Talking Cock Session: Daily update on the latest club news and highlights

In our latest update talk cock sessions, we look at the latest club news, Kylian Mbappe, Walter Mazzarri, Roy Hodgson, and Dan Ashworth gossip, and highlights that have football fans from over the world buzzing with excitement.

Paris Saint-Germain star Kylian Mbappe has finally decided on his future with reports suggesting he is prepared to sign a five-year contract with Real Madrid

Kylian Mbappe is prepared to sign a five-year contract with Real Madrid.

Mbappe has reportedly announced that he will leave Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season, with Real strongly linked with the soon-to-be free agent.

Manchester City are also said to be interested, but now Mbappe has finally decided his future lies in Spain.

Kylian Mbappe has reportedly prepared to put pen to paper on a mega-money five-year deal with Real Madrid after confirming he will leave Paris Saint-Germain.

In fact, according to Spanish media, Mbappe has already signed his contract with Real. His deal will run until the summer of 2029. It is suggested that they are willing to make him their highest-paid player.

His deal – worth between £12 million and £17m – while still eye-watering is a decrease on the huge £22m he earns annually in the French capital. However, he is still set to earn a huge £85.5m signing-on fee.

Walter Mazzarri’s spell as Napoli coach is over after just three months, with the veteran manager being replaced by Slovakia boss Francesco Calzona

Napoli have sacked head coach Walter Mazzarri and replaced him with current Slovakia manager Francesco Calzona just two days before their UEFA Champions League last-16 clash with Barcelona.

Mazzarri won six of his 17 games in charge and leaves with Napoli in ninth place.

Napoli owner Aurelio De Laurentiis wrote on social media: “I’d like to thank Walter Mazzarri, a friend of both the De Laurentiis family and Napoli, for having supported the team in such a difficult moment.

“He will always remain in the hearts of the people of Naples and our family. I’d also like to say welcome back to Francesco Calzona, who has worked with us in the past, under both [Maurizio] Sarri and [Luciano] Spalletti.”

Reigning champions Napoli are ninth in the Serie A standings, 27 points behind league leaders Inter Milan and nine points adrift of the top four.

Roy Hodgson has stepped down as manager of Crystal Palace just hours before their Premier League game against Everton on Monday

Hodgson, who was taken ill last Thursday at the club’s training ground, said he has “decided to step aside so that the club can bring forward their plans for a new manager, as intended for this summer.

In a statement, he said: “This club is very special and means so much to me and has played a big part in my footballing life.

“I have fully enjoyed my time here across six seasons, as it has given me the chance to work with top-class players and staff doing what I love every day.

“However, I understand, given recent circumstances, it may be prudent at this time for the club to plan, and therefore I have decided to step aside so that the club can bring forward their plans for a new manager, as intended for this summer.”

Palace chairman Steve Parish added: “Roy has a special place in Crystal Palace history and this will never be forgotten. After four years in which he led the club to maintain Premier League status season after season, he once again joined us nearly a year ago to steady the ship and worked wonders.

“That he then agreed to continue in the summer speaks volumes about his commitment to our club. Quite simply, we owe our continued Premier League status to Roy.”

The 76-year-old leaves the South London club for the second time in his career following three defeats in their last four Premier League matches, which has seen Palace slip to 16th in the table, five points clear of the relegation zone.

He led the team to a vital win over Brentford at the end of December, but heavy defeats to Arsenal and rivals Brighton & Hove Albion followed, before a late loss to Chelsea at Selhurst Park last week.

Dan Ashworth appears to have taken a step closer to joining Manchester United after being placed on gardening leave by Newcastle United

Newcastle United have placed sporting director Dan Ashworth on gardening leave amid reports of a proposed move to Premier League opponents Manchester United.

It is believed Ashworth is the next target for Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Dave Brailsford of Ineos, whose 25% purchase of United is nearing completion.

Omar Berrada has already been brought in from rivals Manchester City as United’s new chief executive, and Ashworth now is strongly rumoured to become sporting director.

He may not be able to join the club immediately, however, as his contract with Newcastle reportedly stipulates that he can’t work for a rival club until 2026 unless there is monetary compensation.

“We are naturally disappointed that Dan has chosen to leave, however, our exciting journey doesn’t stop and the process to recruit a new sporting director will begin immediately,” said Darren Eales, Newcastle United’s chief executive.
“We thank Dan for his efforts at Newcastle United and we wish him and his family well for the future.”

Ashworth is widely regarded as one of the best sporting directors in football and first established a relationship with Brailsford when he was working as the FA’s director of elite development, helping England’s youth teams to under-17 and under-20 World Cup titles in 2017.

He was then hired by Brighton as the club’s technical director in 2019, where he was involved in the hiring of Graham Potter and the rise of the team up the Premier League table.

Newcastle then appointed Ashworth as technical director in 2022 after the Saudi-led consortium takeover of the club was completed.

Ashworth was also required to complete gardening leave when he was hired by Newcastle, with Brighton’s chairman Tony Bloom saying the club was “extremely disappointed” to be losing him.