Inter Miami have confirmed the appointment of former England Women boss Phil Neville as their new head coach.

Neville is heading to the United States to continue his coaching career, joining up with ex-Manchester United team-mate David Beckham at the MLS franchise.

Previous coach Diego Alonso left after taking charge for the team's inaugural season; they finished 10th in the Eastern Conference before losing to Nashville in the play-in round of the playoffs.

As well as bringing in Neville, Inter Miami have also announced Chris Henderson as their new chief soccer officer and sporting director.

"I am incredibly delighted for this opportunity to coach Inter Miami and to work with Chris and the entire ownership group," said Neville, who can start his new job once he receives a work visa.

"This is a very young club with a lot of promise and upside, and I am committed to challenging myself, my players and everyone around me to grow and build a competitive soccer culture we can all be proud of.

"This fantastic soccer-loving market deserves consistent performances and a winning mentality, and I look forward to getting to work."

The Football Association (FA) confirmed earlier on Monday that Neville had stood down from his England post with immediate effect.

Co-owner Beckham believes Neville's experiences as both a player and a coach can help Inter Miami to success on the field, describing his long-time friend as a "natural leader".

"I have known Phil since we were both teenagers at the Manchester United academy. We share a footballing DNA having been trained by some of the best leaders in the game, and it's those values that I have always wanted running through our club," he said in a statement.

"Phil has deep experience in football, as a player and as a coach at both club and international level, and over his career he has worked with many of the finest managers and players in the game.

"I know his qualities as a person, his decency, loyalty and honesty - and his incredible energy and work ethic. Anyone who has played or worked with Phil knows he is a natural leader, and I believe now is the right time for him to join."

Phil Neville is expected to take over as Inter Miami boss after stepping down as head coach of England Women with immediate effect. 

Neville was due to end his tenure with the Lionesses when his contract expired in July but had hoped to coach Great Britain at the delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo. 

The Football Association (FA) on Monday announced that the former Manchester United and England defender has left the role, one which he took on three years ago. 

An interim head coach will be appointed to fill in before Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman takes over following the Olympics in August. 

Neville's next challenge is set to be in the MLS with an Inter Miami franchise co-owned by his former team-mate David Beckham after the departure of Diego Alonso.  

The 43-year-old said in a statement released by the FA: "It has been an honour to manage England and I have enjoyed three of the best years of my career with the FA and the Lionesses. 

"The players who wear the England shirt are some of the most talented and dedicated athletes I have ever had the privilege to work with. 

"They have challenged me and improved me as a coach, and I am very grateful to them for the fantastic memories we have shared. 

"I’d like to thank the FA for the tremendous backing they have given me, in particular Sue Campbell [FA director of women's football],and my talented support staff whose energy, commitment and enthusiasm has been crucial to helping us make the progress we have. 

"I wish England Women every success in the future and look forward to following their journey in the years to come." 

Erling Haaland is one of the sought-after players in world football.

The Borussia Dortmund forward can reportedly take his pick from Europe's elite.

But if his agent Mino Raiola has his way, Camp Nou could be Haaland's next destination.

 

TOP STORY – HAALAND COULD LEAVE BVB AT SEASON'S END

Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland could leave the Bundesliga club for Barcelona at the end of the season, according to TV3 program Onze.

Haaland has been linked with the likes of Barca, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Manchester City and Juventus following his exploits for Dortmund.

The Norway international forward reportedly has a €75million (£66.8m) release clause at the end of his second season in Dortmund, though he could depart sooner rather than later.

 

ROUND-UP

- Fabrizio Romano says United are not working on a deal to sign Madrid captain Sergio Ramos. The Spanish superstar is out of contract at the end of the season, and he has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, Juve, City, Chelsea and Liverpool. A move to Liverpool is reportedly not on the horizon due to his role in the injury to Mohamed Salah in the 2018 Champions League final.

City have joined Serie A champions Juve in the race to sign Sassuolo star Manuel Locatelli, reports the Daily Mail.

- According to Sky Sport Italia, Sportitalia and Tuttomercatoweb, Milan are set to meet with free agent Mario Mandzukic over the next 24 hours to discuss a short-term deal. Staying at San Siro and Sky Sport Italia says the Rossoneri are close to signing Torino midfielder Soualiho Meite on loan with the option to buy.

Arsenal are interested in Barca goalkeeper Neto, claims Sky Sports. With backup Runar Alex Runarsson struggling in London, the Gunners are hoping to bring in Neto on loan.

- Marca reports Barca are targeting Valencia star Jose Gaya to bolster their left-back position, while Villarreal's Alfonso Pedraza is another option.

Juventus are set to complete the signing of American defender Bryan Reynolds from MLS club Dallas, says Romano. The 19-year-old will join Benevento until June, before linking up with Juve.

Trinidad and Tobago Kevin Molino says playing with better quality players at Columbus Crew will help him raise his level of play as he eyes a successful career and a championship title with the 2020 Major League Soccer champions.

Inter Miami have parted ways with manager Diego Alonso amid reports Phil Neville has been approached about taking over.

In their first season in MLS, Inter finished the regular season with a record of seven wins, three draws and 13 losses, which was sufficient to qualify for the play-in round of the playoffs.

A 3-0 defeat at Nashville on November 20 saw them fail to advance, however, and Alonso will not return to the dugout for a second campaign.

"Going through the journey of this inaugural season with Inter Miami has been an incredible experience, and I am thankful to the ownership group for the opportunity," Alonso said in a statement.

"I want to thank the staff for their work and friendship, the players for their efforts on the field, and especially the fans for their constant support throughout the year. I wish everyone the best this upcoming season."

Managing owner Jorge Mas added: "On behalf of the organisation, I want to thank Diego for his hard work and dedication during our inaugural season and wish him the best in his future endeavours.

"This was a difficult year and a very tough decision for everyone, but we believe it is the right step for the club. We have great expectations for Inter Miami in the short and long term."

England Women boss Neville is believed to be the frontrunner to replace Alonso.

Neville will step down from his role with the Lionesses when his contract expires in July but hoped to coach Great Britain at the delayed Olympic Games in Tokyo in July and August.

The 43-year-old is a former Manchester United team-mate of Inter Miami owner David Beckham. They are also co-owners of Salford City in England's League Two.

Manchester City reportedly believe they lead the race for Lionel Messi if the star leaves Barcelona.

Messi, 33, is out of contract at Barca at the end of the season and is linked with a move from the LaLiga giants.

The forward stayed at Camp Nou after sensationally requesting a transfer ahead of 2020-21, but it may have just delayed his exit.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY LEAD MESSI RACE IF STAR LEAVES

Manchester City believe they lead the race for Messi if he leaves Barcelona, according to The Telegraph.

City, Paris Saint-Germain and Inter have been most strongly linked with a move for Messi, who is expected to make a decision on his future at the end of the campaign.

Messi has scored 12 goals in 20 games in all competitions this season.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Gareth Bale injured, his chances of a longer stay at Tottenham appear slim. AS reports Real Madrid are expecting the attacker to return to the club at the end of his loan spell at the conclusion of the campaign, and that would hurt their chances of signing Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe with Bale contracted until 2022.

- Georginio Wijnaldum's future is no closer to being sorted. Sky Sports reports the midfielder and Liverpool have reached a stalemate over a new contract. Wijnaldum's deal expires at the end of the season and the Netherlands international has been linked with a move to Barcelona.

- Starring at Tottenham this season, Son Heung-min could be set for a new deal. The Telegraph reports Spurs are confident the forward, who is contracted until 2023, will re-sign.

- Mesut Ozil could finally be set to leave Arsenal. DHA reports the playmaker has agreed to a three-and-a-half-year deal with Turkish giants Fenerbahce.

- With Moise Kean impressing on loan at Paris Saint-Germain, Everton are expecting an offer for the forward, according to the Liverpool Echo. Kean has 10 goals in 17 matches for PSG this season.

- Diego Alonso is under pressure at the helm of Inter Miami, and Sky Sports reports the MLS side have approached Phil Neville, who is the coach of England's women's team, to take over.

Manchester City have reportedly annoyed Kevin De Bruyne with their contract offer amid interest in Lionel Messi.

De Bruyne, 29, has been expected to sign a new deal with the Premier League giants, with his contract expiring in 2023.

But with Messi coming out of contract at season's end, City's offer to De Bruyne has seemingly drawn questions.

 

TOP STORY – MAN CITY ANNOY DE BRUYNE AMID MESSI INTEREST

Manchester City have annoyed De Bruyne with their contract offer, according to The Athletic.

The report says the offer is less than De Bruyne is currently on because of potentially signing Messi. However, the Belgium international is still expected to re-sign.

City have been strongly linked to Messi, who could leave Barcelona at the end of the campaign when is contract is due to expire.

The Barcelona captain has insisted he will not make a decision on his future until the season's conclusion.

 

ROUND-UP

- Also coming out of contract is Bayern Munich star David Alaba. The Guardian reports Liverpool are interested in signing the defender, but Real Madrid lead the race.

- Staying at Real Madrid and there is uncertainty over Sergio Ramos' future. With his contract expiring at the end of the season, Ramos will not accept a one-year deal and the defender and LaLiga champions are distant in their bid to reach an agreement, according to Marca. The Manchester Evening News reports City are not interested in Ramos.

Antoine Griezmann is still yet to find his best form for Barcelona, but Sport reports the Blaugrana are not considering selling the forward.

Mesut Ozil could be set to leave Arsenal. Football.London reports the playmaker, who comes out of contract in June, is in negotiations with MLS franchise DC United.

- Linked with Juventus and InterOlivier Giroud is set to stay at Chelsea, according to Goal. They also claim Juve are considering Sampdoria forward Fabio Quagliarella as an alternative, while Milan look set to keep hold of star midfielder Hakan Calhanoglu.

LA Galaxy have appointed former Toronto boss Greg Vanney as their head coach.

Vanney, who resigned from his position at Toronto in December, takes over after a difficult 2020 season for Galaxy.

The former Galaxy defender said he was looking forward to the opportunity as he replaces Guillermo Barros Schelotto.

"I am extremely excited about the opportunity to coach the LA Galaxy," Vanney said.

"The LA Galaxy are an iconic club with a rich history in Los Angeles, MLS and North American soccer over the last 25 years.

"I am committed to working tirelessly for this club, our fans and Los Angeles to win a championship. I look forward to this new challenge in my career and am eager to get started."

Galaxy have missed the playoffs in three of the previous four seasons, winning just six games in 2020.

Vanney led Toronto to a treble in 2017, winning the MLS Cup, Supporters' Shield and Canadian Championship.

"Greg is a part of the history of the LA Galaxy and we are confident that he is the right person to lead our team moving forward," Galaxy general manager Dennis te Kloese said.

"He has deep knowledge of this club and Major League Soccer as a player and a coach and has proven to be a consistent winner with a championship pedigree. His accolades as Toronto FC's manager are evidence of his ability to create and sustain success in our league.

"We look forward to working with Greg to continue to build a team that will compete for trophies."

Andriy Shevchenko is in the conversation to take over as Chelsea manager if the Blues decide to part ways with manager Frank Lampard.

With Chelsea languishing in ninth place in the Premier League table, Le10sport reports the Ukrainian's name is on the Blues list of possible replacements.

Shevchenko played for the club between 2006 and 2008 and has since forged a managerial career with the Ukraine national team, moving through the under-19 and under-21 teams to the senior dugout.

 

TOP STORY – SHEVCHENKO BEING CONSIDERED AS NEXT CHELSEA MANAGER

Chelsea are studying their options to replace Lampard and his former Blues team-mate Shevchenko is part of the shortlist, reports Le10sports.

The 44-year-old led Ukraine through an undefeated Euro 2020 qualifying campaign to reach the finals, drawing 0-0 in Portugal and beating the European champions 2-1, in Kiev.

Shevchenko remains close to the club as his 14-year-old son, Kristian, plays in the Blues academy and is well liked by club owner Roman Abramovich, say Le10sports sources.

Real Madrid are reportedly close to agreeing a deal with David Alaba, while Manchester United are expecting the asking price for Jadon Sancho to drop.

Alaba, 28, is set to leave Bayern Munich with his contract expiring at the end of the season.

The defender is free to speak to other clubs, and Madrid are making their move.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID CLOSE TO ALABA SIGNING

Real Madrid are close to landing Bayern Munich defender Alaba on a four-year deal, according to Marca.

Alaba is likely to have offers from multiple clubs after establishing himself as one of Europe's leading defenders.

The Austria international has won nine Bundesliga titles and two Champions Leagues among numerous other trophies with Bayern.

 

ROUND-UP

- With Jadon Sancho yet to hit top form for Borussia Dortmund this season, Manchester United may be able to land the attacker later this year. 90min reports United believe they can land Sancho for less than £100million (€112.7m) after not meeting Dortmund's valuation of £107m (€120m) in the close season.

- Lionel Messi's future remains a major talking point. Sport reports the Barcelona star – who is out of contract at the end of the campaign – will wait until the end of the season to decide between the LaLiga giants, Manchester City, Paris Saint-Germain and MLS.

- Real Madrid are apparently eyeing a replacement for Marcelo. AS reports the LaLiga giants are tracking Sporting CP left-back Nuno Mendes, who is also linked to Liverpool, Manchester United, Juventus and PSG.

- Liverpool are also linked with centre-backs after long-term injuries to Virgil van Dijk and Joe Gomez, while potential exits have been mentioned. However, the Liverpool Echo reports the Premier League giants are not expecting any senior departures in January, which would mean Xherdan Shaqiri and Divock Origi remain despite speculation over their futures.

Will Paul Pogba return to Turin?

Pogba's future at Manchester United is in doubt, with the World Cup-winning Frenchman reportedly looking to leave the Theatre of Dreams.

Juventus are keen to re-sign Pogba – who initially left United for the Italian giants in 2012 before returning to Manchester four years later.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE WANT POGBA REUNION

Signing Manchester United star Paul Pogba remains the dream for Juventus, according to Calciomercato.

Pogba is eyeing an Old Trafford exit amid growing links to former club Juve and LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

Juve are keen on reuniting with Pogba, though Sassuolo's Manuel Locatelli, Lyon star Houssem Aouar, Udinese midfielder Rodrigo De Paul and Roma sensation Nicolo Zaniolo are alternatives.

 

ROUND-UP

Lionel Messi's days at Barcelona appear to be numbered, with the club captain and talisman heading into the final six months of his contract. 

As such, he can begin discussions with other clubs ahead of a potential free transfer once his contract expires on June 30. 

Messi, 33, set things in motion back in August when he rocked world football by publicly confirming his desire to leave the only club he has ever represented as a professional, and with whom he has won everything. 

Barca's surrender to Real Madrid in LaLiga's title race and the 8-2 thrashing at the hands of Bayern Munich in the Champions League appeared to be the final straw for Messi earlier this year, though the departure of president Josep Maria Bartomeu might have improved the club's chances of keeping him. 

Additionally, Joan Laporta is the favourite to succeed Bartomeu in next month's election, but if he cannot persuade Messi to stay then football looks set to see a move that will rank as one of the most seismic in the history of the sport. 

So, where could Messi end up next?

Newell's Old Boys

Messi's relationship with the public in Argentina has often been strained due to the fact he moved to Barca at the age of 13 and developed in their famous La Masia academy. But he started out at Newell's five years prior to that and a return to his hometown of Rosario would be an understandable move as he enters the latter stages of his career. Unrealistic? Perhaps, but it's a move all football romanticists would love to see.

Manchester City

While his form this term may have been somewhat disappointing by his usual standards, Messi undoubtedly still has the quality to play at the highest level. City, managed by former Barca boss Pep Guardiola, are said to have been looking into the feasibility of bringing the Argentina superstar to the Etihad Stadium. Media reports have suggested he could spend a few years in Manchester before then being sent to sister club New York City FC in MLS for the final seasons of his career. City are certainly one of a handful of clubs that could match Messi's huge wages, and there is a strong lure given the Blaugrana alumni running the show at City.

Paris Saint-Germain

PSG have been right at the forefront of this saga since the very start in August. Thomas Tuchel, since sacked of course, was asked about the possibility of signing Messi as early as his Champions League final post-match media duties. The Ligue 1 champions have never shied away from splashing the cash – they paid Barca a world record €222million for Neymar and shelled out €180m on Kylian Mbappe. If Messi wants to win another European crown before retiring, few clubs are better positioned to help him achieve that, and the chance to link up with Neymar again might be too good an opportunity to turn down.

Inter

Even before there was any doubt about Messi's future at Barca, Inter were the main club linked with an audacious attempt to sign the 33-year-old. The Suning Holdings Group ownership makes them one of the few clubs alongside City and PSG that have the financial capacity to offer him a sizeable contract, and they do appear to be getting back to the level expected of them since the arrival of Antonio Conte as coach. Links with Inter have cooled in recent months, but they cannot be ruled out yet. The chance to battle old foe Cristiano Ronaldo in Serie A may prove an enticing prospect, too.

Al-Sadd

Things could have gone very differently for Barca had club legend Xavi been handed the reins in January instead of Quique Setien. As it happened, the iconic former midfielder felt it was not the right time to return to Camp Nou and chose to remain at Al-Sadd. A link-up with his former team-mate in Qatar could be an option for Messi, though there is every chance Xavi finds himself back in Catalonia in the not-too-distant future.

Diego Costa is poised to become a prize catch for one club in the days ahead, but what does the former Atletico Madrid striker have in mind?

He was released from his contract with LaLiga's leaders on Tuesday but looks set to make a swift return to football.

Atleti head coach Diego Simeone said he expects Costa to make a success of his next move, with the likes of Benfica, Arsenal and Wolves already linked with the fiery frontman.

Perhaps Costa will favour a move home to play in his native Brazil, or could MLS beckon?

Could Costa light up the Primeira Liga?

Benfica were linked with Costa in the previous close season, but nothing came of their reported interest. However, the Portuguese giants may still fancy a shot at bringing him to the Estadio da Luz.

They sit five points behind leaders Sporting CP this season, with Switzerland international Haris Seferovic their leading scorer with six goals in just three starts and six substitute appearances.

Would Costa fancy the Portuguese league, which he left behind 13 years ago when departing Braga to head to Spain? A Europa League campaign might bolster the appeal, with Benfica drawn to face Arsenal in the first knockout round.

Is he going to be a Gunner?

Given he was a hate figure for many Arsenal fans during his time at Chelsea, when he was a two-time Premier League winner, it would seem inconceivable for Costa to move to Emirates Stadium.

But needs must, and Arsenal might benefit from some of his attitude and knowhow up front as they battle to climb the Premier League table from a lowly standing.

Reports in Spain have suggested Arsenal's interest is genuine, with the club willing to let bygones be bygones and embrace a former fierce rival.

Whatever would they make of it at Chelsea?

Wolves at the door

There is plenty of circumstantial evidence to suggest a switch to Wolves could be a goer.

Costa's agent is Jorge Mendes, whose influence has helped the Premier League club build a squad with the talent to challenge for a top-six place.

And with Raul Jimenez sidelined after the serious head injury he sustained at Arsenal in November, Wolves could certainly do with an experienced addition to their forward ranks.

Costa might fancy joining a pack of underdogs, and his prospects of regular top-flight football would appear to be good.

Homeward bound

Perhaps the player who left Brazil as a teenager to seek footballing fame and fortune in Europe could be about to announce a return home.

Costa never played professional club football in Brazil and it may hold some appeal before he hangs up his boots.

There might be some making up to do before that happens, however, given he controversially turned his back on Brazil in 2013, in favour of playing international football for Spain.

The MLS route

A player of Costa's stature could be a big draw in MLS, given his achievements in Europe, his background, and his eye-catching style of play.

Goals have been hard to come by in  LaLiga for Costa during his second spell with Atletico, and there may be some appeal in moving to a league where not only would he be assured regular football, but the goals may come more easily.

If Lionel Messi is considering a future move to the United States, then clearly it is below no one, and Costa may relish seeing out his career in the growing league.

Atlanta United have appointed Gabriel Heinze as head coach on a two-year contract, the MLS club announced on Friday.

Former Manchester United, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain defender Heinze replaces Frank de Boer, who departed Atlanta by mutual agreement in July.

Heinze arrives after leading Velez Sarsfield to a third-place finish in 2019-20, having joined the Argentine outfit in 2017.

The 42-year-old and 72-time Argentina international also spent time in charge of Argentinos Juniors (2016-17) and Godoy Cruz (2015).

"I'm excited to be taking on this new challenge with Atlanta United," said Heinze, who won the Premier League with United and LaLiga with Madrid.

"I believe that my football philosophy is aligned with the vision of the club and their structure and facilities are world-class. I can't wait to meet the players, the staff and the fans and get to work in 2021."

Atlanta president Darren Eales added: "This is a milestone moment in Atlanta United history, and we couldn't be more excited to welcome Gabriel as our next head coach.

"We cast the net widely for this important hire, and Gabriel quickly emerged as the number one candidate. Gabriel is one of the top coaches in South American soccer and we are delighted that he chose Atlanta United.

"Whilst his resume speaks for itself, Gabriel's playing philosophy and commitment to youth development closely align with our ideas at Atlanta United, and we are happy to welcome him as we move into our club's next chapter."

Atlanta did not qualify for the MLS playoffs this season after finishing 12th.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic can play for another five years and then "change the world" despite "wasting" two years in MLS, according to Mino Raiola. 

Ibrahimovic is now 39 but still performing at the highest level, leading Milan to the top of Serie A this season in his second spell with the club. 

The former Sweden striker has 10 league goals in 2020-21 - a tally only matched by Cristiano Ronaldo - and has scored with 28.6 per cent of his 35 shots. 

Indeed, of players to net multiple times in Serie A this term, Ibrahimovic has struck more regularly than anyone else, once every 53 minutes. 

That eye-catching statistic is in part due to a hamstring injury that has limited the veteran to six appearances - one fewer than Ronaldo - although he returned to training on Monday. 

Despite the minor setback, agent Raiola is confident Ibrahimovic can continue to deliver, regretting only the decision to take his client to LA Galaxy for two seasons after leaving Manchester United. 

"I saw other players who were really tired who could no longer carry on the positive energy needed," Raiola told Tuttosport while attending the 2020 Golden Boy awards. "I have never seen this tiredness in Zlatan.

"For me, he can still easily play five years, then be president of something to change the world. 

"I only regret the two years in the United States, where he wasted time. 

"I have a good relationship with him, great emotions. But it is a bit like that with all my players. 

"We have to make him believe that he is the most beautiful, the best, and so we do. Ibra is not as tough as he looks. He has a very tender heart, not for me but for others, yes."

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