Phil Neville in advanced talks for Portland Timbers job - sources

Messi given hero's welcome by Inter Miami teammates (1:08)

Lionel Messi is welcomed back by his teammates at Inter Miami after winning his eighth Ballon d'Or. (1:08)

Former Inter Miami manager Phil Neville is poised to make a return to MLS, after talks with the Portland Timbers to take their vacant head coaching role reached an advanced stage, sources confirmed to ESPN.

The Athletic was the first to report the news.

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If the deal to bring Neville on board is completed, he'll replace Gio Savarese, who was fired on Aug. 21.

The Timbers were managed on an interim basis by Miles Joseph for the rest of the season, a period in which they went 5-2-2, and narrowly failed to qualify for the postseason.

Sources confirmed that Neville was in the running for other MLS managerial vacancies.

Neville, 46, was hired by Miami in 2021 with the backing of former club teammate and Miami co-owner David Beckham. After two-and-a-half seasons in charge, Neville was fired by Miami earlier this year with the team bottom of the Eastern Conference, with a record of 5-10-0.

The Herons had endured a spate of serious injuries during the front half of this season, including to midfield pair Jean Mota and Gregore, and also endured league sanctions from violating roster rules during the 2020 season. These included having their salary budget reduced by $2.27m over two seasons.

With Lionel Messi set to arrive, and with his former club and national team manager Gerardo "Tata" Martino available, Neville was cut loose. His overall league and playoff record in Miami was 31-42-11.

Neville had considerably more success with Miami in 2022, leading them to the playoffs, where they were eliminated by New York City FC in the first round.

Neville had previously managed the England women's national team from 2018-21, leading the Lionesses to the semifinals of the 2019 World Cup.

After his departure from Inter Miami, Neville joined the staff of the Canada men's national team, where he assisted during the 2023 Concacaf Nations League and 2023 Concacaf Gold Cup.

As a player, Neville enjoyed a stellar career with Manchester United and Everton. With the Red Devils, Neville was part of one UEFA Champions League triumph, six Premier League titles and three FA Cups.