What's trending: Rodgers loses on Celtic debut, Allardyce in England talks

Here are the latest stories for Wednesday.

CELTIC: Former Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers endured a torrid start in charge of Celtic, with the Scottish Premiership champions on the wrong end of a 1-0 Champions League qualifying result away to minnows Lincoln Red Imps from Gibraltar.

- Following the match, Rodgers said the loss was "no embarrassment" and urged Celtic supporters to stay calm. Social media was less upbeat about Rodgers' stumble out of the starting blocks.

ENGLAND: Sunderland have confirmed that they have given Sam Allardyce permission to speak to the Football Association over the vacant England job.

- He's criticised for his long-ball style, but Tony Evans says Allardyce is exactly the kind of manager England need -- he's a man with a plan.

BARCELONA: Barcelona have confirmed that Paris Saint-Germain full-back Lucas Digne is set to join the club for an initial €16.5 million.

PORTUGAL: Former France international Frank Leboeuf believes Pepe was as, if not more, deserving of the player of the tournament award at Euro 2016, after Golden Boot winner Antoine Griezmann was given the honour.

- With shouts to the contrary that a team that finished third in their group and only won three of their seven matches weren't deserving winners of the European Championship, Simon Kuper explains the argument to the contrary.

EURO 2016: After taking some time to let the Euro final result sink in, ESPN FC's stable of writers covering the tournament offered their thoughts on the best moments from the month-long competition in France.

ARSENAL: Despite a career 57 goals for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, Olivier Giroud has never really become "the guy" for Gunners fans. Now rumours are swirling about a cash-and-player swap that would send the France international and £42 million to Napoli in exchange for Gonzalo Higuain. Giroud's agent said a move to Naples would fit his agent just fine.

MAN UNITED: Transfer Talk -- Jose Mourinho is reportedly interested in signing Cesc Fabregas, who played for him at Chelsea, if the Spaniard is surplus to requirements for new Blues manager Antonio Conte. That news from the Mirror tops our Transfer Talk blog.

- In other news, Bastian Schweinsteiger may not be a Man United player much longer, but the German international made a pledge of a different sort on Tuesday when he and Serbian tennis pro Ana Ivanovic tied the knot in Venice.

LIVERPOOL: Jurgen Klopp praised the work Mario Balotelli has been putting in with the club in their preseason training camp, but he was adamant that Anfield was not the place for the polarising Italian at this stage in his career. "He's not at the stage of his career where he should be battling with four or five other players for one or two positions," Klopp said.

- Liverpool manager Klopp has revealed that defender Mamadou Sakho is expected to miss the start of the season through injury.

- Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel has passed a medical ahead of his move to Turkish side Fenerbahce.

CHELSEA: As Chelsea continue to chase Leicester City's N'Golo Kante, they've tied up one of their own in the meantime. Brazil international Willian has signed a new four-year deal to keep him at Stamford Bridge until 2020.

PSG: Antoine Griezmann's agent has revealed that the France forward considered offers from Paris Saint-Germain and other clubs before deciding to stay at Atletico Madrid for at least another season.

WEST HAM: Slaven Bilic's team wrapped up their preseason tour of the U.S. with a weather-delayed 2-2 draw against NASL side the Carolina Railhawks. Winston Reid and Andy Carroll scored for the Hammers.



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