Messi's PSG draw Guardiola's Man City in Champions League group stage
Paris St Germain's Lionel Messi acknowledges the fans inside the stadium before the match. (Photo: Reuters)
Lionel Messi's new club Paris St Germain will play Manchester City, managed by the Argentine's former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola, after being drawn together in Champion's League Group A on Thursday.
Real Madrid will play Inter Milan, Shakhtar Donetsk and Moldovan debutants Sheriff Tiraspol in Group D while Spanish champions Atletico Madrid and Liverpool were together in a tricky Group B with former winners Porto and AC Milan.
* Real Madrid have increased their offer to sign Paris St Germain forward Kylian Mbappe to €170 million (US$199.80 million) after having an initial €160 million bid rejected, Sky Sports reported on Thursday. Spanish and French media reported on Tuesday that Real Madrid had made a bid for the 22-year-old World Cup winner, who scored 42 goals in all competitions for PSG last season and has reportedly said he wants to move to Spain.
* Chelsea and Italy midfielder Jorginho was named European soccer body UEFA's men's Player of the Year for 2020-21 on Thursday while Barcelona's Alexia Putellas won the women's award. Brazilian-born Jorginho, 29, won the Champions League and European championship with club and country this year.
* Inter Milan have signed Argentina forward Joaquin Correa on an initial loan deal from Lazio with an obligation to make the transfer permanent, the two Serie A clubs announced on Thursday. Lazio said the loan deal is worth EUR5 million (US$5.87 million) and Inter will buy him for EUR25 million.
* Arsenal's Brazil winger Willian is in talks over a potential exit from the Premier League club, manager Mikel Arteta said on Thursday, adding that more transfer moves were a possibility before the window closes next week. Willian has struggled for form since arriving at Arsenal from Chelsea last year and has been linked with a transfer to Corinthians in his native Brazil by British media.
* England called up Leeds United striker Patrick Bamford for the first time on Thursday but left out Manchester United forward Mason Greenwood from a 25-man squad for next month's World Cup qualifiers. Gareth Southgate's side are leading Group I with nine points from three games and play Hungary, Andorra and Poland between Sept. 2-8.
* Olivier Giroud has been left out of the France squad for World Cup qualifiers against Bosnia, Ukraine and Finland as Les Bleus gear up for their first games since their early Euro 2020 exit. The striker, who joined AC Milan from Chelsea last month, makes way for Manchester United's Anthony Martial, who is back after missing the European Championship through injury.
* The Petronas Sepang Racing Team (SRT), Yamaha's satellite MotoGP team, will cease all racing and non-racing operations at the end of the 2021 world championship, the team announced on Thursday. Team principal Razlan Razali and team director Johan Stigefelt are set to continue in MotoGP with a new entity from 2022, which will be announced at the Misano Grand Prix next month.
* Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay has had surgery for a groin injury and will miss Sunday's Premier League game at Wolverhampton Wanderers, the club said on Thursday.
* The World Cup qualifier between Iraq and Iran as well as Australia-China will be held at a neutral venue in Doha due to security and COVID-19 related reasons, the Asian Football Confederation said on Thursday. Both matches will be held at the Khalifa International Stadium in Qatar's capital, with Australia facing China on Sept. 2 and Iraq playing Iran five days later.
* Thiago Alcantara and Pedri were left out of a new-look Spain squad for their World Cup qualifiers by coach Luis Enrique on Thursday, with no Real Madrid players included either. Naming seven changes from his Euro 2020 squad, Luis Enrique handed a maiden call up to Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler and Braga striker Abel Ruiz.
* Double Formula One world champion Fernando Alonso will remain at the Alpine F1 team for a second season in 2022, the team said on Thursday. The 40-year-old Spaniard, who had teased a "big announcement" in a coded message on Twitter on Wednesday, will continue to race alongside Frenchman Esteban Ocon who was handed a fresh three-year deal by the Renault-owned team earlier this season.
* Sevilla have signed Denmark midfielder Thomas Delaney from German Bundesliga team Borussia Dortmund on a four-year contract, the six-time Europa League winners said. Financial details of the transfer were not disclosed but local media reports suggested Sevilla paid a six million euro (US$7.1 million) fee for the 29-year-old.
* Novak Djokovic will launch his bid to complete the calendar-year Grand Slam at the US Open against a qualifier, but his path gets much tougher with potential clashes against Matteo Berrettini and Alexander Zverev. French Open runner-up and third seed Stefanos Tsitsipas will take on former champion Andy Murray in the pick of the first round matches.
* Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce led a list of upsets at a blustery Diamond League meeting in Lausanne on Thursday (Aug 26) as she beat Olympic sprint queen Elaine Thompson-Herah in the women’s 100 metres.
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