Friday’s latest stories from the world of football in ESPN FC’s What’s Trending …
BARCELONA: Denis Suarez insists there is no panic among the Barcelona players as the wait goes on for Lionel Messi to sign his new contract with the club.
– Mourinho has confirmed that defenders Phil Jones and Eric Bailly remain out for Saturday’s match against Brighton, but Paul Pogba and Zlatan Ibrahimovic will both feature as they continue their returns from injury.
– Juan Mata has told ESPN FC that he believes the days of one club dominating English football are over.
– Andreas Pereira tells ESPN FC how his loan spell at high-flying Valencia is going ahead of their La Liga game against Barcelona.
EUROPA LEAGUE: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said his side had lacked a spark in attack during their 1-0 Europa League loss at Cologne on Thursday.
– A “hurting” Everton caretaker manager David Unsworth criticised an unacceptable performance in the 5-1 Europa League home defeat to Atalanta and called on his players to start shouldering some responsibility.
– Atalanta coach Gian Piero Gasperini dedicated his side’s 5-1 Europa League thrashing of Everton at Goodison Park to their thousands of travelling supporters.
– Mario Balotelli scored twice as Nice qualified for the Europa League round of 32 by beating Zulte Waregem 3-1 on Thursday.
BAYERN MUNICH: UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Bayern Munich after fans threw fake money onto the pitch in protest of ticket prices for the Champions League game at Anderlecht.
– Thiago Alcantara faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after “partially tearing a thigh muscle” against Anderlecht, Bayern Munich announced on Thursday.
– Here’s five memorable meetings to whet the appetite before Saturday’s true Klassiker between Bayern Munich and Borussia Monchengladbach.
– Former Brazil forward Robinho has been found guilty of sexual assault and was sentenced to nine years in prison by an Italian court on Thursday.
JUVENTUS: Alessandro Del Piero says he is not concerned by Juventus’ current form as he expects them to hit top gear when it matters — in the spring.
– For most of the past decade, the Premier League’s best have left for Real Madrid and Barcelona. Are Philippe Coutinho and Eden Hazard next in line?
CHELSEA: Eden Hazard has added to speculation he could leave Chelsea to join Real Madrid by re-stating an “admiration” for the European champions in an interview with French TV.
– Hazard has claimed that Mohamed Salah was never given a chance to prove himself at Chelsea and added that he will look to swap shirts with the Egypt international after the Blues face Liverpool at Anfield on Saturday.
– Conte might feel disadvantaged by Chelsea’s fixture list, but it often is dictated by TV, and TV money underpins Chelsea’s transfer spending, writes Liam Twomey.
TOTTENHAM: Spurs and the Premier League have apologised to fans for the ongoing hold-up in confirming the club’s home derby against West Ham United on New Year’s Eve.
– Harry Kane claims Spurs now fear no one in the Champions League and says they relish taking down Europe’s biggest clubs.
LIVERPOOL: Steven Gerrard says that he has been pleased with the return of the “magnificent” Rhian Brewster after his heroics on the international stage.
– Jordan Henderson has been unfairly cast as Liverpool’s problem, when realistically he’s merely a symbol of their issues, writes Michael Cox.
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