Phil Neville acknowledges he has been flattered by reported interest from the United States women's team but insists there has been no approach from the world champions.

Neville guided England to the semi-finals of this year's Women's World Cup, where they lost to the USA.

Victorious coach Jill Ellis will leave her role with USA at the end of October, though, and reports in England this week claimed Neville was a leading candidate.

But the ex-Manchester United defender, who is under contract with the Football Association until 2021, says his focus is on the 2020 Olympic Games, where he will lead Great Britain.

"There's been no approach," Neville told BBC Sport after England's 2-1 friendly defeat to Norway. "My focus is on winning us a gold medal in the Olympics.

"Beyond that, it's flattering because it means you're doing a good job. But my focus is England. I love this job, as I said before the game, and we've got a big job to do.

"We can see over the last two games [including a draw with Belgium last week] that the work is still in progress and we've still got a long way to go."

Neville was this week nominated for the FIFA's Best award for the top women's coach.

Afterwards, speaking ahead of the Norway game, the former England international defended his record and claimed England were lucky to have him.

"I have a vision that nobody else has," he said. "I've got bravery that no other coach has probably had.

"So, do you know what? Thank your lucky stars. I'm here. I'm here to stay. And I'm going to continue to keep improving.

"I've got a long way to go but I think, with the set of players we've got and with my philosophy, I think we can go a long way. I live and breathe it."

The Neymar transfer saga is over for at least another window, but it remains to be seen how the star responds at Paris Saint-Germain.

Neymar, 27, was largely expected to return to Barcelona, only for no agreement to be reached between the clubs before the window closed on Monday.

Unsurprisingly, the superstar forward is far from happy.

 

TOP STORY – NEYMAR ANGRY WITH PSG AFTER NOT GETTING BARCELONA RETURN

Neymar is very sad and deeply angry with PSG over his failed Barcelona move, according to Sport.

However, they also report Barcelona are convinced Neymar will return to Camp Nou in 2020.

Sport say Barca offered €150million – with €20m coming from Neymar – plus Ivan Rakitic and Jean-Clair Todibo on permanent deals and Ousmane Dembele on loan, only for the deal to be rejected.

ROUND-UP

- After plenty of debate, the Premier League will extend its close-season transfer window until September 1 next year, according to The Sun. Several clubs have been frustrated after they only had until August 8 to complete their business as the rest of Europe remained active.

- With Jill Ellis set to leave her post as United States head coach, the Women's World Cup winners have lined up England boss Phil Neville as their number one target to replace her, according to the Daily Mail.

- Manchester United are looking to the future. Sport Witness reports the Premier League giants sent scouts to watch Benfica duo Ruben Dias, 22, and Florentino Luis, 20, against Sporting Braga on Sunday, lining the pair up as two potential transfer targets.

- After collecting just five points from four Premier League games, Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is getting frustrated. Solskjaer is frustrated by the failures of Marcus Rashford and Anthony Martial to score "scruffy" goals, according to The Athletic.

United States stars Megan Rapinoe and Alex Morgan will battle England international Lucy Bronze for The Best FIFA Women's Player award after nine names were trimmed from the original shortlist.

Lyon right-back Bronze was named UEFA Women's Player of the Year last week but faces stiff competition from Rapinoe and Morgan to claim the global accolade.

Rapinoe, 34, looks to be the frontrunner after spearheading her country to Women's World Cup glory earlier this year.

The winger scooped the Golden Boot with six goals from five games and completed a triumphant individual double by claiming the Golden Ball.

Team-mate Morgan netted the same number of goals in France, including the winner in the 2-1 semi-final defeat of England, and only missed out on the goalscoring crown by virtue of playing more minutes than Rapinoe.

Bronze's hopes could hinge on a strong club campaign as she helped Lyon to the treble, although two of the previous three winners - Carli Lloyd and Marta - have been based in the NWSL in America.

Similar battle lines have been drawn for the title of The Best FIFA Women's Coach, with England manager Phil Neville in contention against Jill Ellis, who has won back-to-back World Cups with USA.

Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman is the other contender after leading her country to the World Cup final.

Christiane Endler, Hedvig Lindahl and Sari van Veenendaal are the finalists for the goalkeeper's gong.

All award winners will be announced at a ceremony in Milan on September 23.

Phil Neville has called for the football community to boycott social media for six months after the latest instance of high-profile racist abuse.

England women's manager Neville was reacting to Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba being targeted online after he had a penalty saved in Monday's 1-1 Premier League draw at Wolves.

Chelsea striker Tammy Abraham and Reading's Yakou Meite have also been subjected to similar abuse over the past week following their own penalty failures.

United issued a statement branding the slurs directed towards Pogba as "disgusting" and called for social media companies to take action as they work to identify the perpetrators in this instance.

However, Neville has little faith in the likes of Twitter and Instagram making a meaningful difference and called on those within the game to take a stand.

"I've lost total faith in whoever runs these social media departments, so I just wonder whether now as a football community, in terms of really sending a powerful message, is: come off social media," he said at a news conference ahead of his team's matches against Belgium and Norway.

"Six months – let's come off social media. Let's see the effect that it has on these social media companies, whether they're really going to do something about it."

Neville also spoke out last October after former England and Chelsea star Karen Carney received rape and death threats on Instagram.

"We talk to them all the time because my players get that kind of abuse all the time, whether it’s racist, whether it’s sexist, whether it’s homophobic,” he continued.

"They get that kind of abuse. Nothing gets done about it, but we experienced it earlier in the season.

"It's not going away, I think there’s some fantastic campaigns, initiatives, messaging that goes out, particularly in the Premier League, through the FA, about trying to stamp out racism.

"And at times, you feel as if you're making inroads, and then you get probably a massive reminder that actually we’re probably not.

"It’s a problem not just in football – it’s a problem in society, but football now is at the forefront of everybody’s minds in terms of, we’ve got the power to do something about it. I think the football community will.

"I think we try, but it’s getting to the point now where I think we need to make a real strong message, and I say to every single footballer out there, and to every club, and to the PFA: why don't we make a big stand? Come off social media. Boycott all social media now and see if that makes a big enough impact."

Pogba's United team-mate Harry Maguire called for all social media accounts to be verified and Neville suggested he would support such an approach.

"Maguire said this morning about being verified, giving passport details and addresses to be hold accountable for posting such disgusting things," he added.

"You can be an egg on Twitter and no one knows who you are."

Anti-discrimination pressure group Kick It Out has lamented the "increasingly predictable" nature of online attacks.

"This is a call to action – we want to know what they [social media companies] are going to do to tackle this insidious problem," a Kick It Out statement read.

England's so-called 'golden generation' never quite delivered on the pitch, but there might still be hope for success in the coaching arena.

Sven-Goran Eriksson's side were beaten in the quarter-finals of three consecutive major tournaments from 2002 to 2006 despite being considered among the favourites.

However, with many of these involved now long since retired, management beckons.

And Wayne Rooney will join a number of former team-mates in taking on a coaching role after agreeing to move to Derby County as player-coach in January.

We take a look at other members of that England team who have taken to the touchline.

GARY NEVILLE

The first on this list is close to the least successful, with Neville sacked after just four months in charge at Valencia, returning to his previous role as a television pundit instead.

While just three wins in 16 LaLiga games saw the end of Gary, brother Phil remained at Valencia for a time as an assistant.

PHIL NEVILLE

Phil Neville also had experience with Manchester United, England Under-21s and Salford City by the time he was surprisingly appointed boss of England Women in January 2018.

The younger brother took the Lionesses to the last four at this year's Women's World Cup. Gareth Southgate, who featured sparingly at the start of Eriksson's era, is similarly impressing with the men's team.

SOL CAMPBELL

Former centre-back Campbell was repeatedly frustrated in his initial attempts to move into management, describing attitudes towards giving black players their first chance in coaching as "archaic" in 2013.

His opportunity finally arrived last year with Macclesfield Town, then bottom of the Football League. A superb turnaround saw the side stay up on the final day. "It's definitely up there with the things I've achieved in football," he said.

STEVEN GERRARD

While Campbell was made to wait for a lowly senior job, ex-colleague Gerrard went in at the top with one of Scotland's biggest clubs, taking over at Rangers at the start of last season.

Having left the Liverpool academy to take the post, Gerrard has a positive impact at Ibrox and led Rangers to their first win over rivals Celtic in six years. He could not prevent the Hoops completing a historic treble-treble, though.

PAUL SCHOLES

Definitely not a success. Scholes' stint at boyhood club Oldham Athletic made Gary Neville's Valencia stretch look steady, with the former midfielder gone after just 31 days.

It was Scholes' decision to quit, as he explained: "It unfortunately became clear that I would not be able to operate as I intended and was led to believe prior to taking on the role."

FRANK LAMPARD

Chelsea favourite Lampard has the potential to be the biggest success of all, having been handed the reigns at Stamford Bridge ahead of the 2019-20 season.

Lampard led Derby to within a whisker of promotion in the play-off final, earning a chance at Chelsea as they prepare for a tough campaign impacted by a transfer ban. His Derby departure allowed for Phillip Cocu to come in and bring in Rooney.

THE REST...

It might only be a matter of time before John Terry has a senior role. He is an assistant at Aston Villa and was linked to the Middlesbrough job, which instead went to former team-mate and fellow rookie Jonathan Woodgate .

Meanwhile, at Manchester United, both Nicky Butt and Michael Carrick form part of the coaching staff.

David James operated as a player-coach at IBV, had a short stint at Luton Town and then took over at Kerala Blasters while continuing in goal. James then returned to the Indian side in 2018 but was sacked after an 11-match winless run.

Darius Vassell has a role at Wolves, Joe Cole is at Chelsea, and Kieron Dyer is part of the Ipswich Town set-up.

Premier League rivals Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp are among the candidates to win the Best FIFA Men's Coach award, while Jill Ellis heads up the Best FIFA Women's Coach nominees after she led the United States to World Cup glory.

Guardiola guided Manchester City to the Premier League, EFL Cup and FA Cup in a glittering 2018-19 campaign that saw Klopp's Liverpool push them all the way for domestic glory.

The Reds won the Champions League for the first time in 14 years, beating Mauricio Pochettino's Tottenham in the final, and the Spurs boss is also in the running for the FIFA award.

There is no place on the shortlist for Massimiliano Allegri despite the former Juventus coach having clinched his fifth consecutive Scudetto with the Bianconeri, and his successor Maurizio Sarri missed out even though he won the Europa League, reached the EFL Cup final and secured a Champions League spot with Chelsea.

Ellis, meanwhile, is up against Netherlands boss Sarina Wiegman whose side the USA beat in the World Cup final. The coaches of both semi-finalists, England's Phil Neville and Sweden's Peter Gerhardsson, are also on the shortlist.

Italy's Milena Bertolini is also in contention along with Lyon's Reynald Pedros, Japan Under-20s' Futoshi Ikeda, and Arsenal's Joe Montemurro.

The Best FIFA Men's Coach nominees:

Djamel Belmadi (Algeria)
Didier Deschamps (France)
Marcelo Gallardo (River Plate)
Ricardo Gareca (Peru)
Pep Guardiola (Manchester City)
Jurgen Klopp (Liverpool)
Mauricio Pochettino (Tottenham)
Fernando Santos (Portugal)
Erik ten Hag (Ajax)
Tite (Brazil)

The Best FIFA Women's Coach nominees:

Milena Bertolini (Italy)
Jill Ellis (USA)
Peter Gerhardsson (Sweden)
Futoshi Ikeda (Japan U-20)
Antonia Is (Spain U-17)
Joe Montemurro (Arsenal)
Phil Neville (England)
Reynald Pedros (Lyon)
Paul Riley (North Carolina Courage)
Sarina Wiegman (Netherlands)

Phil Neville admitted his England players have "destroyed" him at the Women's World Cup as he opened up about his new-found sensitivity and the importance of creating a positive environment for the Lionesses to thrive in.

The former Manchester United and Everton midfielder said England's journey to the semi-finals, where they lost 2-1 to the United States, had left him more prone to teary moments and with a tendency to smile and relax, while describing his squad as "an unbelievable set of girls".

England lost 2-1 to Sweden in Saturday's third-place play-off – a game Neville wrote off as "a nonsense" - but he spoke about his pride in his players and his determination to reflect deeply on their performance.

"They destroyed me," Neville told 90min.com.

"They turned me into an emotional wreck. I cry at everything – I cry at watching Dirty Dancing now, and Pretty Woman. Because they are the most unbelievable set of girls, honestly they are.

"You think some days that they're not going to be up for today and they are. They drive each other forward. They inspire me.

"They've changed me. In life you're always at your best when you're happy and when you're having fun, and for these players to perform at their best I think at times I've needed to relax.

"I've always been a 100-miles-an-hour, eyeballs out, intense type of guy, but sometimes they like to see a smile, the smile gives them comfort and that feeling that you trust them and they've made me into that kind of person."

Neville has just short of two months to take stock of England's performance before the squad regroups for a friendly against Norway in September.

He indicated that the Lionesses, who were also eliminated from the World Cup at the semi-final stage in 2015, are playing the brand of football he has been aiming for since he took charge in January 2018.

"You have periods in the day when you think we were so close, and then you have periods where you get maybe a little bit angry that we should've done more," said Neville. "Maybe 12 months ago should we have been firmer.

"When you start reviewing some of the work you've done, some of your tactics or whatever, you do have to self-reflect. And I'm sure that after the tournament I'll probably do that more than anyone because ultimately the responsibility falls with me.

"We've still got to be proud of the work we've done and I'm proud of the way the players tried to play.

"The semi-final was enthralling. 56,000 people, my players playing the type of football I want them to play, every single player giving their all. I said to them at the start of the game, don't leave anything and they didn't leave anything. They left their hearts on the field."

Sweden clinched third place at the Women's World Cup for the third time after they exposed England's defensive frailties in a 2-1 bronze-medal match victory.

Kosovare Asllani and Sofia Jakobsson scored inside the opening 22 minutes at Allianz Riviera, where the Lionesses failed to recover from a slow start despite Fran Kirby pulling a goal back just after the half-hour.

Ellen White was denied the record of being the first player to score in six consecutive matches in the same tournament when a VAR review deemed she used her arm to control the ball before putting it in the net and Sweden locked the gates thereafter.

Karen Carney, who announced her decision to retire from football before the game, came on as a second-half substitute but there was to be no fairy-tale ending for her or for England.

England were pinned back from the outset and came undone when Alex Greenwood's poor clearance fell to the feet of Asllani, who rattled home a low drive that found the net despite Carly Telford getting a hand to it.

Telford made a good near-post save to deny Jakobsson but was powerless to prevent the Montpellier winger from curling a shot into the far corner after England's defenders allowed her to dribble into the box unchallenged.

Kirby revived a lacklustre Lionesses' performance when she powered into the area and drilled beyond Hedvig Lindahl moments before White had an equaliser disallowed for handball – the Golden Boot-chasing striker thwarted by a VAR review as she was in the semi-final defeat to the United States.

Julia Zigiotti Olme fired a low shot from 20 yards that tested Telford mid-way through a quieter second half that saw Sweden sit deep and defend their lead while England began to tire.

Neville sent on Carney for her 144th and final England appearance 17 minutes from time, while Nilla Fischer's brilliant goal-line clearance prevented Lucy Bronze from taking the game into an additional period.

The United States may have beaten England to return to the Women's World Cup final, but Phil Neville is adamant his Lionesses will eventually bridge the gap.

England suffered a third successive semi-final defeat at a major tournament as Jill Ellis' defending champions claimed a 2-1 victory in Lyon even without an injured Megan Rapinoe to reach their third straight final.

Rapinoe's replacement, Christen Press, headed in the first and though Ellen White equalised for the Lionesses, Alex Morgan scored what proved to be the winner as Steph Houghton had a late penalty saved by USA goalkeeper Alyssa Naeher.

USA can now move into England's hotel, with members of their backroom team having controversially done so before the semi-final, but Neville warned that they will not remain on their perch forever having seen how his old club Manchester United have struggled since Alex Ferguson's retirement in 2013.

"They can now have our hotel," Neville joked.

"They're the standard-bearers. I played for a football club that won a lot in a long space of time. We were the ones that everyone wanted to catch.

"Eventually teams caught Man United and eventually we will catch USA. At the moment they're the best team because of that winning mentality.

"We will get there, we are closing the gap.

"We've got to keep investing in the pathway, driving standards within our leagues and young players. We've got to keep having sustained success and keep building the momentum that we've got.

"America have got that winning mentality of knowing what it means to win. We will get that, we're learning that, developing that, coaching that every single day. 

"It doesn't happen overnight, it takes time. We will get there."

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