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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

Osimhen agrees terms with Chelsea, set to complete move

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ThePapers.ng can exclusively report that the reigning Africa footballer of the year, Victor Osimhen is already packing his bags for a

ThePapers.ng can exclusively report that the reigning Africa footballer of the year, Victor Osimhen is already packing his bags for a life in Stamford Bridge as both clubs and the player’s representative in advance talks.

The Nigerian striker has been one of Serie A’s most prolific goalscorers and star players for a few years now, and his 31-goal haul across all competitions in 22/23 helped Napoli to their first Scudetto in decades.

His contract includes a £110 million release clause, which clubs have been reluctant to meet thus far, but the forward isn’t exactly short of suitors.

According to ThePapers the Napoli striker is ready to accept Chelsea’s offer as the new club coach admires the talent of the former U-17 striker.

In an exclusive phone call with a source within Osimhen’s camp, confirmed the player will head to England any moment from now to complete the move.

“Victor is going to Chelsea,” our source revealed.

“He’s not going to Saudi even though the Saudi deal is too big to reject but he has made up his mind to keep shinning in Europe and with a competitive club but not PSG.”

Other reports have recently claimed that Osimhen sees Chelsea as his best possible option to leave Napoli in the coming weeks, so this is perhaps one to watch before deadline day on August 30.

 

 

 

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Leny Yoro set for Man United medical after £50m deal agreed

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Lille defender Leny Yoro is flying to the UK for a medical with Manchester United after a deal worth over £50m was agreed.

Lille defender Leny Yoro is flying to the UK for a medical with Manchester United after a deal worth over £50m was agreed.

Man Utd have agreed personal terms in principle with the 18-year-old.

It was thought Real Madrid were the Frenchman’s preference, but Man Utd have been working to convince him to join.

There is still work to do as a deal is not fully done, but Man Utd are now optimistic they can get it over the line.

Everton defender Jarrad Branthwaite and Bayern Munich’s Matthijs de Ligt are players Man Utd still admire – and remain options, subject to having budget and squad space available as window evolves.

 

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Man City not ready to sell €90m-rated Barcelona target

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Julian Alvarez might be just 24 years old but has already completed football. A two-time Copa America champion, World Cup winner, Champions League winner, Premier League winner, and Club World Cup winner, the Argentinian has won almost every major trophy at both club and international levels.

Despite playing for one of the best teams in the world, Manchester City, Alvarez wants to leave this summer. Lack of game time has prompted the ex-River Plate striker to make this decision and look for a new challenge.

Not surprisingly, Alvarez is not short of suitors. European giants like PSG, Barcelona, and Atletico Madrid are interested in signing the Argentinian superstar with Los Colchoneros even approaching the player’s entourage regarding a deal.

Despite the player’s desire to leave, as per an exclusive report from CaughtOffside, Manchester City decided not to sell Julian Alvarez this summer. It’s quite a surprising decision from a club who are generally known not to hold a player against his will.

The report adds that the player is open to staying at City if it comes to it but is keen to have more playing time next season. Pep Guardiola rates the player highly and has assured him of being a key part of his plans for next season. In fact, the legendary Barcelona manager called Alvarez an ‘incredible, exceptional player’ last season.

The presence of a demigod-like figure in Erling Haaland has prevented Alvarez from having the game time he deserves as a striker at Man City. Pep used him to good effect as a #10 last season during Kevin de Bruyne’s injury absence.

With a contract until 2028, the Premier League defending champions are in no particular urgency to sell him. He has scored 36 goals and 18 assists in 103 appearances for Man City so far and will want to add to the tally next season.

Even if he was available, it’s unlikely that Barcelona will be able to sign him this summer due to the club’s financial predicament. The Catalan club has set their sights on Nico Williams which in itself would be a tough operation to pull off.

Thus, missing out on Alvarez is not something that is going to affect Barcelona’s plans this summer. It might be a blessing in disguise as the club might be in a better position to try and sign him next summer, should they decide to. For now, it seems like the Argentinian striker is set to stay put at Man City.

 

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