Lionel Messi has been urged to reconsider his international retirement by Argentina legend Diego Maradona and the country’s president. The forward, 29, quit after missing in a penalty shootout as Argentina were beaten by Chile in the Copa America – a fourth major final loss in nine years. “Those saying he should quit don’t want us to see what a disaster Argentinean football has become,” Maradona told La Nacion newspaper. “Messi must go on.” Maradona, who captained Argentina to victory in the 1986 World Cup and managed the team at the 2010 World Cup, added: “Messi has to stay because he will reach the 2018 World Cup in Russia in conditions to become world champion. “The lads have to be supported more to help him take the team forward.” Messi said after Sunday’s defeat that for him, the national team was “over” and that “it hurts not to be a champion”.
Liverpool have signed Senegal forward Sadio Mane from Southampton for £34m. Mane, 24, joins on a five-year deal and is the Reds’ third summer signing after German goalkeeper Loris Karius and Cameroon defender Joel Matip. The fee could rise to £36m, which would make him the Anfield club’s most expensive signing, beating the £35m paid for striker Andy Carroll in 2011. Mane scored 21 goals in 67 Premier League appearances for Saints after joining for £10m from Salzburg in 2014. “Today is a big day and I am very happy to sign for one of the biggest clubs in Europe,” he told the club’s official website. “It’s a club that has won a lot of trophies and has a big history.” Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp revealed he had been tracking Mane “since his impressive performances in the Olympics in 2012”. “Since I came here I have spoken to the staff a lot about him and have always felt he could be a very good signing for us,” the 49-year-old German added. Mane becomes the most expensive African player in history, with his transfer topping the £28m Manchester City paid Swansea City for Wilfried Bony in January 2015. He is the fifth player to make the switch from St Mary’s to Anfield since the summer of 2014 – following Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert – now at West Brom – Dejan Lovren and Nathaniel Clyne.
AC Milan have named former Sampdoria boss Vincenzo Montella as their new head coach on a two-year contract. The 42-year-old will take over from Cristian Brocchi, who was acting as caretaker boss following Sinisa Mihajlovic’s sacking in April. Milan finished seventh in Serie A last season and lost to Juventus in the Italian Cup final. The San Siro club said it was looking forward to “the brilliant system of play of the new Rossoneri coach”. Former Italy striker Montella has also managed Catania and Fiorentina, following a playing career spent mainly with Roma and Sampdoria.
Leicester defender Christian Fuchs, the Austria captain at Euro 2016, has announced his retirement from international football. Fuchs, 30, made his debut in 2006 and earned 78 caps for his country, but the Austrians failed to progress beyond the group phase in France.