France U-21s get Henry boost; Greenwood leaves United

Henry appointed France Under-21 coach

Former France striker Thierry Henry has been named head coach of the country’s Under-21s until 2025, the French Football Federation said in a statement on Monday.

The Arsenal great will lead the team at next year’s Olympic Games in Paris, replacing Sylvain Ripoll, who was sacked after France’s early exit at this year’s European Under-21s.

Former Angers manager Gerald Baticle will join Henry’s staff as assistant coach.

France’s second all-time top scorer, Henry will return to management after leaving his role as Belgium assistant coach following last year’s World Cup.

The 46-year-old, also a former Barcelona player, previously coached Arsenal’s youth teams, AS Monaco in Ligue 1 and Montreal in Major League Soccer.

Henry ended his playing career in 2014 as the all-time leading scorer for Arsenal – 228 goals – and after earning 123 caps and netting 51 goals for France.

Henry’s debut in charge of the Under-21s will be for a friendly against Denmark on Sept. 7 before France take on Slovenia in the Euro qualifiers four days later.

Man Utd’s Greenwood, cleared of charges, to leave club to avoid being a ‘distraction’

Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood will leave Old Trafford, he and the Premier League club said on Monday, to avoid being a “distraction” despite being cleared of allegations of assault and attempted rape.

Greenwood, who was suspended by United in January 2022 when accusations against him surfaced on social media, was charged with attempted rape, controlling behaviour and assault last October.

He had been due to stand trial on Nov. 27, 2023, but all criminal charges against him were dropped in February, with the Crown Prosecution Service saying it was due to “the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light”.

United said their investigation began once charges were dropped.

“Based on the evidence available to us, we have concluded that the material posted online did not provide a full picture and that Mason did not commit the offences in respect of which he was originally charged,” the club said in a statement.

But it said “all those involved, including Mason” recognised the difficulties with him recommencing his career at Manchester United.

“It has therefore been mutually agreed that it would be most appropriate for him to do so away from Old Trafford, and we will now work with Mason to achieve that outcome,” it said.

In a statement to British media, Greenwood said he had “made mistakes”, adding: “I did not do the things I was accused of.

“Today’s decision has been part of a collaborative process between Manchester United, my family and me.

“The best decision for us all is for me to continue my football career away from Old Trafford, where my presence will not be a distraction for the club.”

Newcastle sign Hall on loan from Chelsea

Newcastle United have signed defender Lewis Hall on a season-long loan from Chelsea, with an obligation to make the transfer permanent based on performance-related criteria, the Magpies announced on Tuesday.

The 18-year-old full back has been at Chelsea since the age of eight. He made his senior debut at the club in January 2022, and has a total of 12 appearances for Chelsea in all competitions.

Hall is Newcastle’s fifth signing in this transfer window, and manager Eddie Howe is happy to add the youngster to his squad.

“He is a player we have tracked closely, as have a number of clubs, so it’s very pleasing to secure him and to add a player of his quality, versatility and high potential to our squad.”

Chelsea midfielder Chukwuemeka undergoes surgery

Chelsea midfielder Carney Chukwuemeka has undergone surgery after sustaining a knee injury during Sunday’s Premier League clash against West Ham United, the west London club said on Tuesday.

Chukwuemeka scored the equaliser before being forced off during half-time at the London Stadium, where Chelsea suffered a 3-1 defeat against West Ham.

“Carney underwent surgery and will now begin his recovery,” Chelsea said in a statement.

“The 19-year-old will work with the club’s medical department on his rehabilitation at Cobham (Chelsea’s training ground).”

Chelsea signed the England youth international from Aston Villa on a six-year contract earlier this month.

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