West Ham enter race for James Rodriguez
West Ham United have joined the race to sign James Rodriguez from Real Madrid, according to the Independent. The Colombia international has struggled to tie down a regular starting spot at the Bernabeu and is likely to be available if a club can match the €80m that Real spent to bring James to the club following his superb 2014 World Cup. Manchester United, Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain are all interested, but West Ham have emerged as front-runners with the money that they had set aside for the failed attempt to attract Carlos Tevez back to east London.
Paper Round's view: West Ham will eventually get their big-name signing, but the way the Hammers have gone about the summer transfer window has been embarrassing and ineffective. A club with a new ground and plenty of money, West Ham are in a great position to tempt big names to the Olympic Stadium. But the way the market has been flooded with unattainable transfer rumours is disappointing.
It's exactly the sort of tactic that West Ham's rivals Tottenham Hotspur used to use, but they often ended up paying over the odds or buying the wrong sorts of players and the two Davids (Sullivan and Gold) could do worse than modelling themselves on how Daniel Levy has developed over recent seasons. As for James - he could well be on his way out of Real Madrid, but it won't be to join West Ham.
Kyle Edmund comes of age
Great Britain's Davis Cup victory over Serbia saw Kyle Edmund come of age - reports the Guardian. Andy Murray was missing for the tie, leaving Edmund as the top ranked British player involved as he made just his second appearance in the competition. Victories on clay in both of his singles rubbers proved pivotal as Britain marched on into the semi-finals.
Paper Round's view: It was great to see Andy Murray shouting words of encouragement during the Davis Cup weekend in Belgrade. But it was even better to see young Kyle Edmund excel in the main man's absence. The youngster looks completely at home on clay and has the all-round game to suggest he's capable of some big wins in his future career. For now, Great Britain have found themselves a gem of a player to support Murray in the semi-final against Argentina in September.
England call for green wickets after Lord's loss
England are hoping for seaming wickets for the rest of the series after their defeat to Pakistan at Lord's in the first test of the summer series - says the Telegraph. England struggled to deal with Pakistan's spin threat on a slow wicket at the home of cricket. But the ECB have urged the groundsmen of Edgbaston and Trent Bridge to produce green wickets to give Pakistan a stern test against the moving ball.
Paper Round's view: Lord's is a wonderful ground, but the wicket has not been good for England for quite some time now. The flat nature of the surface offers very little for the seam bowlers who represent the team's biggest threat, and starting series at Lord's has consistently given the visitors a chance to get their teeth into the hosts at the first time of asking. It's little wonder that both James Anderson and Ben Stokes were rested for this game - Lord's is the worst test ground in England for a fast bowler to visit shortly after injury. Expect seaming wickets for the rest of the summer and Pakistan to consistently collapse. The only problem for Trevor Bayliss and his players is trying to work out how to play Yasir Shah.
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