Halep awarded wildcard at Eastbourne

PARIS - French Open runner-up Simona Halep was awarded a wildcard entry to feature at the Aegon International in Eastbourne next week, organisers said on Thursday. Eastbourne will be Halep's first grass court tournament ahead of Wimbledon after she pulled out of the Aegon Classic in Birmingham due to an ankle injury last week. Wimbledon starts on July 3. "I am very much looking forward to playing in Eastbourne,” the Romanian said. "The quality of the draw is very high so I'm hoping for some great matches to give me the best possible preparation ahead of Wimbledon." Halep will be joined by seven other players from the world's top 10 at Devonshire Park including German Angelique Kerber, Karolina Pliskova, defending champion Dominica Cibulkova and Eastbourne resident Johanna Konta.–Agencies

 

Portugal's Guerreiro confirms fractured leg

MOSCOW - Portugal left-back Raphael Guerreiro will miss the rest of the Confederations Cup after revealing on Thursday that he has been playing with a fractured leg for months. The Borussia Dortmund defender had to be helped off in the second-half of Wednesday's 1-0 win over Russia in Moscow when Cristiano Ronaldo scored the winner. Guerreiro has confirmed he has a fracture and implies he has been playing with the injury for weeks, which he aggravated before going off in the 65th minute in Moscow. "Thank you for your messages, I have a fracture, but it happened three months ago," Guerreiro wrote on his official Instagram account. "Fortunately, the fracture is not causing me any pain, but I can't put my foot on the ground or move. "I'll be behind my team-mates for the rest of the competition."–Agencies

 

Huddersfield set to sign Mounie

MONTPELLIER - Montpellier forward Steve Mounie is expected to sign for newly-promoted Premier League club Huddersfield Town this week, according to a source close to the French club. The 22-year-old Benin international, who scored 14 goals in Ligue 1 last season, will have a medical before the two clubs officially confirm the move for a reported 13 million euros ($14.5m, #11.5m). It would be a club-record sale for Montpellier, beating the 12 million euros they received from Arsenal for Olivier Giroud in 2012, a sum that Marseille also paid them a year ago for midfielder Morgan Sanson. Three-time English champions Huddersfield will play in the top flight for the first time since 1972, after beating Reading in the Championship play-off final to win promotion last month. –Agencies

 

Germain set to follow father's footsteps

MARSEILLE - Monaco's French forward Valere Germain is set to follow in his father's footsteps and play for Marseille next season, former defender Bruno Germain said Thursday. "It's Valere's choice. He made the decision a while ago to join OM," Germain Snr, a defender with Marseille during the club's golden era in the 1990s, told La Provence newspaper. Marseille have yet to confirm the recruitment of the 27-year-old forward, who scored ten goals last season to help Monaco lift the Ligue 1 title. Germain was however overshadowed at Monaco last season by teenage sensation Kylian Mbappe. French media are reporting the transfer to be worth in the region of 10 million euros ($11 million). "The club has been close to his heart since he was a child. He always said he wanted to join Marseille," added Bruno Germain.–Agencies

 

Trump to meet IOC chief at White House

WASHINGTON - President Donald Trump, who has backed Los Angeles for the 2020 Olympics, will have a White House meeting Thursday with the International Olympic Committee chief, a US official told AFP. In a telephone interview at the end of 2016 -- following his election but prior to his inauguration -- Trump gave IOC president Thomas Bach a "very loud and clear" endorsement for the California city to host the Games. "I would love to see the Olympics go to Los Angeles. I think that it would be terrific," Trump also said. Los Angeles -- which put on the Summer Games in 1932 and 1984 -- is in the running against Paris to host the 2024 event. The United States last hosted the Summer Olympics in 1996 in Atlanta, Georgia. It has failed twice recently to win a hosting bid.–Agencies