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Man United rebuffs Chelsea bid for Rooney

LONDON -- Chelsea's ambitious bid to sign striker Wayne Rooney from Manchester United has been rejected by the Premier League champions.

The 27-year-old Rooney has been pushing for a move since expressing his frustration to the club about his lack of playing time towards the end of last season.

But both Alex Ferguson and David Moyes, who succeeded his fellow Scot as manager in May, have insisted Rooney is not for sale since he has two years left on his contract.

Despite those public statements, Chelsea has maintained its pursuit of the England striker, culminating in a formal bid submitted to its Premier League rival.

The London club was moved to confirm the bid to deny reports that it had offered midfielder Juan Mata or defender David Luiz as part of a 10- million-pound ($15 million) offer.

"The official bid was just about a certain amount of money... not one single player was involved in our bid," Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho said Wednesday after a 1-0 victory over Thailand's all-star team during a pre-season tour of Asia.


Wheaties lose Macpherson

BRANDON -- It's the end of an era for the Brandon Wheat Kings.

The WHL club is looking for a new head scout after longtime director of player personnel Al Macpherson stepped down Wednesday after 27 years with the organization. One of the most respected and successful junior hockey scouts in Western Canada, Macpherson was the longest-serving member of the organization, first joining the team in a part-time scouting capacity back in 1986. He took over a full-time role as director of player personnel in 1998 and began overseeing a scouting staff and a 50-player protected list that has generally been one of the strongest in the league for decades.

Wheat Kings owner and general manager Kelly McCrimmon said Macpherson has been an integral member of the organization and will be missed.

"Well, it's like losing your right arm,"àMcCrimmon said. "He's been a member of the organization for many years and a guy that I've had a tremendous working relationship with and just working with someone that long, you become very familiar with how each guy is thinking and how you see players and how you evaluate what you look for. All those things become second nature when you work with a person that long ...

"He would be the first to credit our staff as well, but he's very respected in the scouting fraternity and he's got a good eye, he's very hard working and never takes one shortcut and is very professional at all times in terms of representing our organization. He's a guy that always had a good rapport with families and players on our list and in our organization, that type of thing. I think that families always really trusted that their son was in good hands."


Johnson refuses treatment

FORMER Olympic downhill champion Bill Johnson no longer wants to go through treatment after dealing with a life-threatening infection that has attacked his major organs.

Hospitalized since June 29, the one-time daredevil skier refuses a feeding tube, even though it hurts to swallow, his mom said in a phone interview Wednesday. He no longer wants supplemental oxygen or even antibiotics that could possibly help him.

He's tired of being poked with needles, sick of all the tubes attached to him. His mom said that Johnson's wish is simply to leave the hospital and return to his room at an assisted living facility in Gresham, Ore., where the 53-year-old was living before the illness.

That way, he can fight this on his terms and in his own way.

"He could receive some help with a feeding tube and so on, but he doesn't want it anymore," his mother, D.B. Johnson-Cooper, said. "I understand. He can't do anything. He cannot move his body in any way or use his body in any way. He can hardly talk. It's very sad. Very, very sad."

Johnson's health has steadily declined in recent years because of mini strokes. Three years ago, he had a major stroke that began to steal the use everything but his left hand -- his steering hand, the one he used to power his motorized chair down the hallways at the care facility.


Formula One boss charged

LONDON -- Formula One boss Bernie Ecclestone has been charged by German prosecutors with paying a $44-million bribe, placing his future as head of the motor sport series in doubt.

The 82-year-old British billionaire has been under investigation since a German banker was convicted of taking the payment from him in connection with the sale of a stake in F1.

The Munich state court said Ecclestone has until mid-August to respond to charges of bribery and incitement to breach of trust in connection with Gerhard Gribkowsky's management of the bank BayernLB's 47 per cent stake in F1.

Ecclestone, the longtime commercial head of F1, acknowledged during Gribkowsky's trial in 2011 that he made the payment five years earlier but said he was pressured to do so.

Ecclestone's indictment was dated on May 10 and has since been translated into English and delivered to Ecclestone and his lawyers, the court said.

"The lawyers have accepted an indictment," Ecclestone told The Associated Press. "It means they have to reply to the indictment, which they are strenuously doing."

Ecclestone, who Forbes magazine reports is worth $3.8 billion, said he is yet to read the indictment.


-- from the news services

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition July 18, 2013 D7

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