Santos to sell Neymar
Neymar is on the verge of choosing one of two offers from unnamed clubs, likely to be Spanish suitors Barcelona and Real Madrid, after Santos agreed on Friday to transfer him. Santos made the announcement on the club’s official Twitter feed and said the 21-year-old player, Brazil’s big hope for next year’s World Cup finals on home soil, had the right to choose which offer to accept. “In the face of the offers and the player’s contract, the management committee of the club decided to sell the player,” the statement said. “We await Neymar and his father at the Vila Belmiro to choose which proposal the player is going to accept.” Neymar, who helped Santos win the Coppa Libertadores in 2011, was the only player not based in Europe among the 23 finalists for FIFA’s Player of the Year award last year. Should Neymar go for the most likely option of moving to Barcelona, he will play alongside Argentina’s Lionel Messi, Ballon d’Or winner for the last four years.
Townsend charged by FA
Tottenham Hotspur winger Andros Townsend was charged with breaching betting regulations by the Football Association (FA) on Friday. It is understood that Townsend is not being accused of betting on matches he had any involvement in, but the FA has strict betting rules that forbid players from gambling on a wide spectrum of matches they are not involved in personally. Townsend, who spent the second half of the season on loan at Queens Park Rangers, responded by withdrawing from the England under-21 squad for the forthcoming European under-21 Championship and will be replaced by Birmingham City’s Nathan Redmond.
Moyes overhauls United staff
David Moyes started his Manchester United overhaul on Friday as the club’s new manager parted company with coaches Mike Phelan and Eric Steele. Phelan had been a long-serving assistant to former United manager Alex Ferguson, who retired after nearly 27 years in charge at the end of the season, while Steele had worked as goalkeeping coach at Old Trafford since 2008. Both have been told they will be released by Moyes, who wants to bring several of his own backroom staff with him from Everton. “I would like to put on record the club’s thanks for everything Mike and Eric have done,” Moyes said. Moyes is reported to be keen to bring Everton goalkeeping coach Chris Woods to Old Trafford to replace Steele, with his Toffees coach Steve Round likely to step in for Phelan. He also wants veteran coach Jimmy Lumsden to work with him at the Premier League champions.
Blackburn stick with Bowyer
Blackburn Rovers appointed Gary Bowyer as their new manager on a 12-month rolling contract on Friday. Bowyer had two spells as Blackburn’s caretaker boss this season and managed to steer the troubled Championship side away from the relegation zone in the final weeks of the campaign. That was enough to persuade Venky’s, the Indian poultry firm that owns Rovers, to give Bowyer the job on a permanent basis. “It is a huge honor and a proud moment for me,” Bowyer said. The 41-year-old was first placed in charge of Blackburn in December following Henning Berg’s sacking and he remained unbeaten during his four-game spell. After Berg’s successor Michael Appleton was dismissed just 67 days into his reign, Bowyer took charge again in March and steered the club away from the bottom three.