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Jose Mourinho is in the running for FIFA's coach of the year award - won last year by Claudio Ranieri - after his debut season with Manchester United.

After winning three trophies at the club, including the Europa League, League Cup and Community Shield, the Portuguese is up against the world's top bosses.

Other nominees included Tottenham manager Maurico Pochettino after leading his side to second in the Premier League.

Gianluigi Buffon (Italy, Juventus), Lionel Messi (Argentina, Barcelona) and Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal, Real Madrid) are the three nominees for the 2016/17 UEFA Men's Player of the Year Award.

The award will be presented at the 2017/18 UEFA Champions League group stage draw in Monaco on Thursday 24 August.

Fuelled by a historically lavish spending spree, the Premier League returns on Friday when Arsenal host Leicester in the opening game of the hotly-anticipated new season.

Taking advantage of astronomical broadcast contracts and lucrative sponsorship deals, England’s superpowers have been splashing the cash at an unprecedented rate.

Since the end of last season, transfer records have been shattered across the country as over one billion pounds has changed hands in a frenzy that could well set a new high for a single window.

English Premier League side Liverpool FC have rejected a bid of 100 million euros (about £90m or N45bn) from Spanish side FC Barcelona for Brazil playmaker Philippe Coutinho.

Barca’s second bid for the 25-year-old, which was rejected immediately, comprised an initial 85m euros (about £76.8m) plus 15m euros (about £13.5m) in add-ons.

Neymar should be free to make his Paris Saint-Germain debut at Guingamp on Sunday after Barcelona confirmed on Friday the 222 million-euro ($261 million) cheque used to pay his buyout clause had cleared.

“The cheque has cleared and therefore puts in motion the process of the transfer,” said a Barcelona club source.

Barcelona must now deliver his transfer certificate to the Spanish Football Federation who will then pass it to the French Football Federation (FFF) for the Brazilian to be registered.

Serena Williams will face a difficult path ahead if she attempts to return to tennis after having a baby, Kim Clijsters has warned.

Clijsters completed the ‘Mother of all Comebacks’ when she won the US Open in 2009, just 18 months after giving birth to her first child.

The Belgian enjoyed her best days in tennis after becoming a mother, as she won three of her four Grand Slam titles before retiring at 29.

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