Wolverhampton Wanderers: Manager Nuno Espirito Santo to leave Molineux after four years at the helm

Wolves enjoyed their best-ever Premier League finishes under Nuno – seventh in the 2018/2019 season as well as the 2019/2020 season. Photo by Sky Sports

Portuguese manager Nuno Espirito Santo will depart Wolverhampton Wanderers at the conclusion of the season by mutual agreement.

The former goalkeeper left Portuguese giants Porto to take charge of the West Midlands side in 2017 and led Wolves to the Championship title in his first season in charge.

After finishing seventh in the Premier League over the course of the last two seasons, the 47-year-old penned a three-year contract extension last September to 2023.

Wolves are 12th going into the final game of the 2020/2021 season, which is at home against Manchester United on Sunday afternoon.

“Since the first day we arrived at Compton [training ground], our ambition was to make a positive change and push this football club forward,” said Nuno.

“I am proud to say that we did that every single day. We achieved our goals, we did it with passion and we did it together.”

“Sunday will be a very emotional day but I am so happy that the fans will be back in Molineux and we can share one last special moment together, as one pack.”

Wolverhampton Wanderers chairman, Jeff Shi added:

“Nuno has brought us some incredibly special moments at Wolves that will never be forgotten but every chapter comes to an end.

“His loyalty and dedication over the last four years has been immeasurable and we cannot thank him enough for the progress he has made for Wolves.

“Sunday was already going to be a very special day, welcoming our supporters back for the first time in more than a year, but it will also now be a fitting goodbye for someone who will forever remain an important part of Wolves history.”

Jeff Shi has thanked Nuno for his four-year cycle at Molineux. Photo by Wolverhampton Wanderers

Leicester City: Captain Wes Morgan to retire at the end of the season

Wes Morgan has been at Leicester City since January 2012. Photo by Getty Images

Leicester City’s title-winning captain Wes Morgan will retire at the conclusion of the 2020/2021 campaign.

The 37-year-old led the Foxes in their successful 2015/2016 season and came on as a late substitute when they lifted the FA cup for the first time in the clubs history on Saturday.

Wes Morgan (right) was captain as Leicester won the Premier League in an unforgettable season for the Foxes. Photo by BBC Sport

Former Jamaica international Morgan has made 324 appearances for Leicester in all competitions since joining the club from Nottingham Forest in January 2012.

Manager Brendan Rodgers said: “Firstly, in terms of what Wes has given me since I’ve been here, it’s been immeasurable really. I always knew it was going to be important for my senior players and, in particular, my captain to be on side in terms of the vision of how we wanted to go forward.

“He’s provided me with fantastic support. On the pitch, his career was obviously coming to an end, but he still played a very important role for me, even though he wasn’t playing every single week. He has a warrior sprit.

“He really sets the example on the pitch for the other players. Then, off the pitch, he’s a real good guy. A lot of the younger players can go to him and talk to him. He’s very calm. In moments where there’s pressure or stress, he’s a guy who’s just calm and focused.

“From my own perspective, he’s been a huge part of what I’ve done in this two-and-a-half years at Leicester City. His career as a whole, it’s been an incredible journey. I’d seen him playing when he was at Forest and came up against him in the play-off semi-final for Swansea City.

“It’s important for captains to be selfless. They have to think of everyone, not just themselves. They’re huge influences for the young guys. You really have to take care of the team, that’s your job as the captain and he’s done that remarkably well.

“He’s the type of captain who’s an old-school British captain, where they’re very inspirational. He’s a centre-half who leads by example. He wins his headers. He puts his body on the line. There’s no questions asked. He gives his all for the manager and he takes care of the team. 

“When he joined the Club, it probably wasn’t an easy move, going from Nottingham Forest to another Midlands team. There’s very few players that could make that transition and be loved by both teams, but he’s certainly that guy.

It was great for me to get to know him. I’d known of him for a number of years without knowing him personally, but when I arrived in here, I’ve seen what he’s given the Club. 

“I’ll always be forever grateful for his support during my time here.”

Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers (left) has paid tribute to the retiring captain Wes Morgan (right).

Leicester, who are aiming for a Champions League place for next season, conclude their campaign against Tottenham on Sunday afternoon and their match kicks off at 16:00 BST.

Morgan joined Leicester from Nottingham Forest in January 2012 and was appointed captain for the 2012/2013 season.

He played every minute in the Foxes’ Premier League-winning season, during the 2015/2016 campaign and scored a header in a 1-1 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford, which moved Leicester closer to the title.

He also represented Jamaica 30 appearances between 2013 and 2016.

Morgan will remain involved at the King Power Stadium and will also keep his role on the Professional Footballers’ Association’s board.

“To come to Leicester has been one of my best choices and I can always look back on the memories,” Morgan said.

“The fans have always been good to me. I always played my heart out for them.”

Leyton Orient: Kenny Jackett appointed new manager of East London side

Leyton Orient have announced Kenny Jackett as their new manager on a one-year rolling contract

Leyton Orient have named former Watford, Millwall and Portsmouth boss Kenny Jackett as their new manager.

The 59-year-old, who has agreed terms on a one-year rolling contract at The Breyer Group Stadium, comes in after the O’s opted against giving interim boss Jobi McAnuff the job on a permanent basis.

The veteran winger, who has recently retired from playing had been in charge of Orient since Ross Embleton departed the League Two side at the end of February.

Following his appointment Jackett said: “I’m really excited by the challenge.

“I want to build on the good work that’s been put in here, coming out of the Conference [National League] and stabilising in League Two.

“My own personal ambition is to then push on and compete at the top end of League Two.

“I certainly feel Leyton Orient is capable of it, traditionally and with the structure and the set-up that they currently have.

“It’s a big challenge for the new season, but that’s what’s attracted me here.”

Orient director of football Martin Ling added:

“You need a captain of the ship and I feel the captain is here in terms of Kenny.

“It was a long process, it was a process that we went through thoroughly.

“Kenny was the first person that I spoke to actually, regarding the possibility of coming here and when I spoke to Kenny part of me was thinking ‘will Kenny drop to League Two?’

“But once I spoke to him about the club and gave our side of things, Kenny bought into that and he remained the main candidate throughout and I’m delighted that Kenny is sitting here.”

Orient director of football, Martin Ling is delighted that Kenny Jackett has joined Leyton Orient as their new manager

Jofra Archer: Sussex and England pace bowler to have surgery on elbow injury

Archer was holding his troublesome elbow during Sussex’s game against Kent. Photo by BBC Sport

England pace bowler Jofra Archer will undergo surgery on his troublesome right elbow on Friday.

The 26-year-old had an injection for the long-term problem in March and has only managed to play two matches in that time.

He bowled only five overs in the second innings of Sussex’s draw with Kent last week.

During Sussex’s draw with Kent, Archer bowled a total of 18 overs, 4 maidens, 3 wickets for 43 runs. Photo by Charlie Crowhurst

A timespan on his recovery is yet to be confirmed in a year that includes the Twenty20 World Cup as well as an Ashes series in Australia.

In a statement the England and Wales Cricket Board said: “Jofra Archer has been reviewed by a medical consultant in respect of his right elbow soreness. He will now proceed to surgery tomorrow.

“Further updates will be released in due course.”

Archer has played 13 Tests, 17 one-day internationals and 12 T20s for England, and was part of the England that won the 2019 World Cup on home soil.

He missed a few matches of England’s tour of South Africa at the beginning of 2020 with the elbow problem, and was then ruled out of the fourth Test against India earlier this year due to the same the same issue.

The Barbados-born bowler sat out the cancelled Indian Premier League, during which time he under went an operation to remove a piece of glass from his hand, an injury he sustained when cleaning his fish tank at home.

He made his return from injury this month, firstly in the Sussex second team then against Kent in the County Championship – and it was revealed on Saturday he had told Sussex captain Ben Brown he was not fit to bowl.

In total, his bowling comeback has consisted of less than 50 overs.

Sol Bamba: Cardiff City defender announces that he is cancer free after Non-Hodgkin lymphoma battle

Sol Bamba has said that he is cancer free after undergoing treatment for Non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Photo by Sky Sports

Cardiff City defender Sol Bamba has revealed that he is free of cancer just over four months after it was announced that he had undergone treatment for non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Bamba, 36, had chemotherapy after his cancer diagnosis.

He returned to action as a 95th minute substitute during the Bluebirds’ draw with Rotherham United on 8 May, Bamba says he is now clear of the disease.

Sol Bamba’s sub appearance for Cardiff against Rotherham on 8 May was his first outing since 16 December

“Hey everyone, just a quick message to inform you that I’m now cancer free,” the ex-Leeds United, Leicester City and Hibernian player wrote on his Instagram page.

“It is of course incredibly heart-warming news for my family and I, we are over the moon right now.

“Thank you to all my family, my friends and of course the club and everyone in the football industry that has helped me facing this challenge.”

Cardiff manager Mick McCarthy said that Bamba’s short appearance against Rotherham on the final day of the 2020/21 season had incited delight throughout the Championship club.

“He has been a big part of the club and everybody loves him,” McCarthy said following the game.

Bamba, who has been at the Cardiff City Stadium since 2016, had spoken of his “pure joy” at returning to training in April, although he did say at the time that there was “still a long way to go” in his recovery.

 Côte d’Ivoire international Bamba, has made 118 appearances for the South Wales based outfit since joining the club from Leeds United in 2016, sees his deal run out this summer.

The club are in negotiations over the possibility of a new contract with the experienced centre-back.

England Cricket: Coach Chris Silverwood names 15-man squad for the two-match LV= Insurance Test Series against New Zealand

England last toured New Zealand in 2019, losing a two-Test series 1-0 against Kane Williamson’s side

Uncapped Gloucestershire batsman James Bracey and Sussex pace bowler Ollie Robinson have been added into England’s 15-man squad for the two match Test series against New Zealand, which starts on 2 June.

There is also a return to side for Somerset’s Craig Overton, who last played for England in 2019.

Jos Buttler, Chris Woakes, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali and Jonny Bairstow have all been omitted after recently returning to the UK from the Indian Premier League.

Ben Stokes (broken finger) and Jofra Archer (elbow injury) are both injury absentees.

Opener Dom Sibley, who has missed Warwickshire’s last three matches due to a fractured finger, has been named in the squad, as has Rory Burns, who was dropped from the squad for the final two Tests in England’s 3-1 series defeat in India over the winter.

Jack Leach is the only spinner in the squad, with Dom Bess not named in Silverwood’s team, while Ben Foakes is set to wicket-keep in England for the first time in Buttler’s absence.

Squad: Joe Root (Yorkshire), James Anderson (Lancashire), James Bracey (Gloucestershire), Stuart Broad (Nottinghamshire), Rory Burns (Surrey), Zak Crawley (Kent), Ben Foakes (Surrey), Dan Lawrence (Essex), Jack Leach (Somerset), Craig Overton (Somerset), Ollie Pope (Surrey), Ollie Robinson (Sussex), Dom Sibley (Warwickshire), Olly Stone (Warwickshire), Mark Wood (Durham)

Bracey, 24, was a reserve in the England squad for last summer’s home Test series against West Indies and Pakistan as well as last winter in Sri Lanka and India respectively.

He is a top-order wicketkeeper-batsman and averages 37 in 44 first-class games for Gloucestershire. This season, the left-hander has scored 478 runs in 10 innings, which includes one century and four fifties.

Right-arm pace bowler Robinson, 27, was named in England squads last summer but is yet to make his debut, and like Bracey toured as a reserve last winter.

He has taken 279 first-class wickets at an average of 21.04, and has claimed 29 dismissals at 14.72 for Sussex this season, including taking 9-72 in the second innings against Glamorgan in April.

James Bracey (left) and Ollie Robinson (right) have been included in the England squad after impressing for their respective counties (Gloucestershire and Sussex) during the early stages of the 2021 season. Picture by BBC Sport

Overton has played four Tests, three of which have come against Australia, taking nine wickets at an average of almost 45.

“James Bracey and Ollie Robinson deserve their call-ups to the Test squad,” said England men’s head coach Chris Silverwood.

“They have been consistent performers in the County Championship this season and over the past 18 months, have excelled for the Lions on the field and in the various camps they have been involved in.”

Silverwood also said that the players who took part in the IPL will play some County Championship or Vitality Blast games before returning to the international scene, while Stokes could return from injury and feature for Durham in the T20 Blast.

Southampton: Club to sign Theo Walcott on a permanent basis following conclusion of loan spell

Theo Walcott has featured 22 times across all competitions for the Saints, scoring three times with his most recent strike coming against Fulham in last weekend’s 3-1 win at Saint Mary’s

Southampton will sign loanee Theo Walcott on a permanent two-year contract when his Everton deal comes to an end at the conclusion of the 2020/21 campaign.

Walcott, 32, returned to the Hampshire based side on a season-long loan in October, 15 years after making his debut for the club as a 16-year-old.

He has scored three goals in 22 outings for Ralph Hasenhüttl’s side so far this campaign.

“I’m not sure I can properly express how happy I am about this,” said Walcott, who has been capped 47 times by England.

“Southampton is a club that means so much to me, and it has been incredibly special for me to have spent this season back at St Mary’s. But to now have the opportunity to return for a further two years means such a great deal to me, both personally and professionally.

“I would like to say a huge thank you to the club, my teammates and the fans for making me feel so welcome back here, and I can’t wait to continue pulling on the shirt in the next couple of seasons. Hopefully in that time we can make a few more special memories too.

“I would also like to say thank you to everyone at Everton, who have been so good to me throughout my time with the club, and I wish them every success in the future.”

Having come through the club’s academy, Walcott became the Saints’ youngest-ever first-team player when he made his senior debut aged 16 years and 143 days during a Championship match against Wolverhampton Wanderers in August 2005.

The winger left for Arsenal in January 2006, going on to score 108 goals in 397 appearances over 12 years for the Gunners, before moving to Everton in a £20m deal in January 2018.

Walcott returned to the south coast on transfer deadline day last autumn after failing to feature regularly in the first team under Carlo Ancelotti at Goodison Park.

Southampton boss Ralph Hasenhuttl said: “”Theo has been a very good influence for us this season. He is a very professional player who does things in the right way and has a very positive impact not only on our young players but on the dressing room as a whole.

“He understands the way we want to play, he has shown great commitment and he has also shown how he can be an important part of our game. I think he is a player who can continue to help us in these next two years, so I am pleased that he has agreed to stay with us.”

Crystal Palace: Roy Hodgson to step down as Eagles manager at the end of the season

Roy Hodgson is leaving Selhurst Park after almost four years at the helm

Crystal Palace have announced that manager Roy Hodgson will leave the club when his contract reaches it conclusion at the end of the season.

Former Blackburn, Liverpool and England boss Hodgson, 73, has been in charge of the Eagles since September 2017, where he replaced the sacked Frank de Boer.

Hodgson’s final game of Crystal Palace will be at Anfield against Liverpool on Sunday, in what will be his 162nd competitive game in the Glaziers dugout.

“After more than 45 years of coaching I have decided that the time is right for me to step away from the rigours of top-flight Premier League football, so our final two matches will be my last ones as manager of Crystal Palace,” Hodgson said.

“It’s been a particularly rewarding period of my football life and career to have been able to spend these last four seasons with Palace. I feel now that at the end of another successful season, in which we have secured our Premier League status, the moment is right for me to step down from my responsibilities of being a full-time manager.

“I have had so much support from my wife and family throughout my career and I have been contemplating this decision for some time, and now I believe the time is right to consider them and to see what the future holds for me.  

“I have really enjoyed my time at Palace, I have been privileged to work with an outstanding group of professional and dedicated players, most of whom have been with me throughout the four years. A manager is only as good as the players who perform on the pitch. I have been fortunate that those in my charge have certainly given me that and I thank them for it.

“I am sure I speak for all the players, my coaching staff and backroom team, when I say I am proud of the work we have done together to retain our Premier League status during this time.

“I would also like to thank our Chairman Steve Parish, his partners David Blitzer and Josh Harris and Sporting Director Dougie Freedman for all their support over the years. They gave me an opportunity to return to my hometown club and I have always felt we were singing from the same hymn sheet in trying to achieve our joint goals. I can only wish them all the very best of luck for a successful future and I am convinced that the club will go from strength to strength.”   

Hodgson is leaving Crystal Palace after preserving their Premier League status for fourth straight season. Photo by Crystal Palace

“It has been an absolute privilege and pleasure to work alongside Roy, who is both a magnificent human and an outstanding football manager. I know how much it has meant to Roy managing the club he supported as a child, adding to his distinguished and unparalleled career in football management,” Eagles chairman Steve Parish said.

“His record with us simply cannot be overstated, he is the only Palace manager to secure four years in the Premier League and he has helped give us stability in the most turbulent of times. We will be forever grateful for his immense contribution and I am delighted that we will have the opportunity to show our appreciation at Selhurst Park after the Arsenal match, alongside 6,500 supporters.

“Roy will leave us after our final Premier League match of the season with our enormous thanks for his incredible contribution to our club, and with our very best wishes for the future.”   

Crystal Palace chairman has thanked Hodgson for helping the club stay in the Premier League and for giving them stability in the most difficult of times

Crystal Palace have also announced that Hodgson’s assistant Ray Lewington will also be leaving the club after the season ends following their game against Liverpool on Sunday afternoon.

Crystal Palace assistant manager Ray Lewington will follow Roy Hodgson through the exit door at Selhurst Park following the conclusion of the 2020/21 season. Photo by Action Images

Harry Kane: Striker again tells Tottenham he wants to leave the club this summer

Harry Kane wants to leave the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this summer

Harry Kane has again told Tottenham that he wants to depart the North London club this summer.

Spurs are exploring replacement centre-forwards, in the first sign that the club are willing to think about the feelings of their 27-year-old star.

Spurs do not want to sell their most valuable asset, but Manchester United, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been in contact with Kane’s representatives CK66 expressing their enthusiasm to sign the England international.

Kane’s choice is to remain in England and the 27-year-old wants to have his future sorted out before representing England at this summer’s European Championships in June.

Kane has made it clear in recent interviews that he wants to compete for Europe’s top major trophies, having found them out of his reach at both White Hart Lane and the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.

It is understood that Tottenham even persuaded Kane to delay plans that he had to leave in the summer of 2020, after Jose Mourinho had replaced Mauricio Pochettino earlier in the 2019-20 season.

Kane wants his future sorted before Euro 2020 gets underway

Spurs hoped their first full season with Mourinho at the helm would be a successful one, and they were in top of the Premier League table back in December, but in the middle of a Kane injury their form entered a downward spiral and they are set to miss out on Champions League football entirely by finishing outside of this seasons top four.

 “We have a season to finish and we want to finish it as strongly as possible,” a Tottenham spokesperson said.

“That’s all we are focused on.”

Doncaster Rovers: Former Salford boss Richie Wellens appointed new manager of South Yorkshire side

In the last 12 months, Richie Wellens has led Swindon Town to promotion from League Two and guided Salford City to Papa John’s Trophy success

Doncaster Rovers have named former midfielder Richie Wellens as their new manager following the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

The 41-year-old left Salford City by ‘mutual consent’ in March, less than five months after his appointment at  the Peninsula Stadium.

Wellens has previously managed Oldham Athletic and Swindon Town, leading the latter club to promotion from League Two during the curtailed 2019/20 season.

“The board came to a unanimous decision he was the right man to lead the club,” Donny chief executive Gavin Baldwin said.

“He knows what this club is about and speaking to him it is clear to see his drive and determination to be successful as our manager.

“I’m sure our fans will join me in welcoming Richie back to Doncaster Rovers for a third spell, and give him their full support.”

Manchester-born Wellens, who is a former Manchester United trainee, featured 199 times for Doncaster across two spells (2007-2009 and 2013-2016), scoring 15 times in the process.

Richie Wellens during his playing days at the Keepmoat Stadium. Photo by Doncaster Rovers

Rovers have been manager-less since Darren Moore left the club in early March to take charge of then-Championship club Sheffield Wednesday.

Andy Butler then took over as manager until the end of the season and led the Reds to a 14th-placed finish in League One.

During his time with the Ammies, Wellens led Salford City to the Papa John’s Trophy in the rearranged 2020 final earlier this year.

Wellens then departed the Great Manchester based outfit, little more than a week after their triumph at Wembley however, with the club just six points off the play-off places in League Two.