Roberto di Matteo is the new Aston Villa manager and will be assisted by former Chelsea team-mate Steve Clarke. Ex-Chelsea, West Brom and Schalke boss Di Matteo replaces Remi Garde, who was sacked in March prior to the club’s relegation from the Premier League. Italian Di Matteo, 46, and former West Brom and Reading boss Clarke, 52, have been out of management since last year. Di Matteo, who guided Chelsea to Champions League success in 2012, was always the first choice of Dr Tony Xia. The Chinesse businessman, whose takeover of Villa is currently awaiting Football League and Premier League approval, is convinced that Di Matteo will raise Villa’s profile in the Championship.
Nigeria international, Forward Aluko, 27, and defender Taylor, 31, are out of contract and the newly-promoted Premier League club have decided to let them go. Midfielder Tom Huddlestone and wing-back Ahmed Elmohamady have been offered new deals while the Tigers have exercised an one-year option to keep back-up stopper Eldin Jakupovic. Vice-chairman Ehab Allam told the club’s official website: “Both Ahmed and Tom contributed hugely towards our success in the end-of-season play-offs and we are keen for both players to remain with us on our return to the Premier League. “We’re also pleased that Eldin Jakupovic will be continuing his career here. “The development he has made during his time with this club has been clear to see this season, including a quite exceptional performance and clean sheet against Arsenal in the FA Cup, and culminating in his performances in the play-offs. “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank both Sone Aluko and Ryan Taylor for their efforts and wish them both well for their future careers.” Arsenal duo Chuba Akpom and Isaac Hayden have returned to north London after spending the season on loan at the KC Stadium.
Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has pulled out of Sunday’s Soccer Aid charity game at Old Trafford. He was due to manage an England side containing David Seaman and Phil Neville, plus a host of celebrities. It would have been Mourinho’s first appearance at Old Trafford since being appointed Louis van Gaal’s successor. Former Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid boss Mourinho, 53, is thought to have told organisers he had other commitments he wanted to focus on.
Gabon and Borussia Dortmund striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has been voted as the German Bundesliga’s Player of the Year award. The Gabon captain finished just 0.2% ahead of Bayern Munich’s Robert Lewandowski, who was the top scorer in the league last season. The award is voted for by the German players’ union, the VDV. “It’s a great honour to be recognised and appreciated by your fellow colleagues,” Aubameyang said.
Brazil’s Kaka is out of the Copa America with a muscle injury and will be replaced by Paulo Henrique Ganso. The former AC Milan and Real Madrid midfielder, who now plays for Orlando City in Major League Soccer, was a late replacement for Douglas Costa. Kaka, 34, is the fifth player to withdraw from the squad and is expected to be out for about three weeks. The 100th anniversary Copa America starts in the United States on Friday, with Brazil’s first game on Saturday.
Jose Mourinho’s first match at Old Trafford as Manchester United manager is set to be Wayne Rooney’s testimonial match against Everton on Wednesday, 3 August. The game was announced last year but had not been signed off due to uncertainty over when United would enter European competition. Even after it became known United would not have a clash, the game was still not confirmed as their managerial situation had not been resolved. However, new boss Mourinho has given the green light to the game.
Rotherham United appointed Hibernian boss Alan Stubbs as their new manager last night on a three-year deal. The 44-year-old was given permission to speak to the Championship side on Monday but resigned from his Hibs role, according to Rotherham, to take over. He leaves Hibs less than two weeks after guiding the Easter Road side to a first Scottish Cup win in 114 years. The former Celtic and Everton defender replaces Neil Warnock at the New York Stadium. Stubbs once partnered Nigeria’s Joseph Yobo in Everton’s defence.
Barcelona and Argentina forward Lionel Messi takes the stand today to face questions over his tax affairs. Authorities prepared a special operation to control the many journalists, fans and onlookers at the Barcelona court. Messi, 28, and his father Jorge, who manages his financial affairs, are accused of defrauding Spain of more than €4m between 2007 and 2009.
A Japanese comedian will run the marathon for Cambodia at Rio 2016, reports AFP. Kuniaki Takizaki, a television star known for his cat impressions apparently, was granted Cambodian citizenship in 2011 and was barred from London 2012 because he was too recent a citizen. He was given a wildcard nomination for this summer’s Games after winning a marathon in Kep, in a time of two hours and 44 minutes.
Fleetwood Town have released 14 players, including former Newcastle striker Shola Ameobi. The 34-year-old, who started the season with Championship side Bolton, scored once in 10 appearances for the League One club. Ameobi, then of Newcastle represented Nigeria at the 2014 world cup in Brazil.
Manchester City have announced the signing of midfielder Ilkay Gundogan from Borussia Dortmund on a four-year deal. He becomes the first signing made by City’s new coach Pep Guardiola. The 25-year-old midfielder made 157 appearances over the past five seasons for Dortmund and has won 16 caps for Germany. He is currently out with a knee injury so has not been selected for Euro 2016. “I’m thrilled to have signed for Manchester City,” said Gundogan. “When I learned of City’s interest my heart was set on coming here and things have moved very quickly. “Now I have a new challenge and that is to achieve great things with city. The opportunity to work with a coach like Pep Guardiola is something I am really looking forward to and I am flattered to be the first signing the Club has made this summer.”