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Birmingham City appoint Wayne Rooney as new manager

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Birmingham City have appointed Wayne Rooney as their new manager.

The 37-year-old former England captain has joined the Championship club on a three-and-a-half-year deal.

Rooney succeeds Blues head coach John Eustace, who was sacked on Monday after 15 months in charge.

The ex-Everton and Manchester United striker’s appointment is the first managerial change made by Blues’ new American owners Shelby Companies Limited since they took over in July.

Rooney will be supported by his former England team-mate and current England Under-21 assistant Ashley Cole and his old United colleague John O’Shea, the assistant coach of the Republic of Ireland men’s national team.

Carl Robinson and Pete Shuttleworth will also be part of Rooney’s backroom staff after both assisted him at DC United.

It will be Rooney’s third job in management following spells at the MLS club and Derby County and his first game will be at Middlesbrough on 21 October.

“Wayne is a born winner,” Blues co-owner and chairman Tom Wagner said.

“We believe, with the support of his coaching staff, the club, and our supporters, he will take Blues forward on the next stage of our journey.

“His playing philosophy will help to realise the ambitions we have set for Birmingham City.

“Wayne has been preparing for an opportunity like this since he embarked on his coaching education whilst still a player at Manchester United.

“He and his staff have the full support of the board and everyone at the football club.”

Rooney retired from playing and was appointed Derby boss in January 2021, following a spell in caretaker charge.

His time at Pride Park was marred by off-field troubles. He saved them from relegation from the Championship by a single point four months after taking on the role.

But during his first full season in charge in 2021-22, the Rams were given a 21-point deduction for being in administration and EFL breaches, alongside a transfer embargo. Derby were relegated to League One and Rooney left in June 2022 with the club still in administration.

He returns to England after just over a year with Washington-based DC United.

Wayne Rooney was unable to save Derby from Championship relegation following a 21-point deduction in 2021-22

“I am absolutely delighted to be joining Birmingham City at such an exciting time,” Rooney said.

“It is very clear that they have a plan and are committed to realising their ambition for the club.”

Rooney added that he and Blues are “fully aligned” on what is expected of him and says the “challenging environments” he has put himself in has “got me ready for this opportunity”.

“It’s a project that gives me a sense of purpose and I can’t wait to get started,” he said.

“I have a clear way that I want the team to play, and my coaching staff and I will work hard to implement it. We will create a winning culture here with an identity that gets Blues fans on their feet.

“My job is to elevate the club to the next level. I know what the expectations are and our job is to deliver.”

Birmingham chief executive Garry Cook called Rooney’s appointment a “defining moment” for the club before adding the new boss will work straight away with technical director Craig Gardner in evaluating the squad and identifying potential transfer targets in January.

Birmingham are the longest serving occupants of the Championship, having completed the third of their short stays in the Premier League in 2011.

That was the same year they beat Arsenal at Wembley to win the League Cup, making them the last West Midlands side to lift a trophy.

This is their 13th successive attempt at getting back to the top flight but they have only once gone close to a return, their first season back in the second tier under Chris Hughton in 2011-12, when they were beaten by Ian Holloway’s Blackpool in the play-offs.

Birmingham beat neighbours West Brom at St Andrew’s in their last Championship game
Since then, despite the efforts of 10 different bosses, they have come closer to relegation than promotion – twice staying up on the final day, under Lee Clark in 2014 and Harry Redknapp in 2017.

But they are handily placed this season and sixth in the table having won three of their first four league games and then twice last week, to edge within two points of third-placed Preston.

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Transfers

Transfer: Trabzonspor keen to extend Onuachu’s loan for another season

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Transfer: Trabzonspor keen to extend Onuachu’s loan for another season

Trabzonspor want to take Southampton forward Paul Onuachu on loan for another season.

Onuachu joined the Turkish Super Lig side on a season-long loan last summer.

The Nigeria international has registered nine goals and three assists in 17 league appearances for Trabzonspor.

The Black Sea Storm are keen to sign the striker permanently but cannot meet up with Southampton’s €15 million valuation.

According to a report in Transfermarkt, Trabzonspor president, Ertugrul Dogan is pushing hard to have Onuachu at the club at least for another season.

A return to Southampton is highly unlikely for the lanky hitman, who struggled to establish himself during his six-month stay at the club.

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Transfer: Napoli identify top striker to replace Osimhen

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Transfer: Napoli identify top striker to replace Osimhen

Napoli have identified Lille striker, Jonathan David as the top target to replace departing Victor Osimhen.

Despite signing a contract extension with Napoli last December, Osimhen is set to leave the Italian side at the end of the season.

Paris Saint-Germain is leading the race to sign him as a replacement for Real Madrid-bound Kylian Mbappe.

Chelsea are also said to be interested in signing the Nigeria international as their marquee forward signing to take the club to the next level.

La Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Jonathan David is the top preference for Napoli.

David has scored 23 goals and provided 7 assists in 39 games so far this season, mirroring his output from the 2022-2023 campaign.

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Transfer: Newcastle, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Barcelona, others battle for Ndidi

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Transfer: Newcastle, Tottenham, Aston Villa, Barcelona, others battle for Ndidi

Super Eagles midfielder, Wilfred Ndidi could be playing for Tottenham Hotspur or Newcastle United next season.

The two Premier League sides have joined a host of other European clubs keeping close tabs on the Nigeria international.

The 27-year-old, who is helping Leicester City make a swift return to the Premier League, is currently in the last months of his contract at the King Power Stadium.

Ndidi could leave on a free transfer after the expiration of his contract with the Foxes.

Tottenham, Newcastle, Aston Villa, Brighton & Hove, and Wolverhampton Wanderers are all monitoring the situation of Ndidi, according to HITC.

With Ndidi’s experience, Leicester City have worked themselves into a position to return to the top-flight of English football next season.

DAILY POST reported yesterday that La Liga giants, Barcelona are keen on bringing the Nigeria international in the summer.

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