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Ralf Rangnick contacted by Bayern Munich over manager’s job

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Ralf Rangnick said he has been contacted by Bayern Munich about the manager’s job at the Bundesliga club.

Current Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel will leave the Allianz Arena at the end of the season and Rangnick has been among those tipped to replace his fellow German.

Rangnick, 65, is currently in charge of the Austria national side who he is preparing for the upcoming European Championship.

“There has been contact from the side of Bayern Munich and I have informed the Austrian Football Association,” Rangnick told 90minuten.at., external

Asked when he would need to consider that interest seriously, Rangnick said: “If Bayern say: ‘We want you.’

“And then I would also have to ask myself: ‘Do I really want this?’

“If I want to do something else I will first discuss it with the Austrian FA.”

Rangnick, who had a six-month stint as Manchester United interim manager during the 2021-22 season, indicated any decision he makes will not be driven by money.

He said: “That doesn’t matter to me at all. For me it’s about other things: can I make a difference? Is there a chance of developing a team and being successful?

“My focus is on the Austrian national team. We are completely focused on the European Championship.”

Rangnick has a respected coaching reputation in Germany.

He set Ulm on course for promotion to the Bundesliga for the first time before spells in charge of Stuttgart, Hannover, Hoffenheim, Schalke and RB Leipzig.

He won the German Cup and reached the Champions League semi-finals with Schalke in 2011.

Bayern’s next manager will be looking to take them back to the top of German club football after Bayer Leverkusen halted their run of 11 consecutive Bundesliga titles this season.

Leverkusen boss Xabi Alonso had been linked with the Bayern job but has elected to stay with the newly crowned champions.

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1000-mile march to Munich as two bosses stay put

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Phil Goodlad and Rory Loy talk managers plus the Scots fan walking all the way to Munich.

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Premier League ticket price rises: What do fans think?

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At Tottenham, fans from the Save Our Seniors campaign group have protested at the club’s decision to phase out a 50% discount that supporters over the age of 65 currently receive, from the 2025-26 season.

Spurs fan Alan Fisher spoke to BBC Sport at April’s North London derby.

“It is an atrocious decision,” he said. “It’s a message from the club to us as seniors that we’re not wanted, and it is a message to every single fan about how they value loyalty. They don’t.”

“All they want is someone sitting in that seat who is prepared to pay full price.”

In response, Tottenham said the number of senior concession season tickets has increased “four fold” since they left White Hart Lane, and the increase “is clearly not sustainable” and will limit choice for others.

Many Crystal Palace fans were among the 129 respondents who said their ticket will remain the same price in 2024-25. The club announced a price freeze on season tickets in all four stands of their Selhurst Park home.

While at Brentford, although prices are going up slightly, fans have now been allowed to spread the cost of their ticket over 12 months, rather than 10.

However, last week one “appalled” Wolves supporters group called for a boycott of Molineux after significant prices rises in some stands. One example was tickets for under-14s in the Billy Wright Upper increased in price from £105 to £290, a rise of 176%.

Other supporters have felt the impact of last minute kick-off changes for TV scheduling. And for clubs who set rules that mean fans must attend a minimum number of games across the season to keep hold of their ticket, this also creates problems.

Manchester United announced their season ticket holders would have to attend 17 of their 19 home matches for next season, or risk losing the opportunity to renew their ticket. After a response from the fans, this was reduced from 17 to 15, and supporters are able to transfer their ticket back to the club or to another member without losing a match.

“For those with disabilities, old age or mental health issues, personal circumstances can mean that last minute you physically can’t make it,” said Adrian, a United fan.

“It is like saying if I bought a ticket to a concert and couldn’t go, then I would in effect be banned from going again – even though I’ve been a loyal fan for decades.”

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Carlo Ancelotti’s secret weapon – his son, Davide

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Once a footballer himself, Davide knew from an early age that he wanted to be a coach like his father. He understood tactics and would have a say on how to organise a team even as a youngster.

A naturally curious boy, if he was interested in something, he wanted to learn everything about it. As the son of one of Italy’s greatest tacticians, Davide became consumed with being the best he could be.

A sports science graduate, he joined his father’s staff at Paris St-Germain. At Bayern Munich, he became his father’s assistant coach. As he often states, his primary role is to offer his father a different tactical perspective. At Real Madrid, his value to the squad has grown more important.

Davide wants to learn all there is to learn about the game. He watches countless games around Europe, studying the opponents and reflecting on the data gathered on his own players. He oversees training, takes charge of set-piece routines and devises certain patterns of play.

However, his true value lies in his ability to look at specific moments in a game and quickly decide the route to victory.

Take the first league match of the 2022-23 season. Real Madrid had conceded an early goal to Almeria. It took until the 61st minute before they found the equaliser, but they needed a winner.

Luka Modric won a free-kick and Davide was seen giving detailed instructions to incoming substitute David Alaba on the sidelines. Toni Kroos and Karim Benzema stood over the ball, waiting to unleash the set-piece. Davide interjected. Speaking to his father, Davide made the case for why Alaba had to come on right away and take the free-kick.

The set-piece was on the right. It was in the ideal position for one of Alaba’s sweet left-footed strikes. The defender scored. The win was secured.

Davide, who speaks five languages, has good individual relationships with Real’s players. He can always be seen giving them instructions. He works with them after hours to develop their game.

As one example, take Karim Benzema’s defensive positioning at corners. That was something the French striker worked in with Davide, to improve his defensive contribution, to reduce the number of goals conceded from set-pieces.

Aurelien Tchouameni has spent plenty of time after regular training working with Davide to better understand how to receive the ball, how to turn his body and how to adapt his posture, permitting him to play in several positions. This has come especially handy as Madrid lost several centre-backs to injuries this season.

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Esme Morgan: England defender to leave Manchester City this summer

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Morgan will link up with former Barcelona manager Jonatan Giraldez in Washington. Giraldez is taking over at Spirit after guiding the Spanish side to victory in the Champions League final on Saturday.

Morgan came through the youth ranks at City, making her professional debut in 2017 and going on to appear in 87 senior matches across all competitions.

She won the Women’s FA Cup and League Cup with City, and was part of the team that came second to Chelsea in the WSL this season, missing out on the title on the final day.

“For nine years I have been lucky to live a dream and have the honour of playing for my club,” Morgan said in a statement posted to X, external.

“I’m incredibly thankful for the support of everyone at Man City throughout my journey from the academy to first team, continually opening doors for me to develop as a player and as a person, and always with the right timing.”

Morgan made her senior England debut in October 2022 and was part of the squad that reached the final of the 2023 Women’s World Cup.

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Xavi: Next Barcelona manager will ‘suffer’

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Outgoing Barcelona boss Xavi says his successor will “suffer” in the role.

The Spaniard, 44, was sacked before taking charge of their final game of the season – a 2-1 win over Sevilla.

Former Germany and Bayern Munich boss Hansi Flick is set to replace him.

Xavi, who was under contract until 2025, said he was going to leave the club in January but performed a U-turn, announcing he was staying on at Camp Nou in April.

He said: “To the new manager, I tell you: ‘You will suffer’. This is a very complicated place to be. This is a difficult job and you have to be patient.”

The former Spain midfielder took over as head coach in November 2021 and won La Liga and the Spanish Super Cup in his first full season in charge.

This season they finished second in La Liga, 10 points behind champions Real Madrid.

Xavi’s sacking came a month after Barcelona confirmed he would stay at the club. It followed comments he made about the club’s financial struggles, which were said to have angered president Joan Laporta.

“I have the feeling that everything I have done in these two and a half years has caused an earthquake,” he said. “I have been targeted many times in many situations.”

Xavi said his work at the club “not been sufficiently appreciated” and said of the decision to sack him: “I had no choice but to accept it. It doesn’t matter if I agree with the arguments.”

The former Barca player said he is open to a new job but thinks he also needs to “rest a little bit”.

“It’s so difficult to coach Barcelona,” he added. “It’s been tough last week, but I have my conscience very clear. I’m proud and happy.”

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Luke Ayling’s move to Middlesbrough made permanent

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Ayling was part of the Leeds squad that won promotion to the Premier League under Marcelo Bielsa in 2020.

But he lost his place during last season and went to Middlesbrough on loan.

He leaves Elland Road having played 268 games and scored 11 goals following his move from Bristol City eight years ago.

Carrick said he was delighted to have him on board as the Teesside club’s first transfer of the summer.

“After coming in on loan in January, Luke settled in very quickly and made a big impact, bringing his character and personality to the group,” Carrick told the club’s website, external.

“He knows what it takes to be a success in this league.”

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Spurs’ Moore scores ‘very special’ goal in England U17s win

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Tottenham’s Mikey Moore scores as England beat Spain 3-1 to progress to the quarter-finals of the Uefa Under-17 European Championship in Cyprus.

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Football Daily

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Mark Chapman talks Man Utd winning the FA Cup and Chelsea eyeing up Enzo Maresca.

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Cristiano Ronaldo: Al-Nassr forward sets new Saudi Pro League scoring record

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Cristiano Ronaldo set a new record for goals scored in a Saudi Pro League season after a double for Al-Nassr against Al-Ittihad took his tally to 35.

The 39-year-old netted twice in the 4-2 win to overtake Abderrazak Hamdallah’s mark of 34 in 2018-19, though the Morocco striker’s haul – also for Al-Nassr – came from four fewer matches.

Portugal forward Ronaldo has scored 64 goals in 69 games for Al-Nassr in all competitions since joining on a free transfer in January 2023 after leaving Manchester United.

The win meant Al-Nassr finished second in the table for the second successive season, 14 points behind champions Al-Hilal but 17 clear of third-placed Al-Ahli.

Ronaldo has now scored 765 goals in his 22-year career for Sporting Lisbon, Manchester United, Real Madrid and Juventus.

He also holds the record for international goals with 128 from 206 appearances for Portugal.

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Rachel Furness: Mental health forced Northern Ireland break

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“I remember at a point before the Euros, I was thinking ‘can I continue to do this?’. I had no escape,” Furness tells BBC Sport NI as she opens up about her mental health journey.

“It was a really, really tough decision, but the little girl in me wanted to play at a major tournament, to go and experience that.”

She boarded the plane to the Southampton, and, with her customary smile, made history stepping out against Norway in Northern Ireland women’s first match at a major tournament.

But behind the outgoing persona, things were brewing.

Midway through the tournament she wanted to go home for the sake of her mental health.

“You might think it’s crazy, but I just wasn’t happy,” says Furness.

“Everything just seemed so in place on the football side, it was going really well.”

In the background, everything wasn’t as rosy.

Off the pitch, she had been processing the end of a long-term relationship alongside her father’s illness.

Coupled with the high-intensity environment of a major tournament, she had reached breaking point.

“Personally, I wasn’t happy with myself in the environment,” Furness adds.

“Then you start to question, why? Why am I doing this? Why do I feel like this?”

After shedding some tears, she composes herself to recall the conversations as team-mates attempted to persuade her to remain in camp, rather than walk out on a campaign that was the pinnacle of all their international careers.

Furness and her fellow players talked long and deep, looking out from their hotel overlooking Southampton’s sun-kissed harbour. In the end, she was convinced to stay.

“I’m glad I did stay because I go back to that moment with the fans at the end, and thinking that was all worth it,” she says. “That’s the special moment I take away.”

But when the singing stopped, when the dancing was done, a decision remained.

Furness had managed to get through the tournament, but her mind was made up. She needed to take a step back from a team she loved so much.

After the tournament, she had conversations with staff about “how I was feeling, and how I was made to feel” and why she couldn’t carry on.

“It was tough to get across how I felt, and how mentally I was feeling,” she says.

“I did blame myself for a lot of that. Before I’d spoken to somebody and made sense of it, you do just blame yourself.

“I love representing Northern Ireland, and taking that risk of stepping back, never knowing if I’d step back in, was one of the biggest decisions of my life.

“Two years on you can tell it still touches and it still means a lot, but it’s one I can comfortably speak about now. I’m in a much better place for that.”

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