By Tim Stannard
1) Zidane avoids more media mantraps
Aside from avoiding defeat for 38 games, Coach Zizou is proving why the Frenchman could well be a stayer at Real Madrid - at least for a couple more months, anyway – by avoiding off the pitch trouble.
Speaking ahead of Saturday’s home league clash against Granada, Madrid’s manager was repeatedly asked to respond to Gerard Pique’s complaints about referees after Thursday’s 2-1 defeat to Athletic Bilbao in the Copa del Rey, but repeatedly refused to bite.
“I’m not getting involved, with refs,” blocked Zidane, “it’s the third time you’ve asked. I’m not going there.” Coach Zizou also revealed that Ronaldo could be spending more time in the stands this season – old age.
“I want Ronaldo to be strong for the whole of the season,” announced Zidane, not unreasonably. Zizou also released the squad to face Granada, and it is missing the still injured Sergio Ramos and Pepe at the back. Catch a full preview of the La Liga weekend to come on the Locker Room from 7:30PM ET / 4:30PM PT.
2) Chicharito said for another footballing change
Sports Burst is not so omniscient to know how Mexico’s sports media is faring these days, but considering ‘Chicharito Daily News’, ‘Chicharito Living’ and ‘Good Housekeeping with Chicharito’ are all flourishing, anything concerning the Bayern Leverkusen forward is still a seller.
And that is why news out of Germany on Friday will flutter a few headlines, to rally alongside the return of Liga MX on Friday.
‘The Guardian’ is reporting that the Bundesliga club are looking to sell Chicharito a year before the forward’s contract expires in 2018, in order to cash in on a figure who sells shirts, but is not scoring so many goals this year, with just five strikes in 15 appearances.
Although no offers have been tabled for the former Manchester United and Real Madrid man, the right price good see the Mexican making another move this winter
3) Another one bites the China dust
The now daily China Super League news segment sees Mikel Jon Obi joining the exodus out east. The Chelsea man is signing up with Tianjin TEDA after becoming a more peripheral figure at Stamford Bridge. “I look forward to helping Tianjin TEDA FC continue to grow,” announced the midfielder.
Meanwhile, the Chinese government is even raising a few eyebrows themselves at some of the money reportedly being splashed about for players from Europe. A government spokesperson said that authorities would look to “regulate and restrain high-priced signings, and make reasonable restrictions on players’ high incomes.”
4) Llorente in Chelsea link as Deulofeu misses out on Milan
Transfer time! Chelsea are involved again with rumors of Fernando Llorente coming in and Michy Batshuayi out, although Antonio Conte has said that he is testing the forward out this weekend in the FA Cup. Nikola Kalinic is reportedly on the brinking of leaving Fiorentina for Tianjin Quanjian for a fee of $47 million.
Everton boss, Ronald Koeman has revealed that there has been no approach for misfit striker, Gerard Deulofeu, and there are no plans to let the forward go. Milan were thought to be sniffing about. Tune into the XTRA at 7PM ET / 4PM PT for the daily transfer tracker to keep up to date with all the movers and shakers.
5) WTA set for super Saturday of finals
Tennis corner! Once again, it’s all going off on beIN SPORTS with four tournaments across the network. In the WTA world, the unseeded Ailize Cornet made it through to the Brisbane final after her opponent, Garbine Muguruza was forced to retire. The Frenchwomen will play Karolina Pliskova.
Over in Auckland, the final match-up will pair Lauren Davis and Ana Konjuh in a tournament stuffed with shocks. Alison Riske takes on Katerina Siniakova in the Shenzhen Open final. All finals are on beIN SPORTS CONNECT from 9PM ET / 6PM PT onwards.
Also on CONNECT on Friday morning you can find the best men’s players in world in action. Oh yes. Andy Murray takes on Tomas Berdych and Novak Djokovic faces Verdasco. You probably don’t want to miss that.
WHAT IS SPORTS BURST?
The life philosophy of Sports Burst is that if you are not upsetting someone, then you are not trying hard enough. SB is a daily trawl and troll through the morning's sports news to bring you fact-nuggets to make you both smile and swear. Hopefully at the same time.