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 By Tim Vickery

Philippe Coutinho's fate once again depends on what Neymar does

ESPN's Herculez Gomez responds to the latest reports of Neymar agreeing to terms with PSG on a contract.

On Sunday, Gerard Pique put out on social media a photo of himself and Neymar together with the comment "staying" in Spanish. If this really is -- for this window anyway -- the end of Neymar's "Will he or won't he go to PSG?" saga, does that mean that Liverpool can breathe more easily?

Barcelona, of course, have been expressing an interest in Liverpool star Philippe Coutinho. Some have interpreted this as the search by the Catalan giants for a long-term Andres Iniesta replacement. Perhaps. Coutinho,...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

Football clubs finding a voice their fans can relate to in social media gold rush

Southampton join the player reveal movement, Wayne Rooney hits a stunner in his Everton return and more in the Sweeper.
Transfers are being unveiled in a better fashion, Maradona receives a Russian hockey jersey and much more in The Sweeper.

Banter is positively flowing from football club social media accounts. This summer has seen a space race of clubs attempting to outdo each other with creative videos and memes. Social posts have been going viral to the point of epidemic.

Aston Villa's July 3 Twitter announcement of John Terry's signing through the medium of a WhatsApp conversation between club owner Dr. Tony Xia, manager Steve Bruce and a host of current and former players was retweeted almost 21,000 times and liked almost 29,000...

Even in preseason, Real Madrid and Man United hell-bent on outdoing each other

Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane delves into Alvaro Morata, Kylian Mbappe, Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and managing such a talented squad.
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho believes the club must make more signings if they are to compete for the EPL title.
Jose Mourinho gives an exclusive interview to Mark Ogden on the upcoming season, the summer transfer window and how long he wants to stay at Manchester United.

They say that familiarity breeds contempt, and there is certainly a sense of Manchester United and Real Madrid being irritated by each other in recent weeks, months and years as they prepare to meet in Santa Clara, California, on Sunday.

United and Real have trained alongside each other in California over the past week at UCLA, with two of the world's most expensively assembled squads preparing for the new campaign on pitches no more than 50 yards apart.

And when they face off in Santa Clara...

John Brewin profile picture  By John Brewin

England's Young Lions must translate youth success into Premier League

Craig Burley addresses Hector Bellerin's comments in regards to youth development in England and Spain.

It has been a marvelous summer for England's Young Lions, from being winners at the Under-20 World Cup, U19 European Championships and Toulon Tournament (for U20 players), as well being runners-up in the U17 Euros and the semifinals of its U21 equivalent.

For St George's Park, the Staffordshire site that hosts the English Football Association's national football centre, that flush of success has been vindication for a much-criticised project that finally opened in 2012 after 11 years of delays.

England...

 By Tony Evans

Arsene Wenger can't afford to be naive about Alexis Sanchez situation

Gab Marcotti provides an update on Alexis Sanchez's future with Arsenal following his comments on UCL aspirations.
Alexis Sanchez hints at a desire to leave Arsenal, saying his aim is Champions League success.

Arsene Wenger knows what it is like to lose his star players, as it's happened too often in the past six years. This year, the Arsenal manager's summer is being overshadowed by Alexis Sanchez's refusal to sign a new contract at the Emirates. The Chile international is the latest world-class player to lose faith in Arsenal's ability to compete with Europe's best.

Sanchez's dissatisfaction was heightened when the Gunners failed to finish in the Premier League's top four, though his doubts go beyond...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

The 50 most influential people in football: ESPN FC's 2017 countdown

ESPN FC's Gab Marcotti breaks down the ever-changing top 50 most influential people in football.
Gab Marcotti delves into ESPN FC's top 50 most influential people in football, pinpointing No. 16's "John" from Football Leaks.

Football is big business -- a global sport with multiple leagues and teams and international competitions all vying for your attention (and money). But who wields the most influence in the game, those men and women who have some combination of money, authority and power to shape the sport? 

As we did in 2015 with our inaugural list, ESPN FC has ranked the top 50 movers and shakers in the game, from FIFA president Gianni Infantino to Cristiano Ronaldo to the mystery person (or people)...