Craig Bellamy has been appointed Under-21 coach at Anderlecht, joining his former Manchester City team-mate Vincent Kompany at the club.

Kompany was appointed player-manager by the Belgian side following his City departure after helping Pep Guardiola's side claim an unprecedented domestic treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and EFL Cup last term.

And the centre-back is building up his backroom staff with Bellamy brought in on a three-year deal to oversee Anderlecht's Under-21 side.

"We are very happy with Craig's arrival at Anderlecht," youth director Jean Kindermans told Anderlecht's official website.

"He has a lot of experience and will be a great mentor for our youth players mentally speaking, but also in terms of football skills.

"As coach of the Under-21 team, his task will be to prepare our young talents for the first team."

Former Wales striker Bellamy stepped down as a youth coach at Cardiff City in January amid a club investigation into claims of bullying, allegations the former Wales forward said he "categorically" denies.

The 39-year-old played for clubs including Newcastle United and Liverpool during his career.

Huddersfield Town face a tricky opening fixture against Derby County on their return to the Championship, while Fulham play newly promoted Barnsley first up.

Huddersfield and Fulham were relegated from the Premier League last season, along with Cardiff City, but start the new campaign with contrasting fixtures.

Beaten play-off finalists Derby - managed by Frank Lampard, the favourite for the Chelsea job - go to Huddersfield to conclude the opening round of fixtures on August 5.

Jan Siewert's side face a particularly tough start, with Fulham and Cardiff also on the agenda in their first four matches.

The season starts on August 2 with League One winners Luton Town hosting Middlesbrough, while Charlton Athletic travel to Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff visit Wigan Athletic the following day.

The regular season will end on May 2, with Leeds United versus Charlton perhaps the pick of the final-day fixtures.

The 'spygate' saga from 2018-19 saw Leeds and Derby forge a rivalry that included a play-off semi-final win for Lampard's men, and they play at Elland Road on September 21, before a crunch clash at Pride Park on the penultimate weekend.

Cardiff's relegation means a reprisal of the South Wales derby with Swansea City on October 26 and January 11.

Luton host Fulham on Boxing Day, while West Brom - also beaten play-off semi-finalists - entertain Leeds on New Year's Day.

Police investigating the death of Emiliano Sala have confirmed a man has been arrested on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act.

Sala and pilot David Ibbotson died when the plane they were travelling in to Wales, after the 28-year-old striker joined Cardiff City from Nantes, crashed in the English Channel on January 21.

Detective Inspector Simon Huxter, of Dorset Police's major crime investigation team, said in a statement on Wednesday: "We have carried out a wide-ranging investigation into the circumstances of the death of Mr Sala and continue to work with partner agencies including the Civil Aviation Authority.

"As part of this investigation we have to consider whether there is any evidence of any suspected criminality and as a result of our enquiries we have today, Wednesday 19 June 2019, arrested a 64-year-old man from the North Yorkshire area on suspicion of manslaughter by an unlawful act. He is assisting with our enquiries and has been released from custody under investigation.

"This matter therefore is still subject to a live investigation and I would ask the media and members of the public to refrain from speculation, as this could cause additional distress to the families involved as well as potentially hinder the investigation.

"As is standard practice, we will not be releasing any further information as to the identity of the individual who has been arrested unless that person is charged to appear in court and again would discourage any speculation in relation to this."

Police added in a statement that the families of Sala and Ibbotson have been informed.

Emiliano Sala was not keen on joining Cardiff City from Nantes, a voice message from the striker has revealed.

The Argentinian expressed his concerns over the £15million move to a friend two weeks before he tragically died when the light aircraft he and pilot David Ibbotson were travelling in to Wales crashed on January 21.

L'Equipe obtained the WhatsApp recording and included it in a documentary published on Wednesday.

Sala said: "Last night, I sent a message to Meissa [N'Diaye, Sala's agent]. He called me a few hours later.

"We had discussions and he told me the last night Franck Kita [son of Nantes owner Waldemar] sent him a message to talk, so he called him. They spoke. And, they want to sell me.

"There is an offer from Cardiff today. On their side, they have negotiated to get a lot of money, so they absolutely want me to go there.

"It is true that it is a good contract but from a football perspective it is not interesting for me. They are trying in every way to get me to go there.

"Me, I am not scared to go there, because I have battled throughout my career, so to go there and fight, that does not make me scared. On the contrary.

"But I'm also thinking to myself that Meissa must find me something better between now and the end of the [transfer] window. Meissa has said no to Cardiff because he does not want me to go there.

"He thinks that, in terms of football, in terms of where we are today, we are in a position of strength in every way, in terms of on the pitch, the contract, all of that. But I don't care about that and I do not want that. I don't give a f*** about being in a position of strength.

"It is true that I would like to find something interesting in terms of contractually and also from a football perspective, but sometimes you can't have both."

The clubs wrangled about the payment of the transfer fee in the aftermath of Sala's death. Nantes made a complaint to FIFA as Cardiff stalled on the instalment, with Bluebirds chairman Mehmet Dalman pointing to alleged "anomalies" in the deal.

Nantes president Waldemar Kita, who was played Sala's voice message during the documentary, said he no longer has any interest in receiving payment for the striker.

"The truth is, I don't even want that money, and I may never get it," Kita told L'Equipe.

"I don't want to make money on someone who died tragically. I'm not interested in that."

When asked why he had therefore not brought the issue to a halt, Kita replied: "I am not involved at all in the case. The lawyers are in charge of it."

Neil Warnock will remain Cardiff City's manager for their return to the Championship next season, chairman Mehmet Dalman has confirmed.

Talks over Warnock's future took place following the 2-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday and an agreement has been reached for him to remain at the helm.

The Bluebirds looked like defying the expectations of many in their single season back in the Premier League, but a 3-2 defeat to Crystal Palace in the penultimate round of fixtures resulted in their relegation.

Warnock, 70, now has the chance to build on his record of eight Football League promotions, achieved when he guided the club to a top-two finish in the second tier in 2017-18.

"He is the best man for the job, there was never any doubt in my mind," Dalman said in quotes reported by the BBC.

"We all share the same vision. We will give [promotion] another go."

Former Sheffield United and QPR boss Warnock dismissed the possibility of overseeing another Premier League campaign when asked about his future after the season-ending triumph at Old Trafford.

"I wouldn't want to manage in the Premier League again," he said.

Cardiff finished two points adrift of safety in the top flight, having won 10 and drawn four of their 38 matches.

Neil Warnock revealed he is set for talks on his Cardiff City future as he suggested he does not want to manage in the Premier League again.

The Cardiff boss, now 70 years old, was unable to save his side from relegation back to the Championship, although they went out on a high with a 2-0 win at Manchester United on Sunday.

The Bluebirds have a number of loan signings set to return to their parent clubs and Warnock's position is uncertain, too, as he acknowledges the scale of the task ahead of them.

"I don't know [about the future]," he told reporters. "I'm seeing the chairman and the chief executive tomorrow in London.

"We'll talk about the whole club. We've lost some good players, [Victor] Camarasa, Harry Arter, [Oumar] Niasse [all on loan] and [injured defender Sol] Bamba is out for a while, so we need to be bringing in three or four good players.

"I'm sure I'll get the answers as we've been too busy to talk."

Discussing the possibility of coaching in the top flight with either Cardiff or another club, though, Warnock was not enthused.

"I wouldn't want to manage in the Premier League again," he said. "I don't really want to go into it.

"It'll spoil the day because you'll pick up on bits and bobs. The players deserve all of the credit today."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer admits he is glad Manchester United's season is over after they "hit a brick wall".

United rallied following Solskjaer's interim appointment in December and launched an assault on the Premier League's top four, as well as reaching the Champions League quarter-finals.

But a miserable run-in saw the Old Trafford outfit end the campaign winless in six in all competitions, finishing in sixth place.

Solskjaer, who succeeded Jose Mourinho on an interim basis and was appointed permanently in March following his strong start, was honest enough to acknowledge that he was welcoming the off-season.

"We have been poor. We have more or less hit a brick wall towards the end of the season," he told a news conference after a 2-0 home defeat to relegated Cardiff City on the final day of the top-flight season. 

"That's disappointing, but the big plus is that the season is over.

"We can put a big line over it and move forward. We know we are too far behind where we want to be.

"They've been going through a tough period, the players. They're good players but, towards the end of the season, they're fatigued mentally, physically.

"Normally [on Sunday] with some confidence on the pitch, you win that game. The most confident boy was Mason [Greenwood, 17-year-old full debutant]. It was great to see him, a joy.

"That gave the fans, supporters, me, the players a lift. Probably that and Scott McTominay were the only two big pluses."

Solskjaer has repeatedly noted that a Premier League title challenge is unlikely next season, but he still wants to bring silverware to United.

"Last time we were in the Europa League with Jose and loads of these players, we won it," he said. "With the FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, they are trophies we have to start the season aiming to win."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects Manchester United to return next season with an improved mentality and attitude after a dismal campaign.

United finished sixth in the Premier League, failing to maintain the impressive form they showed early in Solskjaer's tenure after he succeeded Jose Mourinho in December.

Solskjaer's side will not be playing Champions League football next season and major changes are expected in the transfer window.

But Solskjaer wants more from those players who will stay, too, suggesting their approach to life at United has not been right in recent weeks.

"It will take some time to close in on the top," he said. "We finished five or six points behind third, fourth and [four behind] fifth, and that has to be our aim.

"The top two teams have set a standard higher than before and we have to take up the next challenge.

"The work starts now. Everyone has the summer off, but we have to come back with a different mentality and different attitude of being a Man United team."

United ended the season with a 2-0 defeat at home to Cardiff City thanks to Nathaniel Mendez-Laing's brace, but Solskjaer, as after other disappointing results, insisted their issues are bigger.

"Today was not the problem," he said. "You can have all the possession and chances you want but we concede easy goals and not score at the other.

"That is not where our challenge lies, we have a long and hard way to be where we want to be."

Full debutant Mason Greenwood, just 17 years old, was a rare bright spark on Sunday and his manager added: "Mason Greenwood was brilliant.

"He was our best player by a mile and that says a lot about the kid. I'm not surprised by his performance, we know he is capable of that."

Manchester United ended a difficult Premier League campaign on a new low as they lost 2-0 at home to already-relegated Cardiff City on Sunday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was unable to sustain the upturn in form he inspired at United after arriving in December, instead slumping to sixth, and his former side added to the Old Trafford outfit's woes.

Nathaniel Mendez-Laing was fortunate to be awarded the 23rd-minute penalty that he dispatched, but United could have no complaints with the same man's second goal as Cardiff departed for the Championship with their heads held high.

Mason Greenwood became the hosts' youngest starter in the Premier League at 17 and threatened throughout, yet there was no way past the brilliant Neil Etheridge.

Greenwood provided United's chief threat from the outset and his header drew a stop from the scrambling Etheridge, before Marcus Rashford dragged wide.

But Cardiff's first notable forward foray resulted in the opener as referee Jon Moss controversially adjudged Diogo Dalot to have fouled Mendez-Laing, who sent David de Gea the wrong way from the spot.

A determined response saw Etheridge help a deflected Greenwood drive onto the post and then save from Jesse Lingard, while the impactful debutant also prodded wide.

However, a slow start to the second half and a questionable tactical call cost United. Scott McTominay was moved into defence and dived into a challenge, leaving space for Josh Murphy to run through and square for Mendez-Laing to tap into the net.

Etheridge made unorthodox stops from Rashford and substitute Anthony Martial to preserve a two-goal advantage that Neil Warnock's men ultimately deserved, with the home fans still remaining inside an increasingly empty Old Trafford left to reflect on a season they will want to quickly forget. 

 

What does it mean? Solskjaer's strong start long forgotten

A run of six matches without victory in all competitions is not how any team wants to end the season, let alone Manchester United. Cardiff went down this season and were still able to cut through the hosts at will. United have gone backwards in recent months and major surgery is required in the transfer market.

Greenwood v Etheridge

One entertaining battle saw players on either side impress. Greenwood certainly provided some cause for optimism for United, with his movement simply too much for the Cardiff defence. But the visitors had Etheridge, one of the stars of their season, on song again and he excelled against the teenager early on.

Cardiff enjoy Ole's demise

"You're getting sacked in the morning," sang the Cardiff fans, who might claim to know a thing or two about Solskjaer's tactical limitations. His side played well for periods of the first half, so the decision to shift the entire team around when Phil Jones went off at the break was a strange one. Makeshift defender McTominay was directly at fault for the second goal.

What's next?

United have an awful lot of work to do in a potentially pivotal transfer window if they are to improve on this season's disappointing finish. Signings will be expected, but doubt surrounds the futures of various star players, including Paul Pogba and De Gea. 

Cardiff are preparing for life back in the Championship and will hope to have Warnock, now 70 years old, leading their charge again.

Mason Greenwood will become Manchester United's youngest Premier League starter after he was handed a full debut at home to Cardiff City on the final day of the season.

The 17-year-old made his United bow in the closing minutes of their stunning Champions League win at Paris Saint-Germain in March, subsequently featuring twice more from the bench in the league.

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer decided to start Greenwood for the first time against Cardiff at Old Trafford on Sunday.

At 17 years and 223 days old, he is the youngest player to start a Premier League game for the club.

Greenwood was set to line up alongside a series of other players who have featured for United's youth teams in Marcus Rashford, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Scott McTominay and Andreas Pereira.

Fellow academy graduates James Garner and Angel Gomes were among the substitutes, along with departing club captain Antonio Valencia.

Solskjaer confirmed this week that Valencia, whose contract expires at the end of the campaign, would make one final appearance for United, concluding a 10-year career in Manchester.

Ander Herrera, who has also confirmed his impending exit, did not make the squad.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer thinks Manchester United have little hope of challenging for the Premier League title next season, convinced such an achievement would be "miraculous".

United can only finish as high as fifth this term after another underwhelming season in the post-Alex Ferguson era.

Their form picked up initially after Jose Mourinho was sacked and replaced by Solskjaer at the end of 2018, but since the Norwegian took charge permanently in March there has been a sharp downturn.

Any hope of Champions League qualification vanished with last week's lacklustre 1-1 draw at rock-bottom Huddersfield Town.

They could yet finish the season 32 points off the top of the table and Solskjaer is well aware of the job facing him.

"I think I've been quite honest that challenging for the title next year would be a miraculous season, because we're so far behind at the moment points wise," he said on Friday ahead of Sunday's final day visit from his former club Cardiff City.

"So, next season, yes, we've got to close that gap. If we manage to get to February, March being close, that's fantastic.

"But if not, this summer [transfer window] will also be about players who can last here for many years."

Earlier on Friday, United confirmed the permanent appointment of Mike Phelan as Solskjaer's assistant, having effectively joined the club on loan from A-League side Central Coast Mariners, for whom he worked as sporting director.

That role had led to him being linked as a potential candidate for the technical director position United are in the process of hiring for, but Solskjaer insists he is content with the structure in terms of recruitment ahead of what looks set to be a busy transfer window.

"The club will announce when they feel they've found the right man," Solskjaer added. "Until then we just work on the same structure we have now.

"I can say for me, Mick, we've been involved in loads of meetings about recruiting players and how we go forward.

"I'm happy with the communication and the targets we've put up and now hopefully we can get some over the line."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is optimistic he will be able to give Antonio Valencia the send-off the club captain deserves as he prepares for his final Manchester United appearance on Sunday.

Valencia has enjoyed a distinguished career at United, having joined from Wigan Athletic in 2009.

While some felt he was an underwhelming replacement for Cristiano Ronaldo after he left for Real Madrid, Valencia enjoyed a bright first season only for a broken ankle in his second campaign to set him back.

Although he never recaptured his best form as a winger after that injury, falling badly out of favour under Louis van Gaal, Valencia reinvented himself as a right-back in Jose Mourinho's first campaign.

But this term he has rarely featured due to various injuries and should he play against Cardiff on Sunday it will be his second appearance under Solskjaer - and last for United.

"I spoke to Antonio yesterday [Thursday]," Solskjaer told reporters in his pre-match news conference. "He's not been fit in the five or six months I've been here. Unfortunately, he's really struggled.

"But he feels that he could play a part, yes, and I would hope he gets through [training] today and tomorrow [Saturday] and we can give him a nice send-off.

"He's been a fantastic servant to the club. He's been player of the year, he's been captain at the club and I think that's only fair."

With little left to play for as United cannot qualify for the Champions League, Solskjaer is expected to ring the changes for their final game of the season and some of their talented youngsters – such as Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong and Mason Greenwood – can expect to feature.

"You never know in football. It might be the last game [at United for some players], but it might be the start of some careers as well," he said.

"We've had some young players knocking on the door all season, really, and we'll start one or two of the kids as well."

Neil Warnock said he could not fault Cardiff City's players following their relegation from the Premier League, while acknowledging the setback was put into perspective by the tragic death of Emiliano Sala.

Cardiff agreed a deal with Nantes to make Sala their record signing in January, but the Argentinian striker was killed, at the age of 28, when a plane he was travelling in crashed in the English Channel, just two days on from his move to Wales being announced.

After a 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday ended Cardiff's hopes of avoiding an immediate return to the Championship, manager Warnock told a news conference: "We have missed a goalscorer. Someone asked me about Emiliano ... but I think that also puts things in perspective. We've got relegated. The lad lost his life."

Responding to further questioning about the devastating incident, Warnock added: "Obviously it was difficult. This was something completely out of the blue. I wish we could have had Emiliano with us because I think he would have scored 10 goals.

"But I can't fault the lads. They've given me everything and they've just come up short."

Warnock was unable to confirm whether he would stay with Cardiff next season, explaining he would hold talks with the club's hierarchy "in the next few weeks".

However, the 70-year-old added: "I will be working next year. I will have a year somewhere. I am looking forward to that challenge now. If I hadn't got the drive, I wouldn't do it, but I have got the drive."

A significant number of Cardiff fans stayed after the full-time whistle to offer warm applause to the Bluebirds' players and staff following their final home game of the campaign.

"I've never seen a relegated team get an ovation like that," said Warnock. "Daft as it sounds, it's probably my best job ever to do what I've done with this club. We've had to overcome so much, keeping a group like this together. I can't really be any prouder."

Palace boss Roy Hodgson was pleased with the efforts of his side as strikes from Wilfried Zaha, Michy Batshuayi and Andros Townsend outweighed a Martin Kelly own goal and Bobby Reid's late consolation.

Hodgson told a news conference: "Cardiff have fought very hard in every game throughout the season ... so we knew they'd be giving us nothing and we'd have to fight and work hard for every opportunity. We matched them and showed the necessary quality."

Cardiff City have been relegated from the Premier League after falling to a 3-2 home defeat to Crystal Palace on Saturday.

Defeat for Neil Warnock's side leaves them four points behind Brighton and Hove Albion with only one game remaining – against Manchester United at Old Trafford next weekend.

Wilfried Zaha put the Eagles ahead after 28 minutes with a cool finish from 20 yards but the Bluebirds were given a lifeline when Martin Kelly put through his own net three minutes later.

They were unable to take advantage of that reprieve, however, falling behind to Michy Batshuayi's strike after 39 minutes.

Despite an improved second-half performance, which saw them go close through Josh Murphy and Kenneth Zohore, their fate was sealed when Andros Townsend added a third 20 minutes from time.

Bobby Reid netted in stoppage time but the damage had been done as Cardiff turn their attention to another season back in the Championship. 

Cardiff started in blistering fashion, striking the post inside 40 seconds through Murphy's deflected strike from 25 yards.

Palace eased their way into the game, however, and forged ahead courtesy of Zaha's sixth goal in his last seven away games. The Ivory Coast international collected Townsend's pass on the edge of the penalty area, created a yard of space and drilled low past Neil Etheridge.

The hosts pulled level just three minutes later, though, when Kelly turned Leandro Bacuna's right-wing cross past Vicente Guaita, who had looked well placed to safely scoop up the ball.

Parity did not last long, Palace restoring their lead six minutes before the interval when Batshuayi lashed into the roof of the net after a flowing move had carved Cardiff's defence open.

Murphy and Zohore were punished for squandering glorious openings in the 70th minute when Townsend picked the ball up on the halfway line, cut in from the right wing and drilled a low strike in off Etheridge's left-hand post.

The Bluebirds had opportunities to mount a dramatic comeback, Nathaniel Mendez-Laing hitting the post and Junior Hoilett blazing over, before Reid eventually whipped in a fine stoppage-time strike from 20 yards - but it did little to cheer the despondent home fans.

 

What does it mean? Bluebirds fail to outrun woeful start

The difficulty of Cardiff's task was made clear during an eight-game winless run to start the campaign. They found their feet after that chastening baptism but it has proved too little, too late and an immediate return to the Championship awaits. Whether Warnock remains in charge remains to be seen.

Palace, meanwhile, make it three away wins on the spin and can start planning for what they hope will be a more consistent campaign next time out.

Zaha hits new heights

The 26-year-old was at his mesmerising best, causing problems for Cardiff's defenders throughout. His strike takes him to 10 in the Premier League this season – his highest ever return in the competition.

Kelly's howler does not prove costly

The former Liverpool defender was starting just his 11th Premier League game of the campaign and it showed with his shocking own goal. He will have breathed a huge sigh of relief when Batshuayi hit the net soon after.

What's next?

Warnock faces the difficult task of lifting his players for the visit to United next weekend, while Hodgson's side finish their campaign with the visit of Bournemouth.

Neil Warnock accused the Football Association (FA) of being "a bit out of order" with the process that led to him being fined £20,000 for comments about refereeing standards in the Premier League.

The Cardiff City boss described officials working in the top tier as "the worst" in the world following his side's 2-1 loss to Chelsea on March 31.

Warnock was aggrieved that Cesar Azpilicueta's 84th-minute equaliser was allowed to stand, despite the scorer clearly being in an offside position, and he argued that two big penalty shouts for the Bluebirds were also rejected by referee Craig Pawson.

He was charged with three offences relating to comments made to broadcasters and, after requesting a personal hearing this week, all three charges were upheld by the FA.

Despite feeling aggrieved with the decision, claiming that some of his peers have escaped punishment when making similar remarks this season, Warnock has begrudgingly accepted his punishment. 
 
"There's no point in taking it any further. I have to take it on the chin," he told the media on Friday.

"I'm disappointed in the first two charges. I didn't think they warranted being proven guilty, not when we showed them an article what [Chelsea head coach Maurizio] Sarri had said about referees less than three weeks ago and he never got a charge.

"When you get an institute like the FA, as big as it is, I find it disappointing that they're allowed to bring in an outside barrister to prove the case against me.

"He had all the information on what my arguments are three to four weeks before and [time to] get his head around it. It's a bit out of order if I'm honest.

"They just want robot managers; the humour has gone out of the game."

Cardiff have lost four of their last five matches since the defeat to Chelsea and now require victories in their final two matches, at home to Crystal Palace and away to Manchester United, if they are to have any hope of avoiding a return to the Championship.

Warnock's side go up against Wilfried Zaha in Saturday's must-win clash - a player whose career he helped revive during his time in charge at Selhurst Park.

Zaha returned to Palace after failing to make an impact at Manchester United, but Warnock believes the forward - who also previously spent half a season on loan with Cardiff - will find his way to a "top club" in Europe.

"Wilfried wasn’t in a good place when he came back from Manchester United," Warnock said. "I met him in the chairman's office and I had half an hour with him. It was obvious he felt let down by Manchester United and when I spoke to him I could understand why he felt that.

"He was only a young lad and he needed help - an arm around the shoulder. But it didn't appear he got any of that.

"But that's what you do - you go away and rekindle that enthusiasm. He's always had tremendous skill and now he's showing people his worth. He will end up at one of the top clubs in Europe."

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