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Phil Neville one step closer to Inter Miami appointment as Diego Alonso departs

Phil Neville File Photo
(Image credit: John Walton)

Inter Miami have announced the departure of manager Diego Alonso, potentially paving the way for outgoing England Women boss Phil Neville to take the reins.

Neville is understood to have held preliminary discussions with the Major League Soccer side about the position and one obstacle has now been removed after the club revealed they had mutually agreed to part ways with Alonso.

Under the former Uruguay striker, the club finished 10th in the Eastern Conference in their maiden MLS season last year, while they were eliminated from the MLS Cup play-offs in the ‘play-in’ round.

“On behalf of the organisation, I want to thank Diego for his hard work and dedication during our inaugural season and wish him the best in his future endeavours,” the club’s managing owner Jorge Mas said.

“This was a difficult year and a very tough decision for everyone, but we believe it is the right step for the club. We have great expectations for Inter Miami in the short and long term.”

The club are co-owned by Neville’s former Manchester United and England team-mate David Beckham, who is also his fellow co-owner of Sky Bet League Two side Salford.

Neville, meanwhile, is set to step down as Lionesses boss when his contract expires in July, with Holland’s Sarina Wiegman starting work as his successor from next September.

While Neville has expressed his desire to oversee a Great Britain team’s fortunes at this summer’s delayed Tokyo Olympics, those hopes are likely to end if he succeeds Alonso.

David Beckham, top, is a former team-mate of Phil Neville and now co-owns Inter Miami (Nick Potts/PA)

David Beckham, top, is a former team-mate of Phil Neville and now co-owns Inter Miami (Nick Potts/PA)

Following his exit, Alonso said: “Going through the journey of this inaugural season with Inter Miami has been an incredible experience, and I am thankful to the ownership group for the opportunity.

“I want to thank the staff for their work and friendship, the players for their efforts on the field, and especially the fans for their constant support throughout the year. I wish everyone the best this upcoming season.”

Dame Sue Campbell, the Football Association’s director of women’s football, has announced Neville will take charge of Team GB in Japan if he does not take the vacant Inter Miami job.

“We did make a decision that Phil would lead Team GB in November and we were moving towards an announcement when he started to have these discussions,” Campbell told BBC Sport.

“Until those discussions are concluded, I can’t really say any more. If Phil remains, he will be Team GB coach. If he goes, we obviously have something to think about and work through. That is where we are.”