Gary Neville shocked the world of football after agreeing to become the manager of Valencia on Wednesday, joining his brother Phil at the Spanish club until at least the end of the season.
It is a decision many fans and pundits have questioned, not least because he had to end his fruitful relationship with Sky Sports, where he was widely considered to be the Premier League's foremost analyst.
What makes the decision even stranger is that the former Manchester United defender also rejected a lucrative long-term deal with Sky in order to take the reigns at the Mestalla Stadium.
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According to the Daily Mail's Charles Sale – a man who is rarely wrong in all things broadcasting – Sky Sports had made it clear to Neville that they were ready and willing to offer him a five-year deal worth £15million. That is more than most footballers earn!
Sky were very much aware that Neville had become the jewel in their punditry crown. His relationship with former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher was the source of much entertainment on Monday Night Football and his departure has left a gaping hole.
Indeed, Sky have no like-for-like replacement for Neville and, at least for now, will continue with Ed Chamberlain, Carragher and Thierry Henry as their main pundits, but the absence of Neville is considered a significant loss.
As Neville has only signed a five-month contract with Valencia, there is always the possibility that he could return to Isleworth and Sky have made is clear that the door will always be open.
However, if he does well, he could be the leading candidate to replace Roy Hodgson as England manager after 2016 or at the very least earn a new deal in Spain.
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