Trending – Man United and Liverpool avoid tough draws in Champions League

6 months ago
Shaka Hislop and Alexis Nunes assess the toughest groups and most scintillating matchups this season in the Champions League.

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

CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Real Madrid face Borussia Dortmund and Tottenham in their Champions League group while Chelsea, Atletico Madrid and Roma will also have to battle it out to progress, but Manchester United and Liverpool appear to have escaped more lightly. Full group-stage draw here.

– The stage is set for Premier League clubs to excel in Europe, Mark Ogden writes.

– Gab Marcotti on the five things we learned from the Champions League draw.

WATCH: Which Premier League teams fared best in the Champions League draw?

REAL MADRID: Cristiano Ronaldo has been named as the UEFA Player of the Year after he helped Real Madrid win the Champions League for a second successive time last season.

– Will Madrid win the Champions League for a third year in succession?

BARCELONA: Barcelona have reached an agreement with Borussia Dortmund for the €150 million transfer of Ousmane Dembele, according to multiple reports, although the German club’s chief executive has declined to confirm them.

WATCH: Shake Hislop says Dembele will not fill the void left by Neymar’s departure.

– Liverpool’s Philippe Coutinho is reportedly considering going to the media in a bid to try to force a move to Barcelona. More in Transfer Talk.

– Juventus’ general manager Beppe Marotta believes Barcelona are no longer a team the Turin-based club must fear like they would have done in recent years after being drawn with the Catalans in Group D of the Champions League.

MAN UNITED: Manchester United have re-signed striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic on a new one-year contract.

– Ibrahimovic has told ESPN FC that he is staying at United to “finish what I started” and win the Premier League after turning down the chance to “Ibra-kadabra” another club.

WATCH: Ibrahimovic chats exclusively with ESPN FC.

– Ibrahimovic said he had “upgraded” his United shirt number to 10 after giving his blessing to Romelu Lukaku’s wish to wear No. 9.

MAN CITY: City have ruled out big money moves for Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe before this summer’s transfer window closes.

– Pep Guardiola is targeting the Champions League this season, Simon Curtis writes.

TOTTENHAM: United States youth international Cameron Carter-Vickers is set to join Championship club Sheffield United on a season-long loan, sources have told ESPN FC.

– Manchester City starlet Jadon Sancho wants to join Tottenham, sources have told ESPN FC.

EUROPA LEAGUE: Gylfi Sigurdsson marked his first Everton start with a spectacular goal to see off Hajduk Split, while AC Milan eased into the group stage. Full round-up here.

– Everton boss Ronald Koeman described Sigurdsson’s goal as “incredible.”

ENGLAND: Gareth Southgate has challenged his England side to step out of Wayne Rooney’s shadow, but is also happy to grant the country’s record goal scorer a Wembley farewell.

– Harry Maguire and Nathaniel Chalobah have been called up to the England squad for the World Cup qualifying games against Malta and Slovakia.

– Southgate has described England Women manager Mark Sampson as “an excellent character” in the wake of allegations of bullying and discrimination against him.

ARSENAL: Arsene Wenger says Jack Wilshere must prove he’s back to his best this season before being offered a new Arsenal contract, and hasn’t ruled out sending the midfielder out on loan again.

WATCH: Wenger admits defeat on Thomas Lemar deal.

FRANCE: Paris Saint-Germain target Kylian Mbappe has been included in France’s squad for the World Cup qualifiers against Netherlands and Luxembourg, but Ousmane Dembele’s transfer dispute with Borussia Dortmund means he has not been picked.

MLS: Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed to ESPN FC that he is eyeing a move to Major League Soccer when he leaves Manchester United.

– Mexico coach Juan Carlos Osorio wants his MLS-based players to follow the example of their United States counterparts that have returned from Europe and to not let their form and effort drop.

– New England Revolution midfielder Kelyn Rowe will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks due to a right knee sprain, the team announced on Wednesday.

WATFORD: Watford have been fined £4.3 million by the English Football League relating to a provision of funding letter which had previously been confirmed as forgery.

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