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Barcelona agree four-year shirt sponsorship deal with Rakuten

ESPN FC's Shaka Hislop is surprised Lionel Messi's contract negotiations with Barcelona have hit such a stalemate.

Alejandro Moreno believes that at the moment Philippe Coutinho's spot at Barcelona would be on the bench.

Paul Mariner says there is no doubt Barcelona would want to take on Phillipe Coutinho and can properly utilise him.
Barcelona have announced a new four-year sponsorship deal with Japanese e-commerce company Rakuten, which will replace Qatar Airways as the club's shirt sponsor from the start of next season.
The agreement could be worth as much as €61.5 million per season if the club win La Liga and the Champions League, which would top Manchester United's £52m-a-season deal with Chevrolet, which was the most lucrative in Europe last season, based on current exchange rates. Barca's current Qatar…

Borussia Dortmund CEO: ‘I don’t want to see fans milked like in England’

Borussia Dortmund players celebrate with their supporters.
Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke has voiced fears that rules governing the ownership of German clubs could change, telling Sport Bild: "I don't want the fans to be milked as is happening in England."
The Bundesliga success of RB Leipzig, funded by Austrian soft drink company Red Bull, has sparked debate about the future direction of German clubs.
Although Leipzig formally abide by the 50+1 rule which stipulates that more than 50 percent of a club must be owned by its members, the influence…

Trending: Messi leads press boycott, Rooney injured says Southgate

Lionel Messi and his teammates announced they will no longer speak with the press going forward following their win over Colombia.
Here are the latest stories for Wednesday.

ARGENTINA: Lionel Messi led the Argentina national team into the postmatch news conference after a decisive 3-0 win against Colombia and declared that the team will no longer speak to the media after accusations were made regarding teammate Ezequiel Lavezzi.
- Edgardo Bauza leapt to the defence of his Argentina players after they beat Colombia to end a four-match winless streak and put their 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign back on track.


Per-Mathias Hogmo steps down as Norway coach

Per-Mathias Hogmo oversaw Norway's unsuccessful 2014 World Cup and Euro 2016 campaigns.
The Norwegian football federation has said coach Per-Mathias Hogmo will step down after three years in the job.
With only three points from four matches in World Cup qualifying, Norway have little chance to qualify for the 2018 tournament in Russia.
The Norwegians, who lost to Czech Republic on Friday, beat San Marino 4-1 for their only victory so far in Group C. Germany lead the group with 12 points.
Hogmo said he has "reached the point where the players and [the federation] weighed more."

Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino gets deja vu after international injuries

The ESPN FC guys talk World Cup qualifying following Thomas Muller's controversial quote after Germany beat San Marino 8-0.
Just before the October international break, Tottenham beat Manchester City 2-0 — still their last win in all competitions — but Mauricio Pochettino welcomed the time off.
"It's good, there's no problem, we're happy we have time to recover players," said the Spurs manager, who was without Mousa Dembele and Harry Kane against City. "We have a lot of games ahead. October and November are tough to compete. We need all [the players], so now it's good to rest."
Two weeks later, Pochettino had changed…

Werder Bremen’s Serge Gnabry: I nearly rejected Germany chance

German coach Joachim Low is happy with his 'inexperienced' side, which played out a scoreless draw against Italy.
Werder Bremen winger Serge Gnabry says he nearly turned down his Germany call-up for the 2016 Olympics.
Gnabry, 21, ended up as the top scorer at the Olympics over the summer as Germany won the silver medal in Rio de Janeiro.
His form led to a move from Arsenal to Werder Bremen and last week he made his senior international debut in the 8-0 win over San Marino, becoming the first German to score a hat trick in his first appearance for the country since Dieter Muller against Yugoslavia in 1976.

Swansea City confirm Paul Williams as new assistant manager

ESPN FC's Mark Donaldson and Shaka Hislop predict who will be relegated at the end of the Premier League season.

Bob Bradley didn't have many positives to speak on following a disappointing 3-1 loss to Man United.
Swansea City have confirmed the appointment of England under-20 coach Paul Williams as their new assistant manager.
Williams, 45, will join the Swans ahead of Saturday's Premier League trip to Everton after leaving his position with the Football Association.
Former Nottingham Forest caretaker boss Williams has signed a two-and-a-half year contract with the Swans, working as No. 2 to the Welsh club's manager Bob Bradley, who was appointed last month.
"I am excited about having the chance to work…