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Trending: Wenger not optimistic on Sanchez, Coutinho asks to leave

int 170810 Previewing Arsenal vs Leicester City

With the start of the Premier League upon us, the FC guys share their predictions for the opener between Arsenal and Leicester.

int 170810 INET FC Friday EPL preview

Here’s everything you need to know as Arsenal and Leicester kick off the 2017/18 Premier League season.

Friday’s latest stories from the world of football in ESPN FC’s What’s Trending…


ARSENAL: Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have the “firm intention” of not selling Alexis Sanchez this summer but he is “not super optimistic” of keeping him beyond this season.

– Wenger sympathises with Chelsea counterpart Antonio Conte over the size of his squad — but reckons the Blues have made their own problems by loaning out so many players.

– The French manager also encouraged Alexandre Lacazette to match Zlatan Ibrahimovic by transferring his goalscoring record from France to England.

– The Gunners kick off the Premier League season against Leicester on Friday night marking the first-time ever the season begins in that time slot. Here’s a preview.


LIVERPOOL: Philippe Coutinho has submitted a transfer request as he looks to move to Barcelona, a source has told ESPN FC. It comes after FSG said that “no offers for Coutinho will be considered.”

– In a candid interview, Jurgen Klopp reiterates the reason he wants to keep Coutinho at Anfield. WATCH.

– Ryan Kent has signed a new long-term contract at Liverpool, the Merseyside club have confirmed. Kent, 20, featured in seven of Liverpool’s eight preseason friendlies this summer and was singled out for praise by manager Jurgen Klopp for his development.


DORTMUND: Barcelona’s opening offer for Ousmane Dembele has been rejected after the clubs held talks this week, while the club has suspended him after he missed training. But BVB CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has suggested the move could still happen.


PSG: Neymar will be available to make his Paris Saint-Germain debut away at Guingamp this weekend after Barcelona cashed the entirety of the €222 million fee paid to trigger the player’s release.

– Monaco forward Kylian Mbappe is keen on a move to PSG to form a new-look attack with Neymar but no agreement has been reached yet and may not be this summer, a source close to PSG has told ESPN FC.


TOTTENHAM: Danny Rose has been fined two weeks’ wages, sources have told ESPN FC, and apologised to Tottenham after his criticism of the club’s wage structure, ambition and transfer strategy.

– Gary Lineker feels Tottenham fans should not be worried by the club’s lack of transfer activity — and believes his old side could “steal a march” on their Premier League title rivals by getting off to a strong start.


CHELSEA: Frank Lampard has revealed that he was “surprised” by Chelsea’s decision to sell Nemanja Matic to Manchester United and added that Tiemoue Bakayoko now has a “responsibility” to show that he can match the Serb’s unheralded contribution at the heart of the Blues midfield.

– The former club legend also warned that Chelsea will need “an even stronger mentality” if they want to retain the Premier League title this season.


MAN UNITED: Chelsea attacker Willian has revealed that Jose Mourinho made an approach to bring him to Manchester United but stressed that he is “very happy” at Stamford Bridge.

– Manchester United defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah has joined Crystal Palace on a season-long loan deal. Fosu-Mensah, 19, has seen his hopes of first-team football hit by the £31 million summer arrival of Victor Lindelof from Benfica.


SOUTHAMPTON: Mauricio Pellegrino says Southampton will keep trying to persuade Virgil van Dijk to stay at the club, amid reported interest from Liverpool and Chelsea.


JUVENTUS: Massimiliano Allegri says he considered quitting after Juventus were beaten by Real Madrid in the final of the Champions League, but something he learned as a child convinced him to continue.


REAL MADRID: Luka Modric will be banned for Sunday’s Spanish Super Cup first leg at Barcelona. Modric, 31, must serve a suspension picked up for a sending off in Los Blancos’ last appearance in the Super Cup three years ago.


WEST BROM:  Tony Pulis has agreed a new two-year contract with West Brom that will keep him at the club until 2019.


EVERTON: Ronald Koeman says Ross Barkley could stay at the club, with no offers currently on the table for the England midfielder.


INTER MILAN: Sampdoria striker Patrik Schick has been cleared to return to full training, increasing the likelihood that Inter Milan could move for him.

PREMIER LEAGUE: Travelling football fans are being short-changed by fixture changes, say the UK Labour Party, which has called for introduction of a flexible “fan-fare” train tickets; advance tickets that can be transferred without a fee or mark-up when matches are switched for television.


JUVENTUS:Paulo Dybala has been handed Juventus’ No. 10 shirt for the 2017-18 season, and has called the honour “a childhood dream come true” ahead of the defending Serie A champion’s Italian Super Coppa match with Lazio on Sunday.


MEXICO: Mexico’s football federation and Liga MX club Atlas have issued cautious statements backing embattled star Rafael Marquez but also distancing themselves from his legal issues, after the long-serving El Tri captain was among 22 people sanctioned by the U.S. government for alleged drug trafficking ties on Wednesday.


MLS: The summer deadline came and went on Aug. 9, with Paul Arriola joining D.C. United and Orlando City acquiring Dillon Powers from Colorado Rapids. Here’s a list of all the moves from deadline day.

– Los Angeles FC manager Bob Bradley says he intends to build his team around Mexico international striker Carlos Vela, who completed his move from Real Sociedad this week, opting to join the expansion club as its first designated player.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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