Kevin Nisbet admits Wednesday’s cinch Premiership match at home to Celtic could be his last at Easter Road as a Hibernian player.

The prolific 26-year-old has regularly been linked with transfers away from the Hibees since joining from Dunfermline in 2020 and a proposed £2.3million move to Millwall fell through in January when the striker – who had just returned from long-term injury – decided he would prefer to remain in Edinburgh “for the time being”.

With just one year left on his contract and little prospect of Hibs being able to tie their prized asset to a new deal, it is widely expected that a fully-fit Nisbet will be sold this summer.

Asked on Tuesday if it was in his mind that the Celtic match could be his last at Easter Road, he said: “It could, yeah. But for me it’s just about focusing on the game and then focusing on the Hearts game (at Tynecastle on Saturday).

“All the other stuff is put to the side until after the season and then we’ll take it from there. For me, it’s just about putting a good performance on against Celtic and trying to get three points.”

Nisbet remained coy when pressed further on how he expects this summer to pan out.

“I’m not really too sure,” he said. “I’ve not really thought into it. My agent and the club are in good dialogue with each other and I’ve said I kind of want to stay out of it. I just want to focus on finishing the season well.”

Nisbet would like to see Hibs get a good fee in return for his services.

“Of course I do,” he said. “This is my third season here and I’ve got a good connection with the club. They’ve been great to me so if I can return the investment, that would be great for all parties.”

Nisbet – whose openness about the possibility of leaving has not always endeared him to supporters – is pleased that he will likely leave on good terms with the Hibees after scoring 10 goals since his return from an ACL injury in December, while also snubbing Millwall to stay at Easter Road.

“I’ve loved it,” he said of playing in front of the Hibs fans. “There’s been a wee bit of ups and downs between me and the supporters.

“But after coming back from the injury, I think I’ve created that connection back with the fans which I’ve been delighted about because it did hurt me a lot when I didn’t really have that connection with the fans.

“I love the club. The club has been good to me and I’ve been good to the club so it will be good to see the supporters out in force (against Celtic).”

Asked if he felt he had been vindicated in staying at Hibs instead of signing for Millwall, Nisbet said: “Yeah, of course. I wanted to come back and stay and play well.

“I’ve been there before where January moves have fallen through and I think I didn’t deal with it previously as well as I did this time.

“I wanted to come back and enjoy my football – and I have.”

Having been sidelined by injury from February to December last year, Nisbet feels he is now back in prime condition and ready to be considered for a Scotland recall for the Euro 2024 qualifiers against Norway and Georgia next month.

“It’s been an enjoyable return to play,” he said. “I don’t think a lot of people expected me to come back the way I did.

“I’ve probably come back a better player as well. I knew in my head I would but there were a lot of doubters so it’s good to silence the doubters a bit as well.

“It was a long and very lonely nine months out but I put in a lot of hard work and I think people can see with my performances how hard I actually worked.

“The last Scotland camp (in March) was maybe a bit too soon because I was only a few months into my return to play but I’ve had a good five, six months now and I feel better physically.

“I’m sharper and fitter than ever, so hopefully I get selected.”

Royal Scotsman has been supplemented for the Tattersalls Irish 2,000 Guineas at the Curragh on Saturday.

Trained by Paul and Oliver Cole, the Gleneagles colt had a busy time at two, winning the Richmond Stakes and finishing second in the Dewhurst to Chaldean.

He once again found Andrew Balding’s charge too good in the 2000 Guineas at Newmarket when a fine third after racing keenly in the early stages.

Alex Cole, racing manager for Fitri Hay, who owns Royal Scotsman, confirmed: “We have supplemented him, so fingers crossed.

“He seems in good form so we thought we’d roll the dice again.”

One place in front of Royal Scotsman at Newmarket was Kevin Ryan’s 125-1 outsider Hi Royal and the two are on course to clash again.

The fourth, Galeron, is also on target, with Knight (seventh) and Charyn (eighth) others to meet again.

Aidan O’Brien has three contenders, headed by Paddington, who could be joined by Cairo and Age Of Kings.

Donnacha O’Brien’s Group One-winning two-year-old Proud And Regal is also among the 12 contenders.

In the Greenlands Stakes, Charlie Hill’s Garrus could aim to follow up his Abernant win at Newmarket, with potential rivals including Michael O’Callaghan’s Twilight Jet in a field of nine.

In the Tattersalls Irish 1,000 Guineas on Sunday, Dermot Weld holds a very strong hand in his attempt to follow up the victory of Homeless Songs last year.

He fields Tahiyra, a narrow second at Newmarket, and Tarawa, second in a Group Three on her return to action.

Aidan O’Brien has four of the 11, headed by Breeders’ Cup winner Meditate. She could be joined by Dower House, Never Ending Story and the supplemented Jackie Oh.

Fozzy Stack also has a couple of options in Aspen Grove and You Send Me, while John Quinn’s Breege is a possible British raider.

Jean-Claude Rouget has supplemented Vadeni for the Tattersalls Gold Cup, in which he could face Irish Champion Stakes winner Luxembourg, who is looking to bounce back from a disappointing seasonal return.

Point Lonsdale is another Coolmore possible while Bay Bridge has been left in by Sir Michael Stoute and Anmaat is another UK-based contender.

Arsenal forward Bukayo Saka has signed a new long-term contract.

The 21-year-old England international has scored 14 goals in all competitions this season as well as providing 11 assists.

Saka told the club website: “I’m just really happy. There’s been a lot of talking and it’s been a while, but I’m here now. I think this is the right club, the right place to make the next step. It’s a beautiful club – look where we are.

“For me, it’s about achieving my personal ambitions – how much I push myself and demand from myself each game, week in, week out. Then I have all the right people around me in terms of family, and when I come to the training ground, my team-mates, the coaching staff.

“I think I have everything I need to become the best player I can be, and that’s why I’m happy to stay here and be here for the future, because I really believe that we can achieve big things.”

Saka made his Gunners debut in November 2018 and has made 178 appearances in red and white.

He added: “I have seen a lot of change. I’ve seen this team and the club grow, and one thing that everyone around us can be excited about is that we are going in the right direction.

“Time is on our side. You can look at our team and a lot of the players are young. We’re hungry, and a lot of us haven’t won trophies at Arsenal so we want to achieve big things. If you watch the way we all speak, we want to win and we want to win here.

“It’s been too long since this club has had Champions League football. I’m really looking forward to Tuesday and Wednesday nights in this stadium, the atmosphere is going to be special.”

Saka joins goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale in signing a new deal in the last few days.

Boss Mikel Arteta said: “It’s great for the club that Bukayo has extended his contract. Retaining our best young talents is key to our continued progress and Bukayo represents such an important part of our squad now and for the future.

“As well as being a fantastic talent, Bukayo is a special person, he’s loved by us all and he is a credit to himself and his family for the hard work and commitment they have all made to get to this level today.

“Together with our supporters, we’re so looking forward to enjoying Bukayo’s continued development with us in the years to come.”

Connections were left frustrated following Marshman’s appearance in York’s 1895 Duke of York Clipper Stakes last week and will now make a late decision on whether he will line up in the King’s Stand Stakes or Commonwealth Cup at Royal Ascot.

The Karl Burke-trained three-year-old had finished second in the Gimcrack on his previous visit to the Knavesmire and headed into the Group Two contest having won three of his five career outings following a comeback win at Chantilly in the Group Three Prix Sigy.

However, a tardy start meant Clifford Lee was unable to get the son of Harry Angel to challenge in the ideal spot from his draw of stall two and although travelling with some menace out wide on the flank, his pursuit of glory petered out in the closing stages to be beaten three lengths in fifth.

“Everything kind of went wrong,” said Nick Bradley, managing director of owners Nick Bradley Racing.

“I haven’t watched it many times because when you don’t enjoy what you see, you don’t tend to go back and watch it that much.

“He bunny hopped at the start and lost one or two lengths. Cliff wasn’t able to come down the centre of the track because he had horses on his right and ended up definitely challenging on the wrong side of the track.

“He came there and loomed up at the two pole, as did the winner and Highfield Princess, but he just didn’t see it out. I’m putting that down to him losing a few lengths at the start and having to challenge on the worst part of the track.

“I think if he was drawn 10 and bunny hopped the start, he’s definitely in the first three – where I don’t know. If he’s drawn 10 and doesn’t bunny hop the start, I think he could have been in the first two.”

Having travelled powerfully it is easy to envisage Marshman dropping back to the stiff five furlongs of the King’s Stand at the Royal meeting, but Bradley is keen to bide his time and see how the fields are shaping up before making a decision.

“It’s very easy to say that because of the way he ran, but there are legitimate excuses,” said Bradley of the prospect of running over five furlongs. “You are walking away from York frustrated because a big day hasn’t gone your way.

“We’re not going to make any quick decisions. We will watch the Sandy Lane this weekend and see how the races pan out and see nearer the time.

“I think I would rather run him over five than six at Ascot, but we will see how the races look like.”

The fight for Premier League survival reaches its climax on Sunday with three clubs still scrapping for their top-flight lives.

Two of Everton, Leicester and Leeds will join already-relegated Southampton in the Sky Bet Championship next season on what is set to be a dramatic final day of the campaign.

Here, the PA news agency takes a look at what each club needs to happen if they are to avoid the drop.


Opposition: Bournemouth (h)

Position: 17th

Points: 33

Goal difference: -24

The equation is simple for the Toffees: win and their fears are over regardless of what happens elsewhere. Anything less could prove fatal.

A draw would open the door for Leicester to leapfrog them on goal difference with a win, while Leeds could also overhaul them on goals scored with victory by three or more.

However, Everton would be safe even in defeat if both the Foxes and Leeds failed to win.


Opposition: West Ham (h)

Position: 18th

Points: 31

Goal difference: -18

Victory is the only option for Dean Smith’s men and even then, it might not prove enough.

Leicester also need Everton not to win – defeat for the Toffees would keep them up by a point, while a draw at Goodison would edge City to safety on goal difference.


Opposition: Tottenham (h)

Position: 19th

Points: 31

Goal difference: -27

Like the Foxes, Leeds must win and even then, they would have to keep their fingers crossed that both Everton and Leicester did not.

In the event that Everton drew, they would need to make up three clear goals to leapfrog them.

At the same time, Sam Allardyce’s men would have to achieve an improbable goal swing – they head into the weekend nine worse off – to edge past Leicester if they managed to beat West Ham.

Jack Nowell has ruled himself out of England’s plans ahead of the World Cup in France later this year.

Nowell, who is currently recovering from a knee injury, looks set to join European champions La Rochelle ahead of next season.

And 30-year-old Nowell has decided to take himself out of the selection frame, effectively signalling an end to his 46-cap England career.

England’s current selection policy dictates that players plying their trade overseas are not considered for Test duty.

“I am not doing the World Cup, no World Cup. I am just going to chill and get my knee sorted,” Nowell told the RugbyPass Offload podcast.

“It was a hard decision not to put myself in for selection for the World Cup, but I thought it was probably one that I had to make for myself and my family as well.

“We are going to make the most of being back home in Cornwall, probably spend the next few weeks there and we have got our testimonial tournament at Sandy Park on June 3.

“I was in contact with (England head coach Steve Borthwick) ‘Borthers’ and he let me know I wasn’t going to be involved in the Six Nations, which was completely fair enough. New coach, new ideas.

“I was happy with that, it was my last year at the club (Exeter), so I got to really focus on doing my best for the club and try and focus on getting us into the big games at the end of the season.

“When you do sign abroad, you have an option of signing pre-World Cup or post-World Cup. For me, I made the decision that it was probably best for me and my family to sign a pre-World Cup contract.”

Borthwick turned to the likes of Anthony Watson, Ollie Hassell-Collins and Henry Arundell during the Six Nations, with wing a hugely-competitive area.

Nowell added: “I am sure it would be a bit different if I was talking to Steve all the time and I have spoken to him since then to tell him my decision.

“I think I was in his World Cup plans, especially for the first get-togethers as a big squad, but I decided not to do that and make sure my family get settled in France and make sure I get settled in France.

“As much as I would like to have done this one (World Cup) and given it a good crack, sometimes you have got to read between the lines and understand you are probably not in the coach’s favour.

“Don’t get me wrong, I would love to have fought for my position and got myself back into playing, but family comes first for me.”

Hearts midfielder Cammy Devlin is relishing a high-stakes finale to the season as Hearts aim to continue hunting down Aberdeen and secure European group-stage football.

The Jambos pulled off a potentially huge victory over the Dons on Saturday to cut the gap between the teams from five points to two in the battle for third place in the cinch Premiership.

Hearts travel to Rangers on Wednesday and host city rivals Hibernian on Saturday, while the Dons welcome St Mirren before finishing away to Celtic.

Devlin knows it will be a “special” ending to the season if his side can pip the Reds and secure third place – and the financial and European rewards that go with it – for the second year running.

“Being a professional footballer you want to play in the big pressure games,” said the Australia international. “For all of us being fortunate enough to be at a club like Hearts, that pressure is normal.

“It’s about building yourself up for the games and being up for it, and there’s no excuses for not being up for it.

“On Saturday, as individuals and as a team, we showed we are up for it. We’ve got massive games coming up and it could be very special, but we’ve just got to control what we can control and hopefully make that happen.”

Devlin is adamant Hearts never gave up hope of finishing third even though Aberdeen, who won eight games out of nine before the split, seemed to be marching clear in recent months.

“I don’t think we’ve ever taken our mind off third,” he said. “That’s where we know we need to be. Obviously there was a period there where we as players weren’t good enough, but I think you can see now where we want to be.

“We look like we’re turning it around. Saturday was a massive result and it showed how hungry we are to give back to the people who pay to come and watch us home and away, and hopefully we can finish that off in the last two games.”

Hearts had 30 goal attempts against Aberdeen and 38 in their recent 6-1 victory over Ross County.

Devlin has enjoyed the “front-foot” football Steven Naismith has encouraged since being appointed interim manager in April and the midfielder feels that approach is essential for Wednesday’s match with Rangers at Ibrox, a venue at which the Jambos have not won in nine years.

“We’ve found it tough against Rangers, they are a very good team, there’s no shying away from that,” said Devlin.

“But since Naisy’s come in we’ve changed a few things. A few results haven’t been ideal, but I think the football we’ve been playing has been attractive to watch and as a player it’s enjoyable to be playing attacking football on the front foot.

“The defensive side of it is so important (at Ibrox), but we need to go and score more goals than them.

“Naisy won’t want to set us up defensively because that’s not the coach he is and (assistants) Frankie (McAvoy) and Gordy (Gordon Forrest) aren’t like that.

“As players you never want to sit back on your box inviting pressure, that’s not enjoyable for any player, so we certainly won’t be doing that.

“Naisy wants us to play attacking football and take any opportunity to go forward and put pressure on the opponent. He’s instilling that into the players and I think it’s showing.”

Leicester boss Dean Smith believes his side have piled the pressure onto Everton after seeing his team set up a dramatic final day of the Premier League season with a battling draw at high-flying Newcastle.

The 2016 champions will head into Sunday’s home clash with West Ham knowing even victory might not prove enough to keep them in the top-flight, but having piled the pressure on rivals Everton and Leeds.

If the Toffees win at home to Bournemouth, both City and Sam Allardyce’s side, who host Tottenham, will be relegated regardless of their results.

But a draw at Goodison Park coupled with a Leicester win would see the Foxes survive by virtue of goal difference and Smith believes they have put the heat on Everton.

“I think we have because if they draw and we win, we stay up. I did say it might be down to goal difference,” Smith said.

“But we’ve got a tough game against West Ham, who have just qualified for a European final and have got a very good manager who’s a friend of mine, David Moyes, who I have got a lot of respect for.

“He’ll make it, certainly, a really tough game for us. We hope now that we can get to the King Power and if fortunes go our way…

“We have taken it to the last game, we’ve made Everton have to win if we win ourselves.”

The need to win – something City have done on only eight occasions to date in the league this season – means there is no margin for error on Sunday with two points currently separating them from the final safe spot in the table.

However, Smith will not adopt a gung-ho approach to the task.

“No, because if you chuck everything, they have got good enough players – they’ve just qualified for a European final – that they could open some doors against us, and we can’t allow that,” Smith added.

“We have to make sure that we play a balanced performance to make sure we don’t give big chances away, but go and create some.”

It was a very different balance on Tyneside, where Smith admitted he had set up simply to avoid defeat by a team chasing and ultimately securing Champions League qualification, although the visitors might have emerged with three priceless points had Nick Pope not made his only save of the game to keep out Timothy Castagne’s stoppage-time volley.

“Have I gambled with Leicester’s future? No. I am a bit of a risk-taker, but that wasn’t a gamble,” Smith said when asked about his approach.

“If I came here and went at Newcastle, we could have been beaten four or five. It wasn’t a gamble.

“We kept a clean sheet, which was what we needed to do. We need to score, which we know we’ve got our problems with.”

Alfredo Morelos leads the list of five out-of-contract players confirmed as leaving Rangers this summer.

The Colombia striker, winger Ryan Kent, veteran goalkeeper Allan McGregor, midfielder Scott Arfield and defender Filip Helander will depart the cinch Premiership outfit.

The Ibrox club also announced that veteran midfielder Steven Davis, whose contract is also expiring, “remains in discussions to continue working with the club’s medical team to support his return to full fitness following a long-term ACL injury suffered in December 2022”.

The Light Blues finished runners-up to Premiership champions Celtic this season and will end the season without a trophy.

Boss Michael Beale, who took over from Giovanni van Bronckhorst in November, promised a revamp of the Rangers squad for next season.

A statement on the club’s official website read: “Each of the departing players has given the club excellent service and will move on to the next stage in their careers with the warmest wishes and thanks of everyone at Ibrox and the Rangers Training Centre.

“The individuals have contributed enormously to the club’s capture of a record 55th Scottish league title, last season’s Scottish Cup, the run to the UEFA Europa League final and qualification for the UEFA Champions League this season.

“Allan McGregor, of course, also gained significant honours with the club in his first spell and broke the 500 appearance mark for Gers back in April.

“Tributes to the departing players will be paid at tomorrow’s match with Hearts.

“Additional acknowledgements to those leaving will continue on the club’s digital platforms in the coming weeks, with Allan McGregor to be further recognised in his testimonial match with Newcastle on July 18.”

A laid-back temperament is sure to help Sprewell as he bids to give Jessica Harrington a maiden Derby victory.

That is the message from the County Kildare handler, whose three-year-old son of Churchill is charting a course to the Epsom Classic on Saturday week.

Sprewell has blossomed this term, winning both starts, including an impressive three-length victory in the Group Three Derby Trial Stakes at Leopardstown.

“I’ve been delighted with him,” said Harrington. “We knew he would come on over the winter and he has run two good, solid races since.

“He came out of Leopardstown very well. He definitely stepped forward from there again and we are looking forward to Saturday week.

“I think the step up to a mile and a half will definitely suit him. He ran through the line very strong and he’s a very nice, relaxed horse, which is the main thing.

“Nothing seems to faze him and I think going the mile and a half will suit him, because I think he will settle well, which he has done in both of his races this year.”

Harrington has previously been better known for training jumping stars such as Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Sizing John, Champion Hurdler Jezki and Champion Chaser Moscow Flyer.

Yet in recent times she has acquired more Flat horses – and quality ones at that.

She has won the Coronation Stakes at Royal Ascot with Alpine Star and Alpha Centauri, who also took top-class success in the Falmouth, Irish 1,000 Guineas and the Prix Jacques le Marois, while Millisle landed the Cheveley Park and Albigna the Prix Marcel Boussac.

She is no stranger to Classic glory, annexing the Irish Oaks last season with Magical Lagoon before a tough period in her personal life following a breast cancer diagnosis in October.

On a conference call to promote the Betfred-sponsored blue riband, Harrington added: “Things are great and I’m lucky enough.

“I’ve finished the worst part of it probably now, the chemotherapy, and we are just going onto the next stage now. It will take a bit longer, but I’ll be out and about very shortly.

“I’ve been very lucky enough to have a great support team. My daughter Kate and my son-in-law and my other daughter Emma, they’ve been around all winter, keeping things going.

“I did my best to get out every single day I could to look at the horses, because that was the best therapy I reckoned I had, because it was just lovely looking at the horses every day.

“I went racing last Friday at Leopardstown, but I go when it is nice and near when I can.

“I will most likely be watching the Derby at home, but I just don’t know. I’ll see how I get on.”

Harrington has only had one runner in the Derby before, with 150-1 chance Gold Maze finishing ninth to Serpentine, a renewal run during the Covid pandemic in July 2020.

Sprewell goes to Epsom with a greater degree of confidence behind him as a general 12-1 chance and the 76-year-old feels his rapid progress this year, after two runs as a juvenile, will stand him in good stead.

“He’s done everything we hoped he would do,” said Harrington. “We were fairly confident going to Naas for the conditions race, rather than going for a maiden. He did that well and he learned a bit that day.

“He made a big step forward when we sent him to Leopardstown and he hit the line very strong that day, having come round the outside.”

“I think he will improve for racing,” she added. “He’s a fine, big horse.

“We are very happy with the temperament he’s got so far. He’s a laid-back horse and he’s very straightforward, and each time he’s run, he’s walked round the parade ring in a very relaxed manner.

“I know there will be much more hype and buzz in Epsom, but so far he has been very good.”

Physically and mentally, the difference between last year and this has been startling.

She added: “We always thought he would be a better three-year-old than a two-year-old. He never looked like a two-year-old. He was big and backward-looking all the way through last summer.

“He had to grow into himself and then seemed to get organised mentally. He had to grow up mentally more than anything else, he was very babyish last year.”

Those looking to pick holes in his form will point to the ground conditions. All four previous runs have some with plenty of ease and not once has the word ‘good’ entered the going description.

However, Sprewell’s conditioner feels this is something of an outlier and should they race on quick ground at Epsom, she believes it will not be a major factor.

Harrington said: “I think they will all go on it once. He is a low-moving horse, he is a very good-moving horse and I see no reason why he won’t run very well on it.

“It is just out of circumstances he’s run on soft ground, because it was a wet autumn in Ireland last year and it has been a wet spring.”

The Mohamed Khalid Mohamed Abdulrahim-owned colt has ticked every box thus far. Shane Foley’s mount will, of course, have to overcome Epsom’s idiosyncrasies of cambers and undulations, but Sprewell has plenty of the right attributes.

“He is a very well-balanced horse, so I’m hoping he will cope with it fine,” said Harrington.

“It would be very special to win the Derby. It’s on the bucket list. It is great to go there with a horse that’s got a chance. It’s very exciting.”

Callum Wilson is in line for an England recall as boss Gareth Southgate waits on Jude Bellingham’s fitness.

Newcastle striker Wilson has scored 11 goals since he was overlooked for the European Championship qualifying wins against Italy and Ukraine in March.

On Wednesday Southgate names his squad for the Euro 2024 qualifiers in Malta on June 16 and at home to North Macedonia in Manchester on June 19, with England top of Group C.

Wilson has helped spearhead the Magpies’ top-four charge and they confirmed their return to the Champions League after 20 years with Monday’s 0-0 draw against Leicester.

The 31-year-old went to the World Cup in Qatar but scored just once in 13 games after the season resumed, prompting Southgate to leave him out.

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe has previously backed his striker for a recall.

He said: “It’s one for Gareth, but he is certainly doing the right things, scoring goals. That is always going to get you the headlines. He is certainly in great form. I don’t know if it is his best.

“But I think he is very focused at the moment and he knows he has to be. I think the biggest compliment I can pay him is that, whatever situation he’s been in, he’s still been himself, laughing, smiling, joking.

“He is a really positive character. He’s somebody that the squad needs to be positive because he’s such a big personality within it.”

There is a spot available after Ivan Toney’s eight-month ban for betting offences was confirmed this month.

The Brentford striker made his debut as a late substitute in the 2-0 win over Ukraine but will be unable to play competitively again until January.

Aston Villa’s Ollie Watkins missed out on a call-up last time and will come into Southgate’s thoughts again.

Watkins has 15 goals this season, although he has not scored in his last six outings and missed a penalty in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool.

Borussia Dortmund’s Bellingham missed Sunday’s 3-0 win at Augsburg with a knee problem he suffered in the 5-2 win over Borussia Monchengladbach and is a doubt for Saturday’s final game against Mainz.

Dortmund are two points clear of Bayern Munich at the top of the Bundesliga, hunting their first title since 2012.

Trent Alexander-Arnold is almost certain of a return after his improved form for Liverpool and with Reece James’ season having been ended by a hamstring injury in April.

Marcus Rashford is expected to be fit after injury and illness this month and Raheem Sterling could be recalled after being injured in March, while Morgan Gibbs-White’s form, which has helped Nottingham Forest stay in the Premier League, makes him an option for Southgate.

Ben Chilwell has a hamstring injury, which could open the door for Arsenal’s Ben White to return, while Chelsea team-mate Mason Mount had surgery on a pelvic injury last month and is unlikely to be risked.

David Probert is set for a swift return to action having escaped serious injury when kicked at Windsor on Monday night.

The incident occurred in the parade ring before the 5.35 race where Probert was due to ride Bits And Bobs for Andrew Balding and having been kicked by his intended mount, green screens were put in place while he was attended to before being taken to the nearby Slough hospital.

However, there appears to be no lasting damage, with Probert tweeting on Monday night that his X-rays had come back all clear and that he was simply sore and bruised.

He intends to return to the saddle on Wednesday where he has a full book of rides at Kempton’s evening all-weather meeting.

“I’ve spoken to David this morning and he is just bruised. All being well he will be back tomorrow,” said Neil Allan, the jockey’s agent.

“He won’t be riding today because he is bruised, but he was in good spirits when I spoke to him this morning.”

LaLiga will request greater jurisdiction to punish clubs whose fans are guilty of racist abuse after feeling “powerless” at the lack of current sanctions in the wake of the latest Vinicius Junior incident.

The Spanish league is engulfed in a racism scandal after Real Madrid forward Vinicius was allegedly subjected to racist chants during Sunday’s game at Valencia and later claimed it was an example of “continuous episodes spread across several cities in Spain”.

LaLiga, according to the country’s law, can currently only identify and report incidents, and punishment is rarely handed out.

Now it wants legislation changing so that it has the power to impose punishment such as forcing games to be played behind closed doors or financial penalties.

It said in a statement: “LaLiga will request more sanctioning powers, with the aim of being more agile and effective in the fight against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport, where LaLiga has been leading the identification and reporting of such behaviour in football stadiums for years, but feels powerless when observing how its reporting ends.

“Despite its intense and continuous fight against violence and racism to the full extent of its powers (currently, according to Spanish legislation, limited to identifying and reporting the facts that occur), LaLiga feels tremendous frustration at the lack of sanctions and convictions by the sports disciplinary bodies, public administrations and jurisdictional bodies to which it reports.

“Faced with this serious situation, in the coming days LaLiga will formally request the amendment of Law 19/2007 of July 11, against violence, racism, xenophobia and intolerance in sport and Law 39/2022 of December 30, on sport.

“The purpose of the proposal is to request that LaLiga may exercise disciplinary authority over incidents of this type which occur in matches of the professional competition, so that the disciplinary bodies of LaLiga may proceed to sanction them, among other things, with the total or partial closure of the sports venue, the prohibition of access to it in the case of members/fans and the imposition of financial penalties, without prejudice to the adoption of provisional or precautionary measures that may be appropriate, depending on the nature and seriousness of the incidents.


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“As we have been repeating in recent days, LaLiga has been leading the fight against violence, racism and intolerance on football pitches, both inside and outside the stadium, identifying such behaviour through its match directors, security officers and television cameras, and subsequently reporting it to the relevant bodies.”

It comes on the day four people have been arrested in Spain under suspicion of hanging an effigy of Vinicius off a bridge in January.

An inflatable doll dressed in a Vinicius shirt was hung from the railings with a banner that read ‘Madrid hates Real Madrid’ ahead of Real’s Copa del Rey game with city rivals Atletico at the start of the year.

And Spanish police confirmed on Tuesday that four suspects had been apprehended.

They tweeted: “Arrested in #Madrid 4 people who allegedly hung a mannequin with the #Vinicius shirt on a bridge near the Ciudad Deportiva del @realmadrid.”

The arrests follow the latest racism scandal that has engulfed Spanish football, with Vinicius targeted by racist chants during Sunday’s LaLiga game with Valencia.

The Brazil international threatened to leave the pitch in the second half after being subjected to alleged monkey chants at the Mestalla.

Real Madrid said the abuse constituted a “hate crime” and filed a complaint with the Spanish State Attorney General’s Office.

Valencia confirmed police had identified a fan who made racist gestures at Vinicius and that individual faces a lifetime stadium ban.

Vinicius tweeted on Monday night: “Every round away from home is an unpleasant surprise. And there were many this season. Death wishes, hanged doll, many criminal screams… All registered.

“But the speech always falls on ‘isolated cases’, ‘a fan’. No, these are not isolated cases. They are continuous episodes spread across several cities in Spain (and even in a television programme).

“The evidence is there in the video. Now I ask: how many of these racists had names and photos exposed on websites? I answer to make it easier: zero. None to tell a sad story or make those fake public apologies.

“What is missing to criminalise these people? And punish clubs sportingly? Why don’t sponsors charge LaLiga? Don’t televisions bother to broadcast this barbarity every weekend?

“The problem is very serious and communications no longer work. Not blaming me to justify criminal acts either. You are not football, you are inhuman.”

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