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Wayne Rooney Retires From International Duty

His impressive start to the season for Everton had many wondering whether Wayne Rooney would be recalled to the England squad for the upcoming internationals.

But England’s all-time leading scorer put an end to that conversation by surprisingly announcing that he is retiring from international football with immediate effect.

Rooney said, in a statement to Press Association Sport:

“It was great that Gareth Southgate called me this week to tell me he wanted me back in the England squad for the upcoming matches.

‘However, having already thought long and hard, I told Gareth that I had now decided to retire for good from international football.

Champions League Pots Set

The draw for the Champions League group stages is this Friday August 24, and the way the posts are set up, there should be some really enticing ties.

From a British perspective there could be as many as six British team in the draw. Chelsea, as champions of England, are the only side in Pot 1. Manchester City and Manchester United will be in a strong-looking Pot 2. Tottenham and Liverpool (if they qualify) will be in Pot 3, while Celtic will once again be in Pot 4.

The cold war between the Barcelona board and the Barca dressing room intensified on Tuesday night when Lionel Messi published pictures of himself with Neymar on social media, just hours after the club confirmed they were suing the Brazilian forward.

‘He’s back’ read Messi’s message below a photograph taken at the birthday celebration of Neymar’s son Davi Lucca in Catalonia on Tuesday.

The message was a joke at Gerard Pique’s expense, made in reference to Pique’s famous ‘he stays’ tweet. But the Instagram post was also aimed at the Barcelona board who just hours earlier had confirmed they were taking Neymar to court following his record-breaking move to Paris-Saint Germain.

Tick-tock, tick-tock… nowhere in football is the transfer market clock counting down louder than at Barcelona. And no one is sweating more than Barcelona president Josep Bartomeu and his board of directors.

They have nine days to, in the words of one prominent Spanish radio journalist on Monday night, ‘stop making fools of themselves’, save the club’s summer and save their own jobs.

Lionel Messi still has not signed his new contract. Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele are still at Liverpool and Borussia Dortmund; and the great unwanted: Arda Turan, Rafinha, Munir El Hadaddi, Andre Gomes, Thomas Vermaelen and Sergi Samper are all still at Barcelona with no sign of a new club.

Jose Mourinho says Manchester United will not be selling any of the senior squad in the last days of the summer transfer window.

There have been clubs interested in certain players at Old Trafford, and with question marks over the futures of several players, it’s surprising that no one will be sold.

Matteo Darmian has been the one attracting most attention and has been the subject of speculation this year after failing to hold down a place in the team, however, Mourinho has confirmed he won’t be letting any of his players leave this month.

Jurgen Klopp admits the Philippe Coutinho situation is “not too easy for anybody” – and is not thinking about how the Brazilian could be reintegrated into the side.

Liverpool have rejected three bids from Barcelona for their wantaway midfielder, who handed in a transfer request earlier this month.

The 25-year-old is yet to feature for the Reds since he expressed his desire to leave Anfield as he is suffering from a back injury.

The German coach oversaw Sadio Mane step up in Coutinho’s absence to provide the winner against Crystal Palace on Saturday, and Klopp praised the concentration of his side despite the off-field distractions.

Wenger: We Must Sell Before We Can Buy

Arsene Wenger says that he wants to slim down his Arsenal squad before making any further signings during the summer transfer window.

The Gunners defensive shortcomings were exposed during a 1-0 defeat at Stoke on Saturday. Afterwards Wenger said that he has not ruled out more signings before the transfer window closes at the end of the month, but his immediate priority is to move out unwanted players.

‘I expect to sell players first,’ the Frenchman said. ‘We have too many players. It is not manageable. Many clubs are in this situation – that is why the transfer market is quiet.

Conte Salutes Chelsea After Battling Display

For all the talk of crisis at Stamford Bridge following last week’s meltdown against Burnley, Chelsea manager Antonio Conte was left saluting his side on Sunday after they edged Tottenham Hotspur 2-1 in a match they could just as easily have lost.

Conte was forced to field a makeshift side against Spurs after suspensions and injury ate into his options, with David Luiz forced into midfield and Andreas Christensen handed a first start in the Premier League. Yet two goals from Marcos Alonso left Tottenham, unbeaten at White Hart Lane last season, with only one win in 10 competitive games in this stadium

Klopp Praises Under-Fire Liverpool Defense

Jurgen Klopp has insisted that the criticism aimed at Liverpool’s defensive unit has been unjustified after seeing his side keep a clean sheet against Crystal Palace.

The Reds’ title aspirations were called into question on the opening weekend of the season after conceding sloppy goals in their 3-3 draw with Watford, as familiar frailties came to the fore at Vicarage Road.

Liverpool looked far more solid against Palace in their 1-0 win on Saturday afternoon, albeit against a weak attack spearheaded by Christian Benteke, and Klopp believes that his backline deserve more credit.

Wenger: We Have To Learn To Defend

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal’s defending was worthy of criticism after Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Stoke.

Wenger denied that the defence had been shaky in their 4-3 win over Leicester last week, but agreed that what turned out to be the decisive goal at Stoke should have been prevented.

“Last week we conceded two goals on corners and they only had three shots on goal, so I don’t believe we defended so badly,” said Wenger after Saturday’s loss. “On set-pieces, yes.

“But here I say we could look at ourselves and, on the goal we conceded, we were 100 per cent guilty.