Danny Blind has been appointed as the new Netherlands head coach. The 53-year old succeeds Guus Hiddink, who left his position on Monday after just 10 months in charge. Blind, who was Hiddink’s assistant, won 42 caps during a 20-year playing career with Ajax and Sparta Rotterdam, and also managed Ajax. Hiddink, 68, lost five and won four of his 10 matches during his second spell in charge, with the Dutch third in their Euro 2016 qualifying group. His son, Daley Blind plays for Netherlands and Manchester United.
Stoke City have agreed a fee in the region of £12m with Inter Milan for the transfer of Switzerland international winger Xherdan Shaqiri. The 23-year-old only moved to the San Siro from Bayern Munich in January but could now move to the Potters – breaking their club-record transfer fee – if he agrees personal terms. Shaqiri, who typically operates as an attacking midfielder, struck a hat-trick in last summer’s World Cup as Switzerland defeated Honduras and has 17 goals in 46 full caps for his country.
Petr Cech says leaving Chelsea was the hardest decision of his career. After helping Chelsea win several major trophies during an 11-year stay, Cech moved to Arsenal for £10m. “I’m far from being finished and being happy to sit on the bench,” the 33-year-old said. “Arsenal came and put on the table by far the best deal and are a club that matches my personal ambitions to win more trophies. To stay in the Premier League was another key factor.”
Abou Diaby, together with academy players Jack Jebb, Austin Lipman, Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill and Josh Vickers, are leaving Arsenal, having reached the end of their contracts. Diaby leaves the club after 10 years in which he made 180 first-team appearances, scoring 19 goals. A hugely talented midfielder, unfortunately his time at the club was interrupted by a number of serious injuries. Diaby has also represented France on 16 occasions. Midfielder Jebb, forward Lipman, full-back Ormonde-Ottewill and goalkeeper Vickers came through the Gunners’ Hale End academy together, and went on to represent the club at under-21 level. Jebb, Lipman and Ormonde-Ottewill have all played for England at youth level.
Liverpool have complete the signing of Nathaniel Clyne from Southampton for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £12.5m, on a “long-term” contract, thought to be five years. Clyne, 24, who made 94 Premier League appearances for Southampton, said: “I’m delighted and it’s a dream move for me to come here and play for such a big club like Liverpool with all of its history.”
Three-time Champions League winner Samuel Eto’o has joined promoted Turkish top-flight side Antalyaspor, who are reported to be close to signing World Cup winner Ronaldinho. The ambitious club also stated they would recruit another “big name” and “set the world on fire”. “I have signed a three-year contract,” said former Barcelona, Inter Milan, Chelsea and Everton striker Eto’o, 34. The Cameroonian enjoyed much of his success at Barca from 2004 to 2009.
The Copa America is reaching its denouement and Lionel Messi’s Argentina remain on course to win the title for the first time since 1993 after thrashing Paraguay 6-1 to set up a final against tournament hosts Chile. Manchester United’s Marcos Rojo and Angel Di Maria (two) were on target, while Manchester City hitman Sergio Aguero is pictured here heading the fifth.
The Ivory Coast Football Federation (FIF) has named a five-man shortlist for Herve Renard’s successor as manager of the African champions. Of the contenders, Patrice Neveu, Paulo Duarte, Michel Dussuyer and Henri Kasperczak have all worked in Africa. Frederic Antonetti is the only member of the shortlist who has neither coached a national team nor in Africa. A total of 59 candidates were considered to replace Renard, and the list will now be reduced to three.