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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

What's trending: Carrick slams United performance, Chelsea eye Pochettino

ESPN FC's Alexis Nunes and Tommy Smyth assess whether or not Michael Carrick should remain at Old Trafford.
Michael Carrick refused to make any excuses in Manchester United's 2-1 defeat by Midtjylland.
The FC crew answers tweets about how Louis van Gaal has managed to keep his job, despite Man United's poor results this season.

Here are the top stories from Thursday:

MAN UNITED: Manchester United midfielder Michael Carrick says the level of performance in the club's 2-1 Europa League defeat to FC Midtjylland was "not good enough" and "not acceptable."

- Meanwhile Louis van Gaal admitted that United's travelling fans had been right to curse at his team. ESPN FC Extra Time wonder if he is beating the odds?

- Even Midtjylland striker Paul Onuachu says he "expected more" from Manchester United.

- Don't worry though Man United fans, your team could get £100 million for Wayne Rooney from China.

INTER MILAN: Jose Mourinho is set to visit Inter this week, but he made sure to say that he won't be the club's next coach.

BARCELONA: According to Ivan Rakitic, Barcelona's star trio of Leo Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar are the "best friends in the world," a far cry from what Cristiano Ronaldo said his average relationship is with his teammates.

- And Javier Mascherano says he's still amazed by the play of Messi and Andres Iniesta after all these years.

- Brazilian great Ronaldo believes Neymar can be the "heir" to Messi at Barcelona.

- Manager Luis Enrique says the club can do better from the spot after missing eight penalties already this season.

LIVERPOOL: Jurgen Klopp admitted he was "not satisfied" with Liverpool's performance after they survived a late scare to draw 0-0 at Augsburg in Thursday's Europa League round-of-32 first leg.

- Our club blogger says the defence was solid, but there was little else to shout about.

TOTTENHAM: Tottenham head coach Mauricio Pochettino says Dele Alli "has a lot to learn" after the teenager was lucky to escape a red card in Thursday's 1-1 Europa League draw at Fiorentina.

- Pochettino also admitted the visitors lost control of the game in the second half.

- WATCH: Tottenham need a backup for Harry Kane, says Steve Nicol.

- Meanwhile, Emmanuel Adebayor has vowed to celebrate against Tottenham if he scores on his return to White Hart Lane with Crystal Palace on Sunday. Adebayor was released by Spurs in September and joined Palace on a free transfer in January -- but the north London club are still paying a percentage of his wages.

CHELSEA: Mauricio Pochettino is attracting increasing admiration among the Chelsea hierarchy for his work at Tottenham Hotspur, sources have told ESPN FC, and the Argentine coach is one of the primary targets on a five-man shortlist to become the next Stamford Bridge manager.

- Chelsea legend Gianfranco Zola says he can sympathise with Eden Hazard's prolonged slump in form this season, while Guus Hiddink says the Belgian needs to "step up."

ARSENAL: Danny Welbeck and Mohamed Elneny may both start for Arsenal in Saturday's FA Cup game against Hull, while manager Arsene Wenger has said it was not a surprise that he blocked a loan move for right-back Mathieu Debuchy to Manchester United.

- Olivier Giroud says the constant transfer speculation linking Arsenal with other strikers only motivates him to prove his worth at the club.

- WATCH: FIFA Fantasy League: Giroud's literal magic of the cup

EVERTON: Roberto Martinez has confirmed that Joel Robles will remain the Toffees' No. 1 keeper even in the Premier League over Tim Howard.

STOKE: Former defender Andy Wilkinson has been forced to retire from the game following a head injury suffered a year ago.

BAYERN MUNICH: Mario Gotze, Franck Ribery and Serdar Tasci are all available for selection as Bayern Munich go into a crucial Champions League week, Pep Guardiola has confirmed.

- Bayern Munich defender David Alaba says he has put any talk over a new contract at the club until the end of the season.

AC MILAN: Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has said he will meet AC Milan counterpart Silvio Berlusconi to discuss the sale of Franco Vazquez to the Rossoneri.

LIGUE 1:  The investigating judge in the blackmail case affecting the France team has lifted the order preventing Karim Benzema from getting in touch with Mathieu Valbuena.

- PSG have not yet decided if Serge Aurier will ever play for the club again following his social media outburst.

MLS: Orlando City officially completed the signing of midfielder Antonio Nocerino from AC Milan on Thursday after weeks of talks.

FIFA: Banned FIFA president Sepp Blatter has again protested his innocence as he awaits to hear whether his eight-year suspension will stand. In an interview with French radio station RMC, Blatter said: "Platini is innocent. Like me. There's nothing in there. This is an accounting case, not an ethical matter."

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Come back tomorrow for another roundup of the trending stories across world football.

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