Football in Brief: Rangnick goes for Salzburg

Rangnick goes for Salzburg

The former Schalke 04 coach Ralf Rangnick, who had been linked with the vacancy at White Hart Lane, has been appointed sports director at the Austrian Double winners Red Bull Salzburg.

Rangnick, who will also be in charge of development at sister club RB Leipzig in Germany, is joined by the former France and Liverpool coach Gérard Houllier, who takes over as global soccer director for Red Bull, which owns Salzburg and several other clubs.

The cash-rich club also appointed Roger Schmidt, former coach of the German second division club Paderborn, as head coach. Salzburg have dominated Austrian football since the club was taken over by Red Bull in 2005, winning the league four times, and claiming their first ever Austrian Cup in May.

Pair claim they are free agents

Steven Naismith and Steven Whittaker have objected to the transfer of their contracts to the "newco" club, issuing statements through their lawyers claiming they are now free agents.

Rangers claim the transfer of all player contracts to the re-formed club has already taken place, warning that any players disputing the move could face legal action. But yesterday lawyers acting for Scotland internationals Naismith and Whittaker said their clients would not report for training with Rangers and are seeking new clubs.

Simon Catto of HBJ Gateley said: "Naismith and Whittaker consider they are not employed by any party and are free to consider any employment options they wish."

Kewell returns to England

The former Leeds and Liverpool forward Harry Kewell has left Melbourne Victory in order to head back to England.

Kewell, 33, wants to be with wife, the actor Sheree Murphy, whose mother is "gravely ill".

"It was one of the toughest decisions we've had to make," Kewell said. "I enjoyed playing for Victory and living in Melbourne, but family comes first and together we made a decision that it was best for us at this time."