Malky Mackay told to quit
Cardiff City manager Malky Mackay is reportedly on the verge of leaving the Premier League club after being told to resign or face being sacked by Malaysian owner Vincent Tan. Mackay was severely rebuked by Tan earlier this week after angering the club’s supremo by asking to sign at least three players during next month’s transfer window. The 41-year-old was told by Tan that he would not get any new funds because he had already been handed a significant transfer kitty following Cardiff’s promotion from the Championship last season. Mackay responded by insisting he would not resign, but the BBC reported on Thursday that Tan sent the former Watford boss a letter by e-mail on Monday outlining his grievances at length. Tan is said to have criticized Mackay’s transfer signings, style of play and results, before demanding he resign or be sacked. Mackay’s position has been under scrutiny since Tan removed his head of recruitment Iain Moody in October amid suggestions of an overspend in the summer transfer window.
Williams to switch again
World Cup winner Sonny Bill Williams will return to New Zealand to switch codes again in 2015 in a bid to win another Webb Ellis trophy plus a gold medal in the rugby sevens at the 2016 Rio Olympics. The 28-year-old is to play for rugby league’s Sydney Roosters, the club he helped to Australia’s National Rugby League title last season, next year, before rejoining the Waikato Chiefs on a two-year contract. “We made no secret we were keen to get Sonny back in a Chiefs jersey,” Waikato coach Dave Rennie said in a statement. “He’s not only a quality player, but adds huge value to our environment off the field.” The player spent two years in New Zealand, helping the All Blacks to the 2011 World Cup and the Chiefs to their inaugural Super Rugby title last year. The Hamilton-based franchise retained their crown this year without Williams, who had left New Zealand to take up a short-term contract in Japan, before switching codes back to rugby league.
Bryant out for six weeks
Los Angeles Lakers superstar Kobe Bryant has a broken bone in his left knee and is expected to miss six weeks, the NBA team said on Thursday. “You hate it for Kobe,” Lakers coach Mike D’Antoni said in remarks posted on the team’s Twitter feed. “He’s worked so hard to get back.” Bryant missed the first 19 games of the season as he continued to recover from surgery to repair a torn left Achilles tendon suffered in April. He had played just six games and averaged 13.8 points. Bryant was injured on Tuesday in the third quarter of a 96-92 win over Memphis.
Beltran, Yankees strike deal
Outfielder Carlos Beltran and the New York Yankees have finalized a US$45 million, three-year contract. The agreement, reached on Dec. 6, was announced by the team on Thursday. The eight-time All-Star was to be introduced at a Yankee Stadium press conference yesterday. The 36-year-old played for the Mets from 2005 to 2011, when he was dealt to San Francisco. He signed a US$26 million, two-year contract with St Louis last year and reached the World Series for the first time this year. Slowed by knee injuries, Beltran has retained a potent bat — especially in October. He hit .296 with 24 homers and 84 RBIs for the Cardinals this year and added two homers and 15 RBIs in the post-season.