– Welbeck out of Arsenal’s Old Trafford trip
– Gerrard prepares for Anfield farewell
– Transfer rumours: RVP & Di Maria out, Bale in
– Premier League press conferences
By Matt Davis and Caroline Chapman
10:09 Liverpool v Crystal Palace (Sat 17:30 BST)
What about the question on every Liverpool fan’s lips. Will Gerrard be back?
“Steven leaving here isn’t permanent. He’s somebody I’d love to have working with me when he has finished playing.”
So Gayle is the star attraction of the 2015 T20 Blast season which starts on Friday – but can the competition match the glitz and glamour of the IPL and Australia’s Big Bash.
BBC Sport’s Stephan Shemilt looks into how and why the short-form game could take some tips from other leagues around the world.
Read more about it here.
England’s Twenty20 Blast competition needs a shake-up. The answer? Chris Gayle.
The big-hitting West Indies batsman has agreed a stint at Somerset for at least six games this summer, and captain Marcus Trescothick reckons Gayle is exactly what the competition needs.
“We’re delighted to have him over,” Trescothick told BBC Radio 5 Live.
“The moment it was announced our website crashed. The hype around Chris coming, along with other players from world cricket, is fantastic. It’s great for the competition.”
You can listen to live commentary of the T20 Blast every Friday on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra and we’ll have live text commentary on the BBC Sport website as well.
09:57 Liverpool v Crystal Palace (Sat 17:30 BST)
Rodgers on Gerrard: “I asked members of staff if they could describe Steven in one word, what word would that be.
“It’s Liverpool. Not just Liverpool as a football club but Liverpool the supporters and Liverpool the city.
“This is a guy who is very much about the city, about his people. He loves the city. He’s had a number of opportunities to move away from here to prestigious clubs but this is his club. He grew up around the corner.
“When it comes to what he’s given the city, politicians haven’t given the same amount to the city. It’s incredible really. He’s a wonderful symbol for the people here and is an icon of the club.”
Newcastle have cancelled their end-of-season awards dinner as head coach John Carver and his players battle to secure Premier League safety.
The event, which would have raised funds for the club’s charity Foundation, was due to take place at St James’ Park on Wednesday evening, four days before the final-day fixture against West Ham.
Newcastle are just two points from safety with two games to go.
A club spokesman said it would be “inappropriate” to hold the dinner given the team’s current status.
09:49 Liverpool v Crystal Palace (Sat 17:30 BST)
Brendan Rodgers has been speaking to the media this morning about his departing captain Steven Gerrard.
Asked about possibility of bringing him back on loan from MLS, Rodgers said: “We haven’t spoken about it. We’ll just see how it pans out really. It’s something that may be a possibility later down the line.
“He’s made 39 appearances last season and up until now he’s made 38 this season. That shows the value I put on him as a footballer. But I’ll miss him as a man.”
09:45 Liverpool v Crystal Palace (Sat 17:30 BST)
BBC Sport’s Juliette Ferrington is at Brendan Rodgers’ press conference where the Liverpool manager appears to be in good spirits.
“All smiles at #LFC asked on #Gerrard against Palace, Rodgers: “There’s a very good chance he’ll play…” she tweeted.
09:41 Manchester United v Arsenal (Sun 16:00 BST)
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has been speaking to the media ahead of his side’s trip to Old Trafford on Sunday.
“We want to bounce back from our defeat against Swansea and put in a good performance, ” said Wenger. “Any positive result, a win or a draw would be great.”
“Mathematically we can put distance between United and us in the top four and secure a top three place.
“I think as well it would be a symbolic statement if we won. We won there in the FA Cup and to replicate that would be important psychologically.”
09:39 You transfer window wishlist via the BBC Sport Facebook page
Brendan Martin: Aston villa – keeping Benteke will be the biggest job. Then a new number 1 or a strong replacement for Guzan.
Christopher Clee: Southampton – Need to ship out Steve Davis, Maya Yoshida and Gaston Ramirez. We need to bring in another out-and-out striker, so I’m thinking Charlie Austin. Make Alderweireld’s deal permanent. With Schneiderlin and Clyne potentially leaving, we’d need to replace them too, hopefully with 3/4 players – as we won’t be selling them cheap!
Donk Richardson: Wolves.. Need to keep Afobe and Dicko.. Looks like Sako has already left as his contact has expired.. We need a decent winger to replace him.. Maybe a new defender and holding midfielder.. We need some experience in the midfield to help our young players.
09:33 Road Cycling
Mark Cavendish sprinted to his third-stage win on a rain-soaked fifth leg of the Tour of California.
The Briton won the 154km race from Santa Barbara to Santa Clarita in three hours, 51 minutes, 37 seconds
Zico Waeytens finished second while third-placed Peter Sagan earned bonus seconds to reduce Toms Skujins’ lead in the overall standings to 18 seconds.
09:27 Welbeck out
News coming through from Arsene Wenger’s press conference. Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck is out of Sunday’s match against his old club Manchester United at Old Trafford.. Welbeck is therefore denied the chance to show Louis Van Gaal what he’s missing.
Can you call who is going to get relegated, make the Europa League or lift the FA Cup.
Have a go at our Predictor and predict the scores for all the remaining ties in the Premier League and the FA Cup final.
See how your guesses fare against other supporters and pundit Mark Lawrenson, plus get feedback from BBC Sport’s team including Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer.
It is 11 years since Arsenal earned the tag ‘invincible’ after going through the 2003/04 season unbeaten in the Premier League. A 2-1 victory over Leicester at Highbury on 15 May 2004 completed the achievement.
09:10 Your transfer window wish-list via #bbcsportsday
Mitch: Chelsea should sell Cuadrado and FIlipe Luis, bring youth team players into the squad, maybe one big signing like Bale
Allan Martin: Arsenal: In – Benteke Schneiderlin & if pos Sterling + bring back Joel Campbell. Out – Walcott Arteta Sanogo Diaby
Jamie Wilson: St Mirren need to bring in a new board, a new manager, a new squad, new admission prices and maybe they’ll get the fans back!
Some strong words from Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino who has warned nobody is safe at the club as he looks to build a side capable of finishing in the top four of the Premier League next season.
Spurs have missed out on Champions League qualification as they sit sixth, 10 points off fourth with two games remaining.
“Nobody is sure that they are staying at the club.” said Pochettino.
08:55 Road Cycling
Race leader Alberto Contador suffered a dislocated shoulder in a crash as German Andre Greipel won stage six of the Giro d’Italia.
Spaniard Contador, 32, said he was “optimistic” about his chances of continuing in the race, but would “wait until right before the start” of Friday’s stage to make a decision.
He retained the race lead from Astana’s Fabio Aru by two seconds.
Lotto’s Greipel beat Matteo Pelucchi and Sacha Modolo in a sprint finish.
Russia’s Maria Sharapova eased into the Italian Open quarter-finals by defeating Bojana Jovanovski 6-3 6-3 in Rome.
Czech Petra Kvitova beat Jelena Jankovic 6-3 6-2 while Romania’s Simona Halep overcame Venus Williams 6-2 6-1.
Spain’s Carla Suarez Navarro played for more than three hours to beat Eugenie Bouchard 6-7 (2-7) 7-5 7-6 (9-7).
Sharapova will play Belarus’ Victoria Azarenka this evening at 20:30 BST.
World number one Rory McIlroy shot a two-under-par 70 to lie five shots off the lead after the first round of the Wells Fargo Championship.
McIlroy, 26, carded six birdies, two bogeys and a double bogey at Quail Hollow, North Carolina.
USA’s Robert Streb fired a seven-under 65 and leads by one from compatriots Patrick Reed and Kevin Chappell.
McIlroy tees off in the second round at 16:00 BST.
Championship side Bolton Wanderers have announced that 13 players will leave the club this summer.
The players leaving the Macron Stadium are: Matt Mills, Craig Davies, Andrew Lonergan, Jermaine Beckford, Keith Andrews, Chris Lester, Georg Iliev, Luke Woodland, Glenn Matthews, Ryan Sellers, James Ball, Carl Kennedy and Kieran Nolan.
The Trotters also say they are in talks over contract extensions with Darren Pratley, Adam Bogdan, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Emile Heskey.
17 seasons and only one haircut
Steven Gerrard is one of the ultimate one-club players and as QPR’s Joey Barton pointed out yesterday on Twitter, he has only had one haircut in all his time at Liverpool.
As he prepares for his final Anfield game before his move to the MLS we have looked back over his Liverpool career in stickers.
Coming up we will be hearing from Premier League managers at their Friday news conferences. Steve Bruce will have plenty of questions to answer as his Hull side battle relegation, Arsene Wenger and Louis Van Gaal will discuss the big match at Old Trafford on Sunday while there may be one or two Steven Gerrard tributes.
Hull (all times BST 0830), Arsenal (0900), West Brom (0900), Liverpool (0930), Stoke (0945), Palace (1230), Man City (1245), Chelsea (1400), Swansea (1400), Sunderland (1400), Manchester United (1600)
08:17 Get involved #bbcsportsday
It’s almost the end of the season and the rumour mill is about to go into overdrive as we approach the opening of the transfer window on 1 July.
Most managers have one eye on what players they want to bring in and who they want to ship out.
So we are asking who does your club need and who hasn’t cut the mustard.
Get involved: Tweet us with your suggestions #bbcsportsday or text via 81111 (UK) or via the Match of the Day Facebook Page.
We couldn’t go a day without taking about Kevin could we. This week Pietersen has scored 355 not out, been exiled by England, got injured and ruled out of the IPL and flown to Dubai. After all of this the Daily Telegraph say there is still hope for the controversial batsman.
They report there could be a way back into the England side if captain Alastair Cook stands down or loses the captaincy.
Yet more Manchester United and Gareth Bale rumours in the Daily Star who say Louis Van Gaal will try and talk Real Madrid president Florentino Perez into selling him Gareth Bale for £80m.
Tottenham striker Harry Kane is the latest name to be linked with Manchester United according to the Daily Mail. Louis Van Gaal has lined up a £45m bid for the England international.
Manchester United dominate today’s back pages with their summer transfer plans. The Mirror report that the Old Trafford club will sell Angel Di Maria and Robin van Persie to fund a move for Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale.
07:56 Good morning
Good morning and welcome to Friday.
It’s almost the weekend and that means a full Premier League fixture list to get your teeth into.
We will be hearing from the managers as we look ahead to the weekend’s games and an Anfield farewell to Liverpool’s Steven Gerrard.
But first the back pages where a certain Gareth Bale and Manchester United feature heavily…
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