Brentford head coach Thomas Frank feels Chelsea have paid over the odds for Mykhaylo Mudryk and believes transfer fees being forked out are "insane."

The Blues landed the Ukraine international from Shakhtar Donetsk in a deal that could be worth £89million (€100m) as they continue to splash the cash following a takeover by a consortium-led by Todd Boehly.

Fellow winger Noni Madueke is also expected to arrived at Stamford Bridge from PSV, giving Graham Potter plenty of options to ponder.

Frank has questioned the fee the Bees' London paid for Mudryk and wonders how Potter can keep so many wingers happy.

"I think there is a lot of money around in the football world, especially in the Premier League," he told reporters ahead of the Premier League clash against Leeds United on Sunday.

"Looking from the outside, I think Mudryk is a very good player but 100million, that's a lot for a player who is showing great signs of potential but probably needs to do a bit more.

"Maybe that's just price-tags these days, which I think are insane.

"They've bought him and then there's rumours about the PSV guy as well. I think they have enough wingers but that is their issue."

Aurelien Tchouameni apologised to Real Madrid after he skipped their Copa del Rey clash with Villarreal to attend an NBA game.

The France international, who is sidelined with a calf injury, was in the crowd for the Chicago Bulls' 126-108 win over the Detroit Pistons in Paris on Thursday.

His presence at the Accor Arena, while Madrid fought back from a two-goal deficit to win 3-2 at El Madrigal, came under scrutiny from supporters.

Tchouameni subsequently issued an apology, acknowledging he made a mistake by not staying in Spain to cheer on his team-mates.

"I apologise to my club, the coaching staff, my team-mates and the Madrid fans for my presence at an event at a time when we were [...] in the cup," he wrote on social media.

"I have been attentive at all times to what was happening in Villarreal, but I have not done the right thing. [I am] very sorry."

Tchouameni has not played since a LaLiga defeat to the Yellow Submarine on January 7, when he was replaced just after the hour in a 2-1 loss.

Second-half goals from Vinicius Junior, Eder Militao and Dani Ceballos helped Carlo Ancelotti's side bounce back to winning ways on Thursday, four days after they lost the Supercopa de Espana final to Barcelona.

Los Blancos will face rivals Atletico Madrid in their Copa quarter-final after the pair were drawn against each other on Friday.

Carlos Alcaraz is on course to return to tennis action next month after the world number one stepped up his recovery from injury by practising on clay.

The 19-year-old Spaniard was ruled out of the Australian Open after suffering a hamstring injury in pre-season.

That was another blow for Alcaraz, who cut short an outstanding 2022 season due to an internal oblique muscle tear he sustained during a Paris Masters quarter-final against Holger Rune in November.

Alcaraz won five titles last year – including a maiden grand slam triumph at the US Open – and surged to the top of the ATP rankings.

The teenager delivered an encouraging update on his fitness on Friday, posting pictures of himself in action on a clay court and writing: "Back on court and back on clay. VAMOS!"

Alcaraz is set to make his comeback at the Argentina Open, which start in Buenos Aires on February 13.

He won Masters titles in Madrid and Miami last year, along with triumphs in Barcelona, Rio de Janeiro and at Flushing Meadows.

Kurtley Beale has been stood down by Rugby Australia after he was charged over an alleged sexual assault.

The NSW Waratahs back was arrested by police over reports a 28-year-old woman was assaulted in a Sydney pub on December 17.

Beale, a 95-cap Wallabies veteran, was taken into custody after he was stopped in Kingsford on Friday by authorities.

"Detectives from Eastern Suburbs Police Area Command took carriage of the matter and commenced an investigation under Strike Force Titheradge," read a police statement.

"He was taken to Waverley Police Station and charged with two counts of sexually touch another person without consent, incite another to sexually touch them without consent and sexual intercourse without consent.

"The man was refused bail to appear before Parramatta Bail Court tomorrow [on Saturday]."

In a statement of their own, Rugby Australia said Beale has been suspended from all forms of rugby until the conclusion of legal proceedings and its own investigations.

"This step follows Mr Beale’s arrest and subsequent charge with serious criminal offences, and is in line with Rugby Australia’s professional player code of conduct," Rugby Australia added.

"The Rugby Union Players Association (RUPA) has been informed of this development. As this remains a legal matter, there will be no further comment until the conclusion of these proceedings."

Beale made his Wallabies debut in 2009 and has gone on to make close to a century of appearances, including playing in the 2015 Rugby World Cup final.

He was included in a 44-man training squad by former coach Dave Rennie ahead of this year's World Cup, before the latter was replaced by Eddie Jones.

Erik ten Hag has urged Manchester United to "go for it" and seize any opportunities to strengthen their squad before the transfer window closes.

The Red Devils are the only side to have beaten leaders Arsenal in the Premier League this season, and at Emirates Stadium on Sunday they will look to make it a double over the Gunners.

A turbulent start under manager Ten Hag has been followed by an impressive resurgence that has catapulted United to third place, still in with a sniff of the title.

Ten Hag this week brought Jadon Sancho back into first-team training, after an absence to deal with what the manager described as physical and mental issues.

While winger Sancho's return to match duty could still be some weeks away, United are looking to keep improving.

Dutch striker Wout Weghorst has already joined on loan, as has English goalkeeper Jack Butland, with Ten Hag and his staff still scouring to see if there is hope of landing other targets before close of play on January 31, expecting the club to then support them.

"I think at Manchester United always you have to look for solutions, and always you have to look for better, and that is what we will do," Ten Hag said.

"We will be doing our research and if there are opportunities, we have to go for it."

Asked about Sancho's likely return date, Ten Hag said: "I can't answer that question. So it's [about] making the next step, because, it's true, [on Tuesday] he was in team training for the first time.

"But team training is the final training before a game. So we will extend that in the coming days, the coming week, and then go step by step."

United will be without suspended midfielder Casemiro for the Arsenal game, a major loss given his impact since arriving from Real Madrid in August.

The Brazilian was only a substitute when United beat Arsenal 3-1 at the start of September, however, coming on for the closing minutes once the match was all but won.

"We beat Arsenal last time without Casemiro, so we have an idea of how to do it," Ten Hag said.

Like many bosses before him, Ten Hag pointed to Arsenal giving manager Mikel Arteta time to work with the team as being crucial to their growing cohesion.

"In the moment we played them, you could already see that the manager, with a coaching style, was already working for a long time on the team, and you saw really good structures in the team," Ten Hag said.

He spoke glowingly of Arsenal's strong spirit and said United, eight point behind the Gunners, would "need a really good performance" to be competitive.

"It's obvious they are in a really good run and I think they deserve [to be] in the position where they are now," Ten Hag added.

"It's a really good structure – how they play, a really good mentality and winning attitude in a team – and that is why they are now top of the [league].

"So they are in a great run, but it's up to us to beat that run, and we will do everything to do that."

Coco Gauff is excited about the prospect of players from the United States winning both singles titles at the same grand slam again following a bright start to the Australian Open for the men.

The last American to win the men's singles crown at any grand slam was Andy Roddick at the 2003 US Open.

The USA is still way out in front for all-time grand slam men's singles titles with 147, though 19 years and counting is comfortably their worst barren spell during the Open Era.

This comes after 2003 was the 15th year in a row that the USA had at least one champion in the men's majors, with the likes of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi both prolific winners.

Of course, the drought did not extend to the women, with Serena Williams, Venus Williams, Sloane Stephens and Sofia Kenin all winning at least once since Roddick's success at Flushing Meadows.

But with eight of the last 32 in the men's draw representing the USA, there is a renewed sense of optimism – and that is even accounting for their highest seed, number eight Taylor Fritz, falling in the second round.

Gauff – who beat compatriot Bernarda Pera on Friday – is the USA's next great female hope, and she is looking forward to the day Americans claim a men's and women's double at the same slam.

Asked if there was a refreshing sense of excitement around the men, Gauff said: "Yeah, definitely. I definitely think on the men's side they're thriving.

"It's like eight people in the round of 32 I saw. I think it's incredible. It's just people that you've been rooting for for a long time, and some new faces, too, that people probably haven't been rooting for a long time but fell in love with.

"I'm just excited. On the women's side, we're always like, 'the guys need to catch up, you guys need to put in your work'. I think they're here. I'm hoping that eventually, hopefully soon, we'll have our slam champion on the men's side.

"That would be pretty cool if an American woman and guy could win the same slam. I don't know when the last time that's happened or if it's ever happened. I'll be pretty excited."

Coincidentally, it last happened at Melbourne Park. In 2003, Andre Agassi and Serena Williams were victorious at the Australian Open.

Gauff is not getting carried away, but her perception is there is genuine belief among the men now, which is being fed by unity.

"I definitely think the guys are feeling it," she said. "You can see it. I think it really comes from, not the women, but the same dynamic, where everybody is doing well, so it makes you want to do well.

"We're all not competing with each other but pushing each other. I think that's what the men are having.

"They're competing against each other but also pushing each other to be better. I'm pretty sure all the American guys get along, at least that's what I think."

There were setbacks to American men's title hopes on Friday as Frances Tiafoe and Mackenzie McDonald both lost at the last-32 stage, but there was a hugely notable win too, with Sebastian Korda beating seventh seed, two-time Australian Open runner-up and former US Open champion Daniil Medvedev in straight sets.

Brighton and Hove Albion head coach Roberto De Zerbi is hopeful Moises Caicedo will complete the season at the AMEX Stadium following Chelsea's bid for the midfielder.

The Blues reportedly saw a £55 million bid for the Ecuador international rejected on Thursday, with the Seagulls valuing the 21-year-old much higher and not willing to lose his services midway through the campaign.

While Chelsea could return with a fresh approach, having shown no limitations on splashing the cash since Todd Boehly's takeover ahead of the campaign, De Zerbi is hopeful the player will not push for an exit.

However, he admitted it will be difficult for Brighton to retain Caicedo's beyond the end of the campaign if he continues on his current track.

"Caicedo is very important for us, it's difficult to change now for another player inside the season. I hope he finishes the season with us," he told reporters ahead of the Premier League clash against Leicester City on Saturday.

"In the transfer market, it is always difficult to give one answer. When there are some bigger teams, they want the power player, it's good news for us. The best solution is he finishes the season with us and, next summer, it's then better to change team.

"I don't know if he will leave [at the end of the season] but if Caicedo continues to play like this, like the last few games, it's possible he can leave for another team."

De Zerbi says Brighton can cope without Leandro Trossard, who is closing in on a move to Arsenal.

"The situation was difficult, I understood he wanted to leave. I'm sorry for the last period because I prefer when people are clear, not when there are some differences, but we will see," the Italian said.

"I think we are a good team, we can play well with Leandro and without Leandro. I think in the transfer market, you can always improve, you can always buy new players.

"But we're at a good level now. The players in our squad are very good, and it's not so easy to improve this squad. I think the club, if there was a possibility to improve the squad, will do something."

Gary Neville believes Jim Ratcliffe would "do the right thing" by Manchester United if he were to complete a takeover.

The Glazer family announced back in November they were exploring options for new investment including the possibility of a sale of the club, opening the door for prospective bidders to make their move to complete a takeover.

This week, Ratcliffe, who previously failed with a takeover bid for Chelsea, announced his intention to enter the bidding process for United, his boyhood club.

Neville feels that Ratcliffe could be the ideal candidate to take stewardship should a takeover be completed, though urged caution on what a takeover would entail.

"The main thing is the Glazers leave as quickly as possible, but the second thing is if whoever takes over, if they could hand it over to people who have feelings for the club, that would be great," he told Sky Sports.

"Jim Ratcliffe, he was born in Manchester, he knows the area. If he wins it, I think there would be a lot of very happy Manchester United fans as he would want to do the right thing by the club. I'm sure he would.

"I don't think that United can afford to be with another investment fund that would expect a return on the money, that's what worries me about private equity coming into football because, ultimately, they want a return on their investment.

"It might be that United aren't like this club here [Manchester City] or Newcastle or other clubs who have benefactors, who are willing to let them live debt free, not leverage the club, and United need a debt-free football club with someone who is willing to put money into it."

Asked what the priority for any new owner taking charge of United should be, Neville outlined performances on the field and improving the club infrastructure as the two most crucial elements.

"The priority for the new owner has to be winning, a winning Manchester United club is difficult to stop, we've seen that in the past. At that point, United become a very dangerous football club," he added.

"The priority has to always be football performance. Then you're talking about fan experience, which means the stadium has to be world class, and it's not at this moment in time, it falls behind many stadiums that you come to.

"There needs to be investment in the team to get them winning and investment in the facilities, the fan experience. For me, they would be the two priorities."

Antonio Conte believes Tottenham have collectively forgotten how to "suffer" and grind out results after their capitulation against Manchester City.

Spurs blew a two-goal lead at the interval to slide to defeat against the Premier League champions on Thursday, going down to a 4-2 loss at the Etihad Stadium.

The result keeps the north London outfit well adrift of the top four, with a five-point gap between them and fourth-placed Newcastle United, with the Magpies also possessing a game in hand.

For Conte, whose long-term future at Tottenham remains a cloudy prospect, the manager thinks his side have lost their readiness to battle through the difficult moments this season, and he challenged them to show a "nasty" streak.

The Spurs spirit will next be put to the test at Fulham on Monday evening, with the Cottagers just two points adrift of Tottenham.

"I think that maybe we have to improve the spirit, the collaboration, the will and the desire to suffer," Conte said. "Maybe we have forgotten to suffer and to understand that.

"If we want to win the game, sometimes you have to stay there to suffer and defend the result, [with] the will and desire to not concede a goal."

Defeat to City marked a third loss in five Premier League games since Tottenham returned to domestic action following the mid-season World Cup break.

A draw with Brentford and a victory over Crystal Palace have been their other results, along with an unconvincing FA Cup win over third-tier Portsmouth.

Conte remains insistent he is seeing improvement from his side up to a point, saying: "I think that we are making progress in my opinion, in my mind, in some aspects.

"[But] in other aspects, I think that we have to come back like last season and be a bit more solid, a bit more focused, a bit more nasty.

"I think that we have to try to find the same solidity as last season and to learn again to suffer at the moment that we have to suffer. I think that we are [headed] in the right direction from my experience."

Iga Swiatek is growing in confidence by the day after she blew Cristina Bucsa to reach the fourth round of the Australian Open.

The world number one ruthlessly dispatched the Spanish qualifier 6-0 6-1 in just 55 minutes on Margaret Court Arena on Friday.

Swiatek won the French Open for a second time last year before claiming her first US Open title and the 21-year-old is the favourite to be crowned champion at Melbourne Park.

Reflecting on her progress through the draw so far, the Pole believes she is making great strides in her quest for a fourth grand slam triumph.

"I feel I'm more and more confident since day one here," she said. "I feel like I've done so much work to feel more confident, more relaxed on court.

"I'm pretty happy I did it because it's just a little bit easier. Whe you actually play those matches, you can feel the rhythm a little bit more.

"I don't feel like the tournament is going to start now, because first rounds are always challenging.

"I'm trying to treat every match separately. I always try to have the same mindset. I can just say that I feel more confident because I'm played a couple of matches here."

Swiatek will do battle with Elena Rybakina in the fourth round and will ensure she does her homework before facing the Wimbledon champion.

"Tactically, I'm not prepared yet. We played an exhibition in Dubai, [but] it's hard kind of to take a lot from that match," she said.

"I'm pretty sure my coach is going to be ready to give me some tips. We'll see [but] I'm not really thinking about that today."

Tournament director Craig Tiley has no plans to change the Australian Open schedule despite a 4am finish for Andy Murray and Thanasi Kokkinakis.

Murray stormed back from two sets down to beat Australian Kokkinakis 4-6 6-7 (4-7) 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 7-5 early in the early hours of Friday morning on Margaret Court Arena.

The three-time grand slam champion sealed an incredible victory in a second-round thriller that took five hours and 45 minutes to settle.

That was the longest match in Brit Murray's career and the 4.05am finish was the third-latest in the history of the sport.

Murray made his feelings over having to play at that time of day very clear, but Tiley did not see an alternative option.

"You would expect from 7pm to 12pm (the evening session) in that five-hour window, you would get two matches," Tiley said. "We also have to protect the matches. If you just put one match at night and there’s an injury, you don't have anything for fans or broadcasters.

"At this point there is no need to alter the schedule. We always look at it when we do the debrief like we do every year, we've had long matches before, at this point we've got to fit the matches into the 14 days so you don't have many options."

Murray vented his frustration at the chair umpire during the match and stated after his victory that he did not see the logic in playing so late.

"I don't know who it's beneficial for," Murray said. "We come here after the match and that's what the discussion is, rather than it being like, 'epic Murray-Kokkinakis match'. It ends in a bit of a farce.

"Amazingly people stayed until the end, and I really appreciate people doing that and creating an atmosphere for us. Some people obviously need to work the following day and everything.

"But if my child was a ball kid for a tournament and they're coming home at five in the morning, as a parent, I'm snapping at that. It's not beneficial for them. It's not beneficial for the umpires, the officials. I don't think it's amazing for the fans. It's not good for the players.

"We talk about it all the time, and it's been spoken about for years. But when you start the night matches late and have conditions like that, these things are going to happen."

Philadelphia 76ers coach Doc Rivers did not hide his frustration with certain elements of his team's play despite beating the Portland Trail Blazers 105-95 on Thursday.

The Sixers made it four wins on the bounce, all of which have been on the road, with Joel Embiid and James Harden playing key roles.

Embiid's 32 points made it the seventh game in a row he has reached at least 30, while Harden posted a triple-double of 16 points, 14 assists and 10 rebounds.

The Sixers looked to be coasting at one stage, finding themselves 26 points to the good, but the Trail Blazers made life a little trickier towards the end.

Rivers' team got the job done as they improved to 29-16 in the East, behind only the Boston Celtic and Milwaukee Bucks, though he was certainly not completely satisfied.

He was particularly irritated by the Sixers' poor handling of the Trail Blazers' trapping, and he was not impressed by how spread out his players were.

Asked how they coped with respect to trapping, Rivers said: "Poorly, but we also took advantage of some of it as well.

"I didn't think trapping was that hard, our spacing was horrendous, and we're great at spacing most nights, but tonight we kept leaving two guys on the other end.

"I'm hoarse from yelling, just getting one to cut through and we basically didn't do it. We got away with three or four more than I thought they could've had. But that's easy to fix."

In letting Portland back into the contest somewhat in the second half, Rivers felt there was a hint of complacency in the Sixers' performance.

As such, he surmised they are still not at a stage where they can consider themselves anything more than a "good" team.

He added: "There's no lesson, the lesson is execute. I just thought we didn't.

"You get leads sometimes and they're hard, NBA leads shrink quickly and then you get complacent, and I think we did a little bit of that.

"But in that, one thing I like is we kept playing defense, and that's a good sign.

"I think we're good, and I think we can be really, really good. But we have work to do.

"We can't expect to come in and just show up and win, we have to go out and do something about it."

Nevertheless, with the likes of Embiid and Harden in their arsenal, the Sixers have the kind of star quality that can drag them through the mud even when they are not at their optimal level as a unit.

That is not lost on Embiid.

"I think from the beginning it was easy," he said of linking up with Harden, who joined from the Brooklyn Nets last February.

"When you've got two guys with high basketball IQs, you can figure it out everything easy.

"So, it's all about just playing off of each other. We've been doing a wonderful job of doing that."

Jacque Vaughn will continue challenging Ben Simmons to answer his responsibilities after another disappointing outing saw him ejected in the Brooklyn Nets' loss to the Phoenix Suns.

Simmons was sent from the game for arguing with referee Eric Lewis having played just 18 minutes, as the Nets continued to struggle in the injury-enforced absence of Kevin Durant in a 117-112 loss – their fourth defeat in a row.

In his previous outing, Simmons had put up his first triple-double for the Nets in Tuesday's defeat to the San Antonio Spurs, but a season of ups-and-downs went on in Phoenix, where he spent most of the game contending with foul trouble.

Averaging just 7.5 points, 6.8 rebounds and 6.3 assists this campaign, the Nets need more from a player who has All-Star pedigree.

Vaughn is determined to spark more consistency in Simmons, who arrived last February as part of a blockbuster trade that sent James Harden to the Philadelphia 76ers.

"We need him to be productive, and that is without the fouls," Vaughn said. "That is helping us rebound the basketball. That is playing with poise and composure. That is pushing the pace for us.

"So unfortunately when you're a really good basketball player, your list is long and so are the responsibilities. And hopefully, we'll continue to ask of those things and challenge him and challenge this group to be able to answer those long lists."

For his part, Simmons felt the decisions given against him lacked consistency.

"I don't want to say nothing because I ain't trying to get another fine," he said.

"I think if you're going to call the game like that, then you've got to be consistent. I think it's been like that all year. If you're going to call a moving back, then you've got to be consistent [on] both ends. Same with the holding."

Team-mate Kyrie Irving remains confident in Simmons' ability to contribute to the Nets' cause but urged him to control his emotions going forward as the season reaches an important stretch towards the playoffs.

"Same thing we've been doing is just give him a ton of confidence," Irving said when asked how the team can help Simmons get going. 

"But also knowing that he's mature enough to handle himself. He's a very talented basketball player, and we could name all the superlatives, but we need him in the game and I think he understands that, especially during this stretch we're going to need him in every game.

"I've gotten ejected before only once in my career. Tempers flare, you disagree with the refs, but the big picture is the most important thing, and on this team, I think Ben realises that. But tonight, just his emotions got the best of him."

The latest defeat leaves the Nets fourth in the Eastern Conference with a 27-17 record.

Jaylen Brown likened the intensity in the Boston Celtics' workmanlike overtime 121-118 victory over the Golden State Warriors to a playoff game.

The Warriors had not returned to TD Garden since winning Game 6 of last season's NBA Finals to secure the championship.

Much like in that series, the Celtics were littered with turnovers (17 in total resulted in 24 points for the visitors) and struggled to fire on all cylinders offensively.

This time, though, Boston found a way to win. Trailing by 11 points in the second half, the Celtics fought back and Brown tied the game via a three-pointer with 18 seconds remaining and then, having gained an eight-point advantage, held on after a sloppy ending to overtime.

"That felt like a playoff game," Brown said.

"Their intensity, their force where they came, that's a game I'm sure they wanted to win. We were down, what, five to seven [points] in the fourth quarter, four, five minutes left. 

"To be able to have poise to battle back, that shows a lot of growth. We're taking steps in the right direction."

Jayson Tatum had a career-high 19 rebounds to go with 34 points and six assists but was also guilty of a couple of poor turnovers.

He too, though, felt the Celtics showed the sort of requisite desire to win when the team is not particularly playing their best basketball.

"You're going to need games like this," Tatum said. 

"There's going to be a handful of playoff games where you don't necessarily shoot the ball well, maybe even on the road – under 40 per cent, 73 per cent from the free-throw line, 17 turnovers – and still find a way to win.

"I think that just shows the depth of our team, that on a below-average night for us, we can still find a way to win. That's all that matters at the end of the night. Did you win or did you lose?"

Interim Celtics coach Joe Mazzulla felt the nature of the victory showed how the team have grown since losing the Finals.

"For us, we've talked about poise and physicality," he said. 

"Everybody asks, what did we learn [from losing in the Finals]? What have we learned? And I think what we've learned is it takes a mindset in order to be successful. And it takes a mindset to be a really, really good team in the NBA. And you can't be inconsistent with that.

"I think even though you play really, really well and we win, we're still going to have some of those moments. Yeah, we had some turnovers, we had some kind of plays where it's just kind of like, 'That shouldn't happen'. But that's going to happen.

"It's about just the habits that we're growing as far as our mindset, our poise, our physicality, our ability to execute, our ability to handle the chaos of an NBA game."

The Celtics sit top of the Eastern Conference with a league-best 34-12 record, while the Warriors are ninth and 22-23 in the West.

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