The Italian company is proceeding on the basis that it will remain the sole supplier next season but has yet to sign a contract with the sport’s governing, International Automobile Federation (FIA).

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Hembery told reporters at the Belgian Grand Prix that 10 of the 11 teams had signed contracts with Pirelli as had the commercial rights holder, who also has a deal for trackside advertising.

However, French rivals Michelin have been reported in the media as saying they were interested in returning to Formula One next year.

“Ask Michelin,” Hembery said when asked about the reports. “We have contracts in place, and we would hope people would respect them.

“We have lots of contracts signed.”

Hembery said an agreement with the FIA, led by Frenchman Jean Todt, would have to wait until the governing body’s world council meeting in Croatia next month.

Formula One’s tyre specifications for 2014, which teams need to know to design their cars, have to be lodged within a matter of weeks and Hembery said Pirelli were on course to meet the deadline.

The company hoped to do some wet testing at the Le Castellet circuit in the south of France next month and in Brazil after the final race of the season.

With a new V6 power unit and energy recovery systems being introduced next season in the biggest shake-up in the sport for decades, Hembery said they also wanted a test in Abu Dhabi or Bahrain in December.

Regular pre-season testing with teams will then start in January, with details still to be finalised but one test set for Dubai, Abu Dhabi or Bahrain.

“Quite frankly a tender in September when you are running in January would be farcical,” he said. “You should have done that in September last year.

“Everybody would look ridiculous in that scenario.”

Pirelli have suffered negative coverage and taken considerable flak this season after producing tyres designed to wear quickly to shake up the race strategy and encourage overtaking.

A spate of blowouts at Silverstone in June triggered safety fears and threw the sport into crisis, forcing Pirelli to make the tyres more durable and revert to last year’s structure with 2013 compounds.

Hembery said next year’s tyres would be more conservative.

“It will be the year of the powertrain, a year where you talk of other things and strategy will be about how to manage the energy recovery and when to use it, the fuel management,” he said.

“It’s the year for us not to give them a tyre challenge.”

(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Rex Gowar)

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The London club have made two unsuccessful bids for the England striker and have not ruled out making a third with their pursuit of him coming after former United manager Alex Ferguson said in May that Rooney wanted to quit Old Trafford.

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Rooney played the whole of Monday’s 0-0 draw at home to the club chasing his signature with his manager David Moyes saying his performance on the pitch demonstrated his position on the matter without him actually needing to say it.

“I think the person that started the story has to finish the story,” Mourinho told a news conference.

“A club like us, a manager like me and the people that work in the club with me, we are not silly to try to get a player from a big club, a club that does not sell what they don’t want to sell, we are not silly to try something if somebody didn’t start.”

Asked if he meant did he want Rooney, who has not commented on the matter publicly, to come out and say he wanted to stay or go, he replied: “Yes.”

He added he would like that to happen in the next “24, 48 hours” as if Chelsea could not get Rooney they would sign someone else.

Rooney, who was cheered by his own fans and Chelsea’s, who were singing “Wayne Rooney, we’ll sign you next week”, had the best goal-scoring chances in a poor game, including an attempt at an acrobatic volley in stoppage time.

“I think his performance tonight said enough, he closed two or three people down in the corner and I think the crowd realised the work he did,” said Moyes, who has faced a barrage of Rooney questions since taking over the job last month.

“He was desperate to score, you could see that by the way he nearly scored with an overhead kick in injury time. So I think his actions tonight showed what he thought.”

DIFFICULT CIRCUMSTANCES

Chelsea’s bid to sign Rooney had added spice to this early season meeting between the two big guns and Mourinho had stoked the fire by suggesting before the game that Moyes should shoulder the blame for the forward wanting to leave after suggesting he was a second-choice striker.

Despite calling for an end to the uncertainty over the future of Rooney, Mourinho did not quite finish courting him as he tried a flattery approach.

“I think the most important thing is he played very well, he was a real professional, he played for his club, played for the club that pays him, tried to win, tried to score, he was fantastic,” Mourinho said.

“After that if he wants to leave he has to say. Or he has decided now that he doesn’t want to leave anymore, it’s his problem but I praise him because he was fantastic.

“He played a fantastic match under these difficult circumstances so I praise him.”

As if to prove he was anything but second-choice, Moyes named Rooney in his starting line-up for the biggest test of his short United career so far and he was delighted with the result.

“I was very pleased with his performance and I was very pleased with the reaction from the crowd,” said the Scot, who has repeated the ‘he is not for sale’ mantra whenever he has faced questions about Rooney.

“But I’ve got to say I didn’t think it was unexpected … He’s been great in training, the way he’s trained and anyone who looks at him will notice he’s slightly leaner looking. He worked hard, he tackled, he chased when we needed it.”

The transfer window shuts on September 2 which means that whether Rooney adheres to Mourinho’s two-day deadline or not, the football world will get a definitive answer by then.

(Editing by John Mehaffey/Greg Stutchbury)

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AC Milan bounced back from last week’s defeat at Hellas Verona with a 3-1 win at home to Cagliari in an entertaining evening featuring 32 goals in eight games.

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It was one-way traffic in Sicily as Walter Mazzari’s Inter showed that they have put last season’s troubles behind them.

Smartly worked goals from Rodrigo Palacio, Yuto Nagatomo and Ricky Alvarez helped them beat a fired-up Catania team who have yet to get a point after two defeats.

Alberto Aquilani give Vincenzo Montella’s Fiorentina the lead at Genoa after 10 minutes before Giuseppe Rossi scored his second in as many games four minutes later and Gomez tapped in his goal four minutes before the break.

Alberto Gilardino gave the home side some hope nine minutes after the break with a stunning volley, but Rossi tapped in his second almost immediately afterwards.

Francesco Lodi reduced the deficit again on the hour with a penalty following a foul on Gilardino, but an injury time penalty from Mario Gomez ruined Genoa’s celebrations for their 140th anniversary, in which cricket was played on the Stadio Luigi Ferraris pitch before the match.

The club’s official name is Genoa Cricket and Football Club, and it has a cricket team which was re-established in 2007 and plays in Italy’s top division.

Goals from Robinho, Philippe Mexes and Mario Balotelli were enough for AC Milan against a plucky Cagliari team.

Brazilian Robinho and Mexes put Massimiliano Allegri’s side two goals up after half an hour, only for Marco Sau to pull one back for the away side three minutes later.

However, Balotelli’s first league goal of the season in the 62nd minute put the result beyond doubt.

Earlier on Sunday Roma moved into second place on goal difference after splendid goals from Miralem Pjanic and Adem Ljajic gave them a comfortable 3-0 win over newly promoted Hellas Verona.

Rudi Garcia’s side moved to six points after Bosnia international Pjanic’s delightful chip from more than 20 metres out in the 59th minute and a powerful long range drive from Ljajic on his Roma debut six minutes later.

The home side were playing with the Curva Sud section of the Olympic Stadium shut after racist chanting directed at Balotelli from hardcore fans at the end of last season.

(Reporting by Terry Daley; Editing by John Mehaffey)

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Honved had been sanctioned because of “racist behaviour and racist chanting” by their fans during the Europa League qualifying match away to Serbia’s Vojvodina on July 18, UEFA said on Friday.

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The Hungarian side were ordered to play their next home European game in an empty stadium for the offence which also prompted UEFA to implement an additional one-match ban from 2008 which had been suspended for a five-year probationary period.

Honved, also fined 50,000 euros (41,992.06 pounds), were knocked out by Vojvodina and will serve the ban next time they qualify for European competition.

Lech Poznan were ordered to close the stand used by their Ultras at their next home European game because of “racist behaviour and display of a racist banner” at the Europa League qualifier at home to Zalgiris in August. They were also fined 5,000 euros.

An identical sanction was given to compatriots Piast Gliwice following similar incidents at the Europa League qualifier at home to Qarabag in July.

The supporters’ group FARE said in a report that Qarabag’s Congolese player Ulrich Kapolongo was targeted by monkey noises during the game.

Both Polish teams have been knocked out and will serve their sanctions next time they qualify for Europe.

Partial stadium closures are the minimum sanction for racist behaviour in European competition under rules approved by UEFA’s executive committee in May.

A second offence by supporters would lead to a full stadium closure and a 50,000-euro fine. Racist behaviour by players or officials leads to a minimum 10-match ban.

Legia Warsaw and Dinamo Zagreb have already suffered partial closures this season

(Reporting By Brian Homewood; Editing by Clare Fallon)

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Both sides are chasing their first win but only the Wallabies could feel particularly aggrieved at their precarious situation, having strode confidently into the tournament under new coach Ewen McKenzie.

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After three rounds, the Wallabies sit bottom of the table behind the underdog Pumas and their coach’s pledge to win by playing “the Australian way” have been made to look foolish by two losses to New Zealand and a record hiding by South Africa on home soil.

With alarm bells ringing Down Under and rugby writers moaning of fans turning away from the game, McKenzie has not gone back to the drawing board so much as to rip it off the wall and hurl it out of the window.

Out-of-sorts scrumhalf Will Genia, the Wallabies’ “only world XV player” in the words of local pundit Greg Growden, has been dropped to the bench and Ben Mowen, a backrower with only six tests under his belt, has been awarded the captaincy.

The stunning gambit has been branded Australian rugby’s ‘line in the sand’ moment, a move to shock an underperforming side out of its torpor and head off a potentially cataclysmic defeat against highly physical opponents desperate to post their first win in the tournament.

McKenzie, who raised eyebrows by suggesting he would need to “dumb down” the game plan after the painful 38-12 loss to the Springboks in Brisbane, shrugged it all off as tinkering.

“There are little areas of the game where we can tweak things. We’ve made some minor adjustments,” he said this week.

“If you change big things, you actually don’t know what makes the biggest influence.

“So with small changes – which is what we’ve been doing for the last few weeks – we’ll get there.”

HENRY HELP

Beset by a shocking run of injuries, Australia under former coach Robbie Deans hung tight to defeat Argentina twice last year and finished a creditable second behind the champion All Blacks.

No matter the gap in class between the sides, a repeat of last week’s effort against South Africa would almost certainly see the Wallabies crumble to defeat against the Pumas, who will look to exploit the hosts’ brittle pack in the scrum.

After being humiliated 73-13 by the Springboks in Soweto, Argentina regained their pride with a narrow loss in the return match at Mendoza and surprised the All Blacks last week in Hamilton with an early try before being reeled in.

Head coach Santiago Phelan has shaken up his backline, recalling scrumhalf Tomas Cubelli and centres Felipe Contepomi and Gonzalo Tiesi among four changes in the hope of bringing more firepower to Subiaco Oval.

But the forwards, who were combative against New Zealand’s formidable pack, are untouched barring a promotion to the starting side for hooker Agustin Creevy.

Led by captain Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe, Argentina have also had some insights in how to beat the Wallabies from former World Cup-winning coach Graham Henry, whose New Zealand teams dominated Australia for the better part of a decade.

“He added a lot of confidence and knowledge in the way to attack,” Contepomi said of Henry, who has worked with Argentina as a coaching consultant.

“He knows the Wallabies much better than we do, and it’s great to have his inside knowledge… He can add to our rugby culture.”

Australia team: 15-Israel Folau, 14-James O’Connor, 13-Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12-Christian Leali’ifano, 11-Nick Cummins, 10-Quade Cooper, 9-Nic White, 8-Ben Mowen (captain), 7-Michael Hooper, 6-Scott Fardy, 5-Kane Douglas, 4-Rob Simmons, 3-Ben Alexander, 2-Stephen Moore, 1-James Slipper

Replacements: 16-Saia Fainga’a, 17-Scott Sio, 18-Sekope Kepu, 19-Sitaleki Timani, 20-Ben McCalman, 21-Will Genia, 22-Matt Toomua, 23-Tevita Kuridrani

Argentina: 15-Juan Martin Hernandez, 14-Horacio Agulla, 13-Gonzalo Tiesi, 12-Felipe Contepomi, 11-Juan Imhoff, 10-Nicolas Sanchez, 9-Tomas Cubelli; 8-Juan Manuel Leguizamon, 7-Pablo Matera, 6-Juan Martin Fernandez Lobbe (captain), 5-Julio Farias Cabello, 4-Manuel Carizza, 3-Juan Figallo, 2-Agustin Creevy, 1-Marcos Ayerza

Replacements: 16-Eusebio Guinazu, 17-Nahuel Lobo, 18-Juan Pablo Orlandi, 19-Mariano Galarza, 20-Benjamin Macome, 21-Martín Landajo, 22-Santiago Fernandez, 23-Lucas Gonzalez Amorosino

Referee: George Clancy

(Editing by …)

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