Thursday’s latest stories from the world of football in ESPN FC’s What’s Trending…
– Jose Mourinho has suggested English clubs could benefit in Europe if the League Cup was scrapped. Mourinho watched his Manchester United team begin their defence of the trophy with a comfortable 4-1 win over Championship side Burton Albion at Old Trafford.
– Manchester United travel to Swansea City in one of three all-Premier League ties in the fourth-round draw of the Carabao Cup.
– Moving to Manchester United has made “a big difference” to striker Romelu Lukaku, Belgium coach Roberto Martinez has told talkSPORT. Anthony Martial has been backed to become “a force” by Manchester United teammate Jesse Lingard.
– Birmingham rejected the opportunity to sign Manchester United defender Victor Lindelof while he was at Benfica as he was not “tough enough,” according to former manager Gary Rowett.
ATLETICO MADRID: Atletico Madrid have reached an agreement to re-sign striker Diego Costa from Chelsea. According to El Mundo, Costa will sign a contract until June 2021 and will be Atletico’s most expensive signing, with Atletico said to be paying €55 million, plus €10m in variables, surpassing the €40m they paid Porto for Radamel Falcao in the summer of 2011.
REAL MADRID: Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said “there were no reasons to be worried” after his team’s shock 1-0 home loss to Real Betis in La Liga at the Bernabeu on Wednesday.
– Captain Sergio Ramos says he and his teammates must “take a good look in the mirror” following their latest disappointing display at the Santiago Bernabeu.
– Wenger said Jack Wilshere had an “ideal” return to full action in Wednesday’s Carabao Cup win over Doncaster Rovers, but still needs to be eased gradually back into the first team.
– Wenger gave former rival Sir Alex Ferguson a warm welcome to the Emirates on Wednesday, before offering encouraging words to son Darren Ferguson about his Doncaster Rovers.
CHELSEA: Antonio Conte urged Charly Musonda to continue taking his first-team opportunities after the 20-year-old produced a virtuoso performance in Chelsea’s 5-1 demolition of Nottingham Forest in the Carabao Cup third round.
– FIFA has confirmed that it is carrying out an investigation into Manchester City’s recruitment of youth players.
LIVERPOOL: Sadio Mane has told ESPN FC that he wants to call Manchester City goalkeeper Ederson to discuss the incident which led to the Liverpool forward being sent off, earning him a three-match suspension, during the 5-0 defeat at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month.
– Jurgen Klopp says the reaction to Liverpool’s recent struggles have been overblown, suggesting there is a perception his side are “the worst team in the league.”
BURNLEY: Burnley have signed former Manchester United goalkeeper Anders Lindegaard until the end of the season. Lindegaard, 33, moves to Turf Moor following the shoulder injury suffered by first-choice Tom Heaton in the home game against Crystal Palace.
– Ousmane Dembele has indicated that he could return to action in two months following a successful operation on his ruptured tendon.
– Borussia Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc has said Jadon Sancho is “one of the biggest talents of his age group in England.”
BAYERN MUNICH: Bayern Munich coach Carlo Ancelotti has said the club’s academy goalkeeping coordinator Tom Starke has come out of retirement again after Manuel Neuer’s latest injury setback.
– Reported Chelsea target Rafinha has told Sport Bild he received offers from England and Spain this summer and indicated he could be open to leaving Bayern Munich in the future.
PSG: Dani Alves has told Diego Forlan to “shut your trap” after the former Uruguay international criticised the Paris Saint-Germain right-back over his part in the set-piece dispute between Neymar and Edinson Cavani.
FIFA: UEFA has announced the draw for the new Nations League will take place in January. The competition, which will begin in September 2018, will run alongside qualifying for the European Championship and has been introduced to provide more competitive and meaningful international matches for countries.
MEXICO: Mexican clubs have rallied to aid the relief effort after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake caused devastation in Mexico City and surrounding states on Tuesday.
– Mexico’s Clasico Nacional and all other Liga MX matches this weekend have been postponed after a magnitude 7.1 earthquake rocked the capital and surrounding states on Tuesday.
– West Ham striker Javier “Chicharito” Hernandez has started an online fundraising campaign to aid relief efforts in Mexico following this week’s earthquake.
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