Welcome to Fox Sports Africa’s round-up of football news for Thursday, August 23.
International and European club football
In the run up to Argentina's upcoming friendlies with Guatemala and Colombia, Argentina caretaker manager Lionel Scaloni has revealed that Lionel Messi has excluded himself from international selection; Bayern Munich president Uli Hoeness has criticised Arsenal star Mesut Ozil for a second time after quitting the German national team; and Ronald Koeman has named his provisional Netherlands squad for the upcoming ties with Peru and France with Ajax midfielder Frenkie de Jong included for the first time.
Premier League, EFL Championship & Scottish Premiership
Scottish giants Rangers have announced the return of striker Kyle Lafferty on a two-year deal – the 30-year-old arrives from Hearts, where he scored 19 goals in 41 appearances in all competitions last season; Henrikh Mkhitaryan has hit out at Arsenal’s early-season critics, labelling them “stupid” for judging new manager Unai Emery after just two matches; and Aston Villa’s rumbling in the transfer market could open the way for their Ghanaian winger Albert Adomah to join EFL Championship rivals Leeds United.
Ligue 1, Belgian First Division A, Eredivisie, Turkish Super Lig & MLS
Olympique Marseille president Jacques-Henri Eyraud has explained that his club is unlikely to sign Ivorian legend Yaya Toure; Eredivisie giants AFC Ajax have reportedly rejected an offer from Marseille to sign Cameroonian goalkeeper Andre Onana; and Turkish Super Lig club Besiktas are hoping to sign England international Fabian Delph from Premier League champions Manchester City.
Transfer rumours & gossip
Aston Villa have signed Lille winger Anwar El Ghazi on loan until the end of the season; Justin Kluivert made the right decision snubbing Manchester United in favour of a move to Roma, according to his father Patrick; Cristiano Ronaldo says it was "an easy decision" to leave Real Madrid for Juventus; and Thierry Henry is in talks with Bordeaux over the vacant coach's role.