Here are the latest stories for Friday.
FIFA: FIFA has opened formal proceedings against former president Sepp Blatter, ex-general secretary Jerome Valcke and former finance chief Marcus Kattner. Meanwhile, ex-CONCACAF president Jeffrey Webb has been banned for life.
– Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid have lost their appeals to FIFA against one-year transfer bans for breaking rules protecting underage players. They will now appeal to CAS in a final attempt to avoid a ban similar to Barcelona’s in 2015.
– Argentina will remain No. 1 in the new FIFA World Ranking when it is released on Sept. 15, with Brazil one of the big climbers and Wales back in the top 10.
BARCELONA: Neymar’s agent has told ESPN Brazil the Barcelona star “was close” to joining Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United this summer before finally signing a contract extension with the Catalan club.
– Lionel Messi is fit to face Alaves on Saturday if selected by Luis Enrique, the Barcelona coach has confirmed.
– Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu told ESPN FC that Messi has a contract with the club “forever” as they prepare for negotiations on a new deal in the coming months.
MAN UNITED: Jose Mourinho will meet up with his old rival Pep Guardiola on Saturday, but the United boss said the derby is “not about the manangers,” while his counterpart said the managers’ rivalry exists more for the media.
– Striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic needs to be given “zero” motivation and has not chased after the riches of China or the United States, according to manager Jose Mourinho.
– Ibrahimovic called Jose Mourinho a “mastermind” and revealed his only regret is that he didn’t have more time to play under the Portuguese boss, while also admitting that he does not miss much about life at PSG — except for his salary.
– Manchester United have had a “leap in quality” this season, according to their goalkeeper David De Gea.
– Attacking midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has won his battle to be fit for the derby against Manchester City at Old Trafford.
MAN CITY: New Manchester City keeper Claudio Bravo will be thrown into the Manchester derby for his Premier League debut.
– Raheem Sterling was named Premier League Player of the Month for August after his impressive start to the season.
– Kevin De Bruyne is enjoying playing football how “I always wanted to play” under new Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola, the midfielder told ESPN in an exclusive interview.
– Agent Mino Raiola has hit out at Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola ahead of Saturday’s Manchester derby, saying he “doesn’t like him as a person.”
– Manchester United manager Mourinho and his City counterpart Pep Guardiola are not that dissimilar, according to former Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso.
REAL MADRID: Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has confirmed that Cristiano Ronaldo will make his first appearance of the season against Osasuna at the Bernabeu on Saturday.
LIVERPOOL: The Reds officially opened the new stand Main Stand at Anfield during an event on Friday, much to the delight of the players.
– Marko Grujic believes his first taste of competitive action with Liverpool taught him everything he needs to know about life in the Premier League.
– Midfielder Jordan Henderson has admitted he questioned his captaincy last season, but told reporters on Thursday any uncertainty is now gone.
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE: Top clubs will play in a world super league “in a few years,” according to European Professional Football Leagues (EFPL) board member Jacco Swart.
– UEFA’s Financial Fair Play regulations have created a bigger divide between the elite and smaller football clubs, according to a new study.
ARSENAL: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has yet to decide whether new signings Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez will start against Southampton on Saturday, but confirmed that Aaron Ramsey will not play.
– Eddie Howe hopes Jack Wilshere’s season-long loan at Bournemouth can be the catalyst for the midfielder to kick-start his injury-stalled career.
– Gunners forward Alexis Sanchez says he is on the same level as superstars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
CHELSEA: Nemanja Matic believes that N’Golo Kante is even better than Claude Makelele in the role of Chelsea’s midfield destroyer.
– Antonio Conte believes deadline day signing David Luiz will need time to adapt to the philosophy he has brought to Chelsea, but insists the 29-year-old is “a fantastic age to become one of the best defenders in the world.”
BORUSSIA DORTMUND: Thomas Tuchel says Borussia Dortmund fully trust United States international Christian Pulisic, but the teenager will have to wait for his chance in the Bundesliga.
– Mario Gotze is set for his first Dortmund appearance since re-signing from Bayern Munich in BVB’s match at RB Leipzig on Saturday.
MLS: U.S. Soccer legend Landon Donovan has ended his retirement after a year and a half to finish the season with the LA Galaxy.
– Ronaldinho says he’s is deciding whether he wants to finish his career in MLS or the Chinese Super League.
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