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Loan fits for DeAndre Yedlin

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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Chelsea wary of long trips ahead after Champions League draw

Last year no Premier League side made it past the Champions League round of 16. How will they fare this year?

Chelsea face "not an easy draw at all" after they were placed in a Champions League group with Porto, Dynamo Kiev and Maccabi Tel Aviv, former Blues goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini says.

Manager Jose Mourinho is intimately familiar with Porto, having led them to the European title in 2004.

The Blues managed to avoid the elite Madrid clubs that were in Pot 2, but Cudicini, who attended the draw in his role as global ambassador for Chelsea, insisted that Porto will be every bit as difficult.

UCL DRAW: REACTIONS, ODDS AND MORE

- Full Draw: Man City handed toughest group
- Marcotti: Tough draw for City, Barca | SPI predictions
- Group A: Real Madrid, PSG through | Group B: Man Utd top?
- Group C: Atletico top | Group D: Man City test
- Group E: Barca ease | Group F: Bayern, Arsenal
- Group G: Chelsea to cruise | Group H: Zenit upset?
- FC TV: Prem's chances | Rapid reax | Tables | Fixtures

"Porto...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Lionel Messi says he'll play for Argentina, despite criticism

Lionel Messi collects the UEFA Best Player in Europe award as Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo is forced to look on.
ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes share their thoughts on Lionel Messi winning the UEFA Best Player in Europe award over Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo and Barcelona teammate Luis Suarez.

Barcelona star Lionel Messi said he has no plans to let harsh media criticism from back home in Argentina affect him and that he will continue to represent the Albiceleste as long as coach Gerardo "Tata" Martino needs his services.

"I never said that I wasn't going to play any longer with the national team. More than how they killed me [media], they weren't going to kill me any more," Messi told ESPN FC radio on Thursday as he received his award for UEFA Best Player in Europe. "I am used to...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Arsenal see Champions League draw with Bayern Munich as 'ominous'

Last year no Premier League side made it past the Champions League round of 16. How will they fare this year?

Arsenal club secretary David Miles said he felt a chill when the Gunners were put into Bayern Munich's group in Thursday's Champions League draw.

Group F has a familiar look to it for Arsenal fans. Bayern ended their Champions League campaigns in the round of 16 in both 2013 and 2014, and the Gunners have now been drawn together with Olympiakos in the group stage for the fourth time in seven seasons.

Arsenal will begin the competition away to Dinamo Zagreb in Croatia.

UCL DRAW: REACTIONS, ODDS AND MORE

- Full Draw: Man City handed toughest group
- Marcotti: Tough draw for City, Barca | SPI predictions
- Group A: Real Madrid, PSG through | Group B: Man Utd top?
- Group C: Atletico top | Group D: Man City test
- Group E: Barca ease | Group F: Bayern, Arsenal
- Group G: Chelsea to cruise | Group H: Zenit upset?
- FC TV: Prem's chances | Rapid reax | Tables | Fixtures

Despite the tough...

 By PA Sport

Manchester City's Kevin de Bruyne offer 'astonishing' - Wolfsburg chief

The ESPN FC crew discuss Kevin De Bruyne's imminent transfer to Manchester City and debate whether or not the addition of De Bruyne will improve City's title hopes.
With three clubs rumoured to be vying for a Kevin De Bruyne transfer, ESPN FC's Gabriele Marcotti believes Manchester City have a lock on the Wolfsburg midfielder.

Manchester City have made an "astonishing" salary offer to Kevin de Bruyne, Wolfsburg's director of sport Klaus Allofs has revealed.

Allofs, speaking in Monaco after the Champions League draw, said negotiations with City over a move had come closer to an agreement -- there have been reports the Bundesliga want £54 million as a transfer fee for the Belgium international.

The Wolfsburg director admitted his side could not compete with the financial muscle of City after their salary offer to the...

 By Tom Marshall

Giovani dos Santos, Guillermo Ochoa omitted from Mexico squad

Giovani dos Santos has looked confident in his appearances for LA Galaxy. However he won't be with El Tri in September.

Interim Mexico coach Ricardo "Tuca" Ferretti has omitted LA Galaxy forward Giovani dos Santos and Malaga goalkeeper Guillermo Ochoa from his squad to face Trinidad and Tobago and Argentina in the United States on Sept. 4 and 8, respectively.

Giovani's brother, Jonathan dos Santos, also misses out on the preparation games ahead of the Oct. 10 playoff against the United States in the Rose Bowl for a place in the Confederations Cup 2017.

No explanation was given for the surprise omission of the foreign-based...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Barcelona enter UCL 'more competitive than ever' says Josep Maria Bartomeu

ESPN FC's Alejandro Moreno and Alexis Nunes look ahead to the Champions League campaigns for Barcelona, Real Madrid, Juventus and Bayern Munich.

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu said his side are "more competitive than ever" as the Champions League holders learned their opponents in this year's group stage on Thursday.

Barca were placed in Group E alongside Roma, who finished second in Serie A last season, along with Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen and BATE Borisov of Belarus.

Barcelona lifted the trophy for the fifth time in their history after Luis Enrique's side beat Juventus 3-1 in June's final, and Bartomeu said his team have...