a Paralympic apology, and a cricket comeback

Written by . Published on August 29th 2012.


David McCourt’s Midweek Sports Talk

CITY have had a £6.2m bid for Swansea winger Scott Sinclair turned down.

The 23-year-old is refusing to sign a new contract with the Swans and was left out of the squad at the weekend sparking rumours the deal to City was already done.

“I know it’s hard with Sir Alex, as he deals with footballers who are exceptionally well-paid, but the fundamentals of playing sport are still the same.”

However Swansea chairman, Huw Jenkins, was critical of City’s approach on Monday, saying: "I would have thought if they (City) really wanted to sign Scott Sinclair they would have dealt with it a little bit better than they have. But that's their business.”

The Premier League champions will be linked with plenty of wingers before the window closes on Friday night after the departure of Adam Johnson to Sunderland, with Arsenal’s Theo Walcott joining Sinclair on the list.

City representatives should know Arsene Wenger’s number from memory by now after already taking Emmanuel Adebayor, Kolo Toure, Gael Clichy and Samir Nasri off his hands, so it’s no surprise as soon as Walcott rejected a reported £75,000-a-week contract from the Gunners, murmurs about a move to City began to spread.

Of course, there has been no official contact, but expect Walcott to be linked with City for a few days before eventually signing a handsomely improved contract with Arsenal.

A player City have signed though is Fiorentina’s Serbian defender Matija Nastasic.

Matija-Nastasic-FiorentinaMatija Nastasic will move from Fiorentina to Man City for £12m

The 19-year-old centre half will cost around £12m with Montenegro defender Stefan Savic going the other way as part of the deal.

Another footballer on his way out of Manchester is United’s Dimitar Berbatov.

The striker has flown to Italy and is bound for Florence to complete his £4m move to Fiorentina.

The 31-year-old Bulgarian has fallen down the pecking order since the arrival of Robin Van Persie and Javier Hernandez, combined with the emergence of Danny Welbeck, and was left out of the squad that beat Fulham 3-2 last weekend.

Jon-Allan Butterworth, the Para-cycling world champion who made the news after he criticised Great Britain Paralympic athletes outside of cycling, has apologised for his “having a laugh” comments.

The 26-year-old complained that Paralympic athletics received more funding than cycling in the build-up to the 2012 Games, despite cycling out-performing their counterparts in Beijing.

Butterworth said in a statement: "I was ill-informed and was not aware how hard the selection process is in athletics.

"The team ethos is important to me and I apologise if I have upset any of my fellow athletes."

Great+Britain+Para-Olympian+Cyclist+Jon-Allan+ButterworthGreat Britain Para-Olympian cyclist Jon-Allan Butterworth

Peter Eriksson’s athletics team showed a big improvement at last year's World Championships winning 12 gold, nine silver and 17 bronze medals compared to two gold, seven silver and eight bronze at the 2008 Olympics in China.

In county cricket Tom Smith inspired a Lancashire comeback against Durham yesterday in Liverpool.

Smith scored an unbeaten 86 as Lancashire recovered from 11-4 on day one.

Graham Onions took three of the first four wickets before an unbroken partnership of 91 for the seventh wicket between Smith and Kyle Hogg (36 not out) completed the comeback.

And finally, Sale Sharks director of rugby Bryan Redpath has revealed Sir Alex Ferguson is his mentor.

Bryan-Redpath-007 %281%29Sale Sharks boss Bryan Redpath

The Sale boss has been talking to the United manager for the past few years with the two clubs training bases in Carrington in such close proximity.

Redpath said: “I know Sir Alex’s son, Jason, which is how I got to know Sir Alex.

“I know it’s hard with Sir Alex, as he deals with footballers who are exceptionally well-paid, but the fundamentals of playing sport are still the same.”

You can follow David on Twitter @DavidPMcCourt

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