By Chris Wright
There’s been an unexpected and slightly confusing yarn concerning Phil Neville emanating from La Liga over the past day or so, with the news that the former Manchester United man both has and indeed hasn’t been appointed as the new Valencia assistant manager.
Coming out of the blue, the Spanish club made a formal announcement on their official website on Sunday morning welcoming Neville aboard.
“Valencia CF are pleased to announce the appointment of Phil Neville as assistant manager of the first team, joining the coaching staff headed by Nuno Espirito Santo,” that statement read.
“Neville offers a wealth of footballing knowledge to a club in constant growth. Speaking about the new addition to his coaching staff.”
They even had word from Nuno himself, who warbled: “Phil Neville has great experience at the top level of competition, but above all he has knowledge and values that fit perfectly with our team and our club.
“He has always been a team player, and our philosophy is based on teamwork. We are –and want to continue to be- a group. I am convinced that he is going to help us a lot.”
However, Neville wasn’t quite so ready to sign off on the deal, informing BBC Sport on Sunday evening that negotiations between the two parties are very much of the ‘ongoing’ variety and that there is “still a way to go before any deal is done”.
Either way, we can honestly flag this up as one we definitely did not see coming…like, at all.