Sporting briefs

Busquets: Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets will sign a new five-year contract with the Spanish champions. A statement published on Barca’s official website said Busquets, 28, would commit his future to the Catalan club until June 30, 2021 by agreeing a new deal today. The new contract includes the option of a further two-year extension, depending on the number of games the Spain international plays.

Elimated: Russia’s Champions League contenders suffered setbacks in their preparation for next week’s group matches when they were knocked out of their domestic cup by lower-league teams yesterday. Champions CSKA Moscow, who host Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, were beaten 2-1 in the round of 32 by Yenisey Krasnoyarsk, who play in the country’s second tier. Rostov, who entertain PSV the following night, were thrashed 4-0 at Dynamo Moscow.

Mancini: Former Inter coach Roberto Mancini is among the favourites to land the vacant job at Valencia following the sacking of Pako Ayestaran. According to reports, Mancini, who also coached Manchester City and Galatasaray, will hold talks very soon. He is a free agent after terminating his contract with Inter by mutual consent just days before the new league season in Italy got underway.

Balotelli: Nice’s brilliant start to the season continued when Mario Balotelli struck another double as they sank Monaco 4-0 in the Azurean derby to go top of Ligue 1 yesterday. The Italian striker, who scored twice on his debut earlier this month, found the back of the net either side of the interval after Paul Baysse’s opener. Alassane Plea rounded off the scoring to put Nice on 14 points from six games.

Basketball results

Independence Cup
Men: SFs – Floriana vs Luxol 55-41, Depiro vs Athleta 40-59.
Final – Floriana vs Athleta 45-59.
Women: Group stage – Depiro vs Luxol 34-45; Athleta vs Hibs 50-58.
Final – Luxol vs Athleta 48-40.


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