Arsenal confirm landmark appointment with former star Edu

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Edu has returned to Arsenal to become the club’s first technical director.

The 41-year-old played for the Gunners between 2001 and 2005 and formed part of Arsene Wenger’s unbeaten ‘Invincibles’ Premier League champions of 2004.

It was announced on Tuesday that the former Brazil midfielder would take on the new role at Emirates Stadium.

“In his role as technical director, Edu will coordinate the work of our first-team coaching group, the academy and player scouting and recruitment in order to oversee the constant building up and efficient strengthening of our squad,” Arsenal said in the statement confirming the deal.

Edu made 127 appearances for Arsenal and scored 12 goals and would go on to play under current Gunners head coach Unai Emery at Valencia.

He will link up with Emery and his players later this week when they travel to the United States to begin their pre-season tour after leaving a similar role with the Brazil national side following their Copa America success.

“Arsenal has always had a special place in my heart and I’m thrilled to be returning to this great club in this new role,” he said.

“We have a strong squad and some very talented young players with fantastic people at every level. I’m looking forward to helping make a difference.”

Edu lifted two Premier League titles and two FA Cup trophies during his time in north London and also has previous experience of working in a technical role at Corinthians.

It is believed he played a role in helping Arsenal land the signing of highly-rated Brazilian forward Gabriel Martinelli, the 18-year-old arriving from Ituano last week.

And there could be more transfer activity from the club in the coming days, with reports suggesting a deal for Saint-Etienne defender William Saliba is close to completion.

The 18-year-old Frenchman is expected to be loaned back to the Ligue 1 side for next season after signing for a reported £27 million and is seen as a long-term prospect by the powers that be at Arsenal.

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Newcastle line-up Steve Bruce as next manager

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Newcastle are considering Steve Bruce as a possible replacement for Rafael Benitez as they prepare to head off to China for the Premier League Asia Trophy.

PA understands the 58-year-old Sheffield Wednesday boss is one of a series of potential candidates to have been identified as managing director Lee Charnley looks to fill the gap left by the Spaniard.

The club has been without a manager since Benitez’s contract expired on June 30 and a series of big names, including Jose Mourinho, Arsene Wenger, Patrick Vieira and Steven Gerrard, have distanced themselves from the vacancy.

With the squad due to fly out to the Far East on Saturday to take part in the tournament – with Premier League champions Manchester City, Wolves and West Ham – bookmakers’ odds on Bruce taking over tumbled dramatically on Tuesday.

Bruce, who was linked with Newcastle in 2015, was appointed by the Owls in February four months after parting company with Aston Villa and guided the club to a 12th-place finish in the Sky Bet Championship.

The Corbridge-born former Manchester United defender is a Geordie who has managed arch-rivals Sunderland as well as Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Wigan, Crystal Palace, Birmingham and Hull with varying degrees of success.

Newcastle’s search for a new boss has been complicated by the ongoing takeover process with owner Mike Ashley having been engaged in talks with a series of potential buyers, including the Dubai-based Sheikh Khaled Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, for weeks.

However, no deal is yet in place and the fact that Charnley has been instructed to find a manager suggests that the situation is unlikely to change in the short term.

Whoever does accept the task of stepping into Benitez’s shoes will face a major task to calm yet more stormy waters on Tyneside following another summer of turmoil.

The Spaniard’s departure has sparked further talk of rebellion among sections of a fanbase which has been at war with Ashley for much of his time at the helm, but there has been upheaval too in the squad.

Leicester’s £30million swoop for Ayoze Perez last week has seen the club’s leading scorer follow the runner-up, Salomon Rondon, who has returned to parent club West Brom, with midfielder Mohamed Diame and loan signings Kenedy and Antonio Barreca having already left.

Manchester United are expected to formalise their interest in midfielder Sean Longstaff in the coming days, while Isaac Hayden has made no secret of his desire to quit St James’ Park for family reasons.

That would leave the new manager without as much as half of what might be considered his strongest team.

With the first game of the new season – the Magpies entertain Arsenal on August 11 – a little more than a month away, there is serious rebuilding work to do before the transfer window closes if the club is to avoid another tooth-and-nail scrap for top-flight survival.

Just how much control a new manager would have over that process under Ashley’s regime could dictate who the club is able to recruit.

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Tottenham name former player as their Under-19 UEFA Youth League coach

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Former Tottenham midfielder Ryan Mason has been appointed coach of the club’s Under-19 UEFA Youth League side.

Mason was forced to retire at the age of 26 after failing to recover from the fractured skull he suffered while playing for Hull during January 2017.

The midfielder, who earned a senior England cap in 2015, had been involved in a clash of heads with Chelsea defender Gary Cahill at Stamford Bridge.

In February last year, Mason confirmed following specialist medical advice he would be unable to return to playing, but has since made steps towards obtaining his coaching badges while working within Tottenham’s academy set-up.

The Premier League club confirmed on Monday that the 28-year-old, who left Spurs to join Hull in August 2016, would now become part of the full-time staff following changes to the coaching structure.

Former Portsmouth and West Ham midfielder Matt Taylor has been appointed as coach of the U-18s side, while Nigel Gibbs takes up a role as assistant head of player development for the U-17s to U-23s.

Existing members of staff Chris Riley and Troy Archibald-Henville assume revised roles to support the older players in the academy.

Tottenham’s head of academy coaching and player development John McDermott said: “We have always tried to assemble a blend of staff who know what the demands of the game are at the highest level.

“It’s also important to have a mix of experience through internal promotions and external appointments, including coaches who have recently retired and are current with the modern player, plus coaches who have been in the cauldron of professional football – not just Academy football – and can pass on their wisdom of what the real game expects in terms of behaviour and performance.

“All five of these members of staff understand the incredible standards set for young and senior players at this club and they will be invaluable in driving our players to become the best young men and players that they can be.”

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