Transfer Rumours: Edinson Cavani’s January exit looming?

As the level of uncertainty across both the country and the Premier League increases due to the rising number of Covid 19 cases, the future of some of Manchester United forwards also seems uncertain going into the January transfer window. While Anthony Martial has made it publicly clear he is looking to leave through the medium of his agent, reports have now started linking Edinson Cavani with a move away from Old Trafford. 

The veteran Uruguayan has been struggling to find fitness this season and has only played in eight of United’s games so far, a considerably lower number than most would have hoped for- including Cavani himself.

The lack of game time has not just been down to new arrival Cristiano Ronaldo though- as some suggested before the start of the season, Cavani has actually been unfit since October 31 with tendon irritation. The only goal the striker has scored this season came in United’s convincing 3-0 victory against Tottenham, a game in which Cavani played alongside Ronaldo in a front two. 

This was a game that many speculated could begin a formidable strike partnership, granted when both were fit, however shortly after Cavani was ruled out and hasn’t been seen since. It’s fortunate that United are left with legendary goal scorer Ronaldo and a talented crop of younger attackers in Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford, but the unique predatory instinct of Cavani still feels like a big loss. 

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer convinced Cavani to stay on for another season one would have to assume it would have been on the pretence that the 34-year-old would get a better amount of game time, but it’s just not panned out that way.

In some ways Cavani has been demoted to a background extra, especially now that new manager Ralf Rangnick has entered the stage. Rangnick has yet to fully get to grips with the job, having been thrown in at the deep end with Covid issues and intense festive fixture scheduling, but it’s likely the German will desire fully fit players to deal with the intensity of the schedule. 

While it seems likely that Cavani could actually thrive in Rangnick’s pressing system, it’s starting to feel improbable as rumours of a January exit pick up pace. The prospect of this exit almost feels negligible in regards to Cavani’s tiny contribution thus far this season, however this was the season in which Cavani was supposed to enjoy a packed Old Trafford and score more wonder goals like his halfway line chip against Fulham. 

There could be questions directed at the Uruguayans motivation levels, especially since losing the number seven shirt and being somewhat overshadowed by Ronaldo, although on the pitch Cavani has never looked like lacking passion. It’s this very passion that has endeared ‘El Matador’ to nearly all United fans, overtly aware of his ability to produce a moment of unique magic.

The rumours linking Cavani with an exit mostly point to Barcelona as the destination. The struggling Spanish club are in dire form and seem to be a club in complete disarray. Barcelona sit outside the top four and various issues plague the team both on and off the pitch. 

Losing Sergio Aguero due to his premature medically induced retirement is possibly the biggest reason the Catalan club are sniffing around Cavani, and they are likely able to get him on a free due to his contract expiring. Obviously for a club like Barcelona who are short on money this potential deal is a no brainer, while they may be encouraged further by Cavani’s purported longstanding desire to play for the club.

If Cavani does now end up leaving in January, it’s no secret that it will come as a massive disappointment to United fans. While most will wish him well the prospect of losing his potential goals and presence will sit sorely in the mind, and the question of what could have been for ‘El Matador’ at Manchester United this season will be forever unanswered. 

Written by Sam Wilson

Youri Tielemans chased by Manchester United and Barcelona – would he improve United’s midfield?

Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is reportedly being chased by both Manchester United and Barcelona, despite the Spanish side being unable to pay his £46 million transfer fee. The Sun has reported the news, so that means you will need more than a pinch of salt when deciding if it is true or not.

That said, Leicester have financial problems after the coronavirus pandemic which stopped supporters from attending matches for the majority of 2020, ending up losing £408 million after tax during the financial year, which perhaps means the books will need to be balanced in order to avert anything damaging.

It is well known that Leicester will sell their players with Riyadh Mahrez, Harry Maguire and Ben Chilwell all leaving the club for big transfer fees in three of the last four seasons. It shows that every player has their eventual transfer price, added to the reported reluctance for the Belgian to sign a new contract.

Tielemans signed for Leicester in the summer of 2019 from AS Monaco, and at the time it was suggested that United were monitoring the player, however, no move materialised from the Old Trafford club for the player. This season, the Belgian has played every minute in the Premier League, scoring two goals and two assists.

Since making the move from Monaco, Tielemans has made a total of 120 appearances for Leicester, scoring 19 goals and 21 assists for the club, playing a total of 9,937 minutes of football. Tielemans largely plays as a central midfielder, also featuring as a defensive midfielder, playing a small role as an attacking midfielder.

Should Manchester United be interested in Youri Tielemans?

In a word, yes. Tielemans is a player that has proven himself in the Premier League. Leicester paid around £40 million for the Belgian in the summer of 2019 and in that short space of time, the player has shown his worth. If the £46 million fee that is being reported for the player is true, he could be a bargain.

His current contract at Leicester runs out in the summer of 2023, so at the start of next season he will be into his last year at the club. Leicester seem to want to sign him to a new contract, which seems to be something the player is reluctant in doing at this time – but that could change in the future.

It is suggested that along with United and Barcelona, Liverpool and Real Madrid have some interest in signing the player, which with both Spanish clubs hefty debts, should leave other clubs in with a chance of signing the player. Would he choose to remain in the Premier League or seek a new challenge elsewhere?

The Premier League is a more lucrative league and more competitive with multiple teams challenging to win the league title, when in Spain, it is largely contested between Barcelona and Real Madrid, although Atletico Madrid won the league last season – it is still something that does not happen all that often though.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is currently under heavy pressure at the club, sought to sign a midfielder in the summer, but did not end up doing so, which is one of the major problems right now. This should mean that they hold interest in proven players to strengthen the position at the club.

What could Youri Tielemans bring to Manchester United?

Tielemans is Premier League proven, despite this being just his third season in the league. This is the main attribute that United should be looking for. They don’t have the time to allow a player to settle in at the club, therefore he must be ready for the rigours of the most competitive league in the world.

The 24-year-old has ability and all the other ingredients to achieve at a bigger club. From his days at Anderlecht, before he signed for Monaco, the talent was there and he came to the Premier League with lots of praise. He can be a defensive or an attacking player and seems to switch when needed.

This is what United need. Nemanja Matic’s best days are behind him, despite some good form so far this season. Donny van de Beek does not seem to have a place at United, Bruno Fernandes is a more attacking player, Paul Pogba’s future is uncertain and Fred is not the midfielder United need.

Scott McTominay had a future at the club, but may not be a first-choice player in the squad. Tielemans is good defensively, averaging 1.6 tackles, 0.7 interceptions, 0.9 clearances, 1.5 dribbles and 0.5 blocks per appearance, which is positive and a good reason why he should be on United’s watch list.

In an attacking sense, Tielemans averages 1.2 shots, 0.9 key passes, one dribble, and draws 1.7 fouls per appearance, which also shows he can contribute going forward. This is something that United need as there are not many players who can operate to a good standard in the midfield at the club.

Could Youri Tielemans help United complete their squad?

If Solskjaer wants to achieve at United, the midfield needs to be able to do its job on the pitch, which at this time, is not something that can be said. It is the weakest area on the pitch and it is letting the attacking wealth at the club down as the service has been lacking.

Tielemans averages around 62.3 passes per appearance this season, also averaging an 85.5% pass success rate, which is positive and would help United retain the ball in the midfield with the Belgian passing the ball to more players in the more advanced positions, also getting towards the goal himself.

As was shown in the 4-2 defeat to Leicester City in the Premier League on Saturday, Tielemans is capable of scoring some sublime goals, floating the ball in towards the goal, beating David De Gea and slotting the ball in at the far top corner of the goal. This is the type of midfielder that United should have at the club.

During the summer, after Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to the Theatre of Dreams was confirmed, there was a clamour on social media for Solskjaer to sign Ruben Neves from Wolverhampton Wanderers, as he would have had a massive presence in the centre of the pitch, but it never happened.

This was a shame for United, as it is clear to everyone that the midfield is the major problem at the club and when that has been resolved, United would start to tick much better on the pitch. It just makes me wonder if anyone at the club has the best interests of the club at heart, or just the commercial aspects of the club?

Written by John Walker

Ousmane Dembele ‘very close’ to signing for Manchester United – reports

Barcelona forward Ousmane Dembele is reported ‘very close’ to signing for Manchester United this summer. Spanish news source AS has suggested that the French winger signing for United would unlock the funds required for Barcelona to sign Memphis Depay this summer with the player seeking to leave Lyon. Dembele was linked to United back in May and it was suggested at the time that the player could have been available for £37 million back then, which is not quite the case at this moment in time. The report from AS suggests the Old Trafford club would need to spend between €50-€60 million on the player, which is a lot more than £37 million.

If the player was to leave Barcelona, it would allow the club to drop their wage bill, which will already be high because the club have kept hold of Lionel Messi, who is the clubs highest earner on nearly £1 million per week. It is suggested in the report, which was translates by Sport Witness, that United would be happy to pay between €50-€60 million for the French winger this summer, despite his seemingly poor record at the club after signing from Borussia Dortmund in the summer of 2017. Since signing for the club, he has missed 80 matches in three seasons due to various injuries with hamstring injuries the most regular.

This could well be a concern for United, who have many players already at the club who seem to spend a lot of the time on the sidelines through injury, rather than being available to play regularly instead. Dembele, if he signed for United, would need to watch himself and ensure that he was available more often than not, if a certain injury is preventable. The report does not state that any deal has been done or that an offer has actually been made but for something like this to be generated, there must have been some initial talks which might have reached advanced stages or that this whole story has been made up by the media. It seems strange to be true right now.

Lyon are said to be keen to sell Depay this summer with the player wanted by Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman, so if this happens, it could see Barcelona raising the money to bring Depay to the Nou Camp this summer. Depay seems to have a €25 million selling price this summer and the French club could half that to €12.5 million in order to sell the player this summer. There must be something desperate going on in order to do something like that – probably financial problems that could have become escalated because of the coronavirus pandemic or something similar. It seems strange that United have all of a sudden been linked with Dembele once again.

Dembele has played a total of 75 times for Barcelona in three full seasons 2017/18, 2018/19 and 2019/20, including the one appearance he has made so far this season. In total, the French winger has scored 19 goals and 16 assists at the club, which is not something that will be seen as outstanding, in all honesty. Whilst at Borussia Dortmund, Dembele made a total of 50 appearances, scoring 10 goals and 22 assists, which for his age at the time, was good. The player is still only 23 so with injury avoided, he could find his feet at a new club, providing this is true and not just another rumour that goes nowhere, like we have seen all summer with Jadon Sancho.

At his first club, Stade Rennais, Dembele made a total of 29 appearances, scoring 12 goals and five assists. There seems to be few options for United this summer when seeking to sign a new winger with Sancho said to be the number one target all summer. If United do in fact make a move for Dembele, it would suggest that United will no longer pursue Sancho, which seems strange. There was a chance to sign the player this summer, but it passed by with nothing. Could this be a move to show Dortmund that United would be prepared to go elsewhere, seemingly alerting them that they will move for another player or it is just a rumour that has no legs?

Written by John Walker

If Manchester United were willing to spend £153 million on Ansu Fati; why the hesitation to sign Jadon Sancho?

Manchester United are reportedly willing to spend £153 million on Barcelona winger Ansu Fati before his club hand him a new contract which will include a £360 million release clause. Spanish news source Mundo Deportivo, reported by The Sun have reported the claim which seems rather peculiar based on the fact that if United had this much money to spend on a player, they would have paid the £108 million needed to sign Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund this summer.

It is suggested that United offered the German club between £60 million and £70 million up front with the rest to be paid in instalments, which seems rather strange. Now United, who don’t seem to want to spend much money on Sancho, are seemingly offering more to sign Fati, 17, who will turn 18 on the 31 October 2020. Obviously, the player has done well to fight for a place in Barcelona’s first team with his stock only set to rise. But the same could be said for Sancho, 20.

To me, it seems that either the club, of Ed Woodward are briefing the media of what they want to do, rather than doing it, or the media around Europa are just making everything up, which is not a good way of doing things either. If United want to do something, get it does and make sure it is well publicised that you have done it, whether it results in a successful transfer or not. United need to get something done this summer and nearly a month after the transfer window opened, nothing has happened.

A rumour in the media means nothing at the end of the day but it is life either Woodward or the journalists writing this news don’t care about what could be caused because of things like this. At this moment in time, Chelsea, who finished just below United in the Premier League, have had a rather successful transfer window already signing Hakim Ziyech and Timo Werner with Leicester City’s Ben Chilwell and Bayer Leverkusen’s Kai Havertz close to being completed, plus Thiago Silva is linked to the club, leaving Paris Saint-Germain as a free agent this summer.

United need to be doing things like Chelsea, fixing a squad which has a good first XI but is poor when it comes to quality depth. There are many players at the club who should have played their last matches by now and should be getting ready to leave the club, but it would seem that another summer transfer window could come and go with United taking the simple options of allowing these same players to continue to be carried by other players at the club, making sure United achieve nothing of note, which is not what many of the players, the coaches or the manager wants.

To suggest that United will be willing to spend £153 million on Ansu Fati and not spend £108 million on Jadon Sancho is preposterous. Many have the mind that the club is playing the media and the supporters, despite what has been done in the past. United signed Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire then signed Bruno Fernandes during the January transfer window and this summer, the right-wing, the defence and the midfield require some rebuilding in some way. How long can United continue to make it look like they are doing nothing?

Written by John Walker

Barcelona respond to reports of new approach for Ansu Fati by Manchester United

Manchester United have reportedly made a fresh approach for Barcelona’s talented forward Ansu Fati according to Sport. This week, United’s summer move for Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho seems to have stalled with the player heading to Switzerland with his club on a pre-season training camp after the 10 August deadline expired with the German club now suggesting that they plan to keep the 20-year-old for the 2020/21 season in some defiance on their Twitter account.

United have been linked with Fati, 17 already this summer but it seems that the Catalan club will be retaining the services of the player. This season, in 32 appearances, the teenager has scored eight goals and one assist and looks to be a player for the future, hence the interest from United who really need to sign a right-winger this summer. Fati predominantly plays on the left though, a position that could be occupied by Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial or even Daniel James. On the right, United have few options that actually work.

The Spanish source claim that Barcelona have made it clear that Fati will not be sold this summer, which is what has always been said but the Catalan outfit. Fati has a contract that will expire in the summer of 2022 but the club has an option to add a further two-years on that if they want to, giving them power over the future of the player. In December 2019, Fati signed his new contract which saw his release clause rise from £84 million to £144 million but that would rise further to £339 million when the player signs his professional contract when he turns 18 in October.

In United are counting the pennies this summer, which looks like the car because of the coronavirus pandemic, the mere fact they they will not pay €120 million for Sancho would suggest that they will not pay £144 million for Fati, should the player even want to leave Barcelona. In my opinion, this is just United testing to water to get a deal for Sancho done. This is the same tactic that other clubs have used in the past, even United. That said though, Sport suggest that Fati will be on lower wages and agent fees would not be as high as they would for Sancho.

It is clear that United want to sign players this summer but seem to be doing things in an amateurish fashion, which always seems to be the case with the club. The executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward has been in charge of transfer for eight summer transfer windows now and there always seems to be drama which could be avoided with months of planning, talking to agents, clubs and when allowed, the players they want to sign. Imagine if this set of thing was concluded before the transfer window even opened, making the club look professional rather than a club that just wants to penny pinch so the owners end up getting a better windfall.

These rumours that eventually lead to nothing will keep coming until the transfer window closes on the 5 October in order to make it look like United have the intentions of doing business. However, that intention should be shown by actually making the signings that United needs rather than seeking out players who will be much cheaper and therefore not the player that was wanted in the first place. To accumulate, you need to speculate. If United signed a player like Sancho, they would make money in marketing and other avenues.

Whilst the club would not make money from shirt sales, with that covered in the £75 million sponsorship payment from adidas each year, with other sponsors and other avenues, United could make proportions of large transfer fees in those areas. Then, when the football is working fully on the pitch, things will sort themselves out. Greedy people seem to want to take more than they want to give which is why United are still in debt.

Written by John Walker

Barcelona interested in signing Portuguese defender Diogo Dalot, 21 this summer – reports

Barcelona are reportedly interested in signing Manchester United defender Diogo Dalot this summer. The 21-year-old has fallen out of favour under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after being purchased by Jose Mourinho during his reign of the club. It seems a shame but the player has not been in the best of form when he has been used this season. ESPN has reported the possibility of the Catalan club making a move for the player, which could be good for him.

Dalot signed for United in the summer of 2018 and has a contract which expires in the summer of 2023, so any transfer fee will be in United’s favour, however, if Barcelona are interested in the player, they will claim financial hardship and try to pay a pittance for the player. United will need to stick to their guns. The Catalan club will not be the only club interested if the player is going to be put up for sale this summer. The Portuguese defender, who can play at right-back, left-back and right midfield.

This season, Dalot has made just 11 appearances for United, playing in the Premier League, Emirates FA Cup and the UEFA Europa League, scoring just one goal which came against Tranmere Rovers in the FA Cup in a match which United won 6-0. During his time at the Theatre of Dreams, Dalot has made 34 appearances in all competitions, scoring one goal and three assists. With Aaron Wan-Bissaka’s arrival last summer and the fact he’s the best right-back at the club, not to mention Brandon Williams’ progress – he can play in both fullback positions, Dalot has been left in the cold most of the time.

United signed Dalot at the age of 19 from FC Porto for £19 million, as reported by The Sun and at the time he was the best young European right-back, which is not something that has continued into first team football. At Porto, he made a handful of first team appearances before United purchased him, many of those from the left-back position. It is not his fault that it has not worked out for him and not Solskjaer’s either. When players arrive under one manager, they don’t always make it under another.

Now that Tim Fosu-Mensah has returned to the first team after a spell on the sidelines through injury for much of the season after two loan spells away from the club, which were not all that successful, it could well be that Solskjaer will fancy him as the stand in for Wan-Bissaka, although he also has Williams, who has largely played in the left-back position as a replacement for Luke Shaw, who is currently injured and missed the last few matches of the season. Dalot was not called upon then so it would seem to be the end of the road for him at the club.

Dalot is a player that could find his feet at a club willing to trust him to succeed. That is clearly not going to happen at United, which could well be a regret, however, United seem to be well stock in both fullback positions in the first team right now and have the likes of Ethan Laird, who can play in all four positions in the back four, and with him being a product of the clubs academy and having bagfuls of talent, Solskjaer might fancy his chances to break into the first team more than Dalot. He gave it a chance at United, it did not work and I think the player will remain humble.

Written by John Walker

Barcelona defender Marc Jurado confirms he is quitting the club as Manchester United set to snap him up

Barcelona academy defender Marc Jurado has confirmed that he will be leaving the La Masia development side of the club this month after being linked to Manchester United for the past few months. The 16-year-old made the announcement on Instagram and will be a free agent from tomorrow (Wednesday 1 July 2020).

The right-back has been heavily linked to United and reports in May suggested that the player had agreed personal terms with the Old Trafford club ahead of a summer transfer. Barcelona were desperate to hold onto the teenager but it was suggested the offer from United was too good to turn down. Jurado, on his personal Instagram account, said:

“It’s never easy to leave a team that has given you everything. FC Barcelona has been my second home, my second family, where I have developed as a player and as a person.

“Today it’s time to say goodbye, but not before expressing my gratitude to each of the people who have helped me since I started in the prebenjamín in the year 2011.

“I have been lucky to share my passion with a fantastic generation, with which I will always be linked.”

The player has seemingly decided to leave the club and try England, just like Cesc Fabregas and Gerard Pique, both doing quite well before returning to the Nou Camp at a later date, which is a path that Jurado might follow – who knows? After Ansu Fati and Ilaix Moriba signed new contract, Barcelona were confident of securing Jurado too.

However, that is not the case with the player leaving the club and officials a free agent tomorrow. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to entrust youth in his era of club management and it seems United are doing that by investing in some of the best youth players from around Europe. United won’t have to pay a transfer fee but will be expected to pay compensation.

It is expected that United might have to pay £200,000 for Jurado, which might not be so good for Barcelona as the player has been part of their academy since he was seven-years-old. It will be a bargain for United. This is similar to the way Paul Pogba left United in the summer of 2012 with only compensation payable from Juventus. Speaking on his Instagram account, Jurado also said:

“We started as boys who just wanted to run after a ball and I say goodbye, nine years later, calling them friends.

“Only we know the immense luck we have had with all the coaches who have developed us and helped us to keep fulfilling our dreams.

“Every stage has a beginning and an end. Mine, having reflected a lot with my family, has come. I leave behind unforgettable memories which will always stay with me.”

Manchester United fail with £135 million bid for young Barcelona star Ansu Fati – reports

Manchester United has apparently seen a second bid rejected for Barcelona teenage winger Ansu Fati, this time upped to £135 million which included performance-related variables, according to reports. The 17-year-old burst onto the scene in the Barca first team this season and has received praise from the likes of Lionel Messi and other teammates.

United were reported to be interested last week when reports of an £89 million bid, which was rejected, first emerged. It would seem that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is highly interested in the teenager, who could become the next best thing in world football and a player that United would be looking to fill the void left by Cristiano Ronaldo.

The Times is the source for the reports that United have seemingly upped their bid but the Catalan club will be seeking the full £151 million release clause to be paid in order to sell the player this summer. It would seem that United might have to pay that sum of money to land the player that seems to have stirred their interest ahead of the summer.

The 17-year-old is a good talent and with reports already suggesting that Barcelona intend to put every player up for sale this summer, apart from Messi, Antoine Girezmann, Gerard Pique, Frenkie de Jong, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Fati who are seemingly safe but United, activating the release clause could change that. Club director Xavier Vilajoana said:

“For us, there’s no story with Ansu, we have never spoken about selling him.

“We won’t use players from the academy to make cash.

“In principle, we have no intention of selling the players we believe will make the first team.”

Barcelona intend to raise funds by selling Philippe Coutinho, Ousmane Dembele, Ivan Rakitic, Nelson Semedo, Samuel Umtiti and Arturo Vidal – however, United probably don’t have any interest win these players and the transfer fees will be quite high for their ages. If United come back with £151 million for Fati, Barcelona would have something to think about.

Manchester United make £89 million move for Barcelona star but fail – reports

Manchester United failed in an £89 million bid for Barcelona teenage sensation Ansu Fati, according to reports. It is also suggested that the Old Trafford club has given up on luring Jadon Sancho to the Theatre of Dreams this summer. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is keen to bolster his attacking this summer, in order to challenge once again.

It was suggested that the 20-year-old England winger could cost more than £100 million this summer and amid the financial uncertainties regarding the coronavirus pandemic, with the club already £28 million down which will become more as long as supporters are not able to watch matches in stadiums.

Spanish news source, Sport, has suggested that Solskjaer has turned to 17-year-old Barcelona winger Fati, who has broken into the clubs first team this season. However, the Barcelona board were uninterested in United’s approach, seemingly turning it down. When Martin Braithwaite arrived earlier this year, his minutes were cut severely at the club.

With the return of Luiz Suarez and Ousmane Dembele also returning to fitness, this could have a negative impact on the teenager also. United would have to come back with an offer of £150 million, the player’s release clause, to get the ball rolling on a possible deal. This season, Fati has made 24 appearances, scoring five goals and one assist.

Fati could become one of the world’s best players in the years to come, which is also something that Lionel Messi has spoken about and for that reason, Barcelona probably would not sell the player for anything less than his release clause. However, United might still pursue a possible deal, seeking to find the right player for the club this summer.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, Barcelona has added all players by Messi, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Frenkie de Jong in order to raise funds for the summer and beyond, so the player will have his price. United might need to import the possibilities of the club selling the player, going higher than £89 million but not as much as £150 million.

Mino Raiola could be the only person wanting Paul Pogba to leave Manchester United; PSG now interested in the Frenchman – reports

Manchester United reportedly believe that Mino Raiola, the agent of French midfielder Paul Pogba, is the only person pushing to get the 27-year-old to leave the Theatre of Dreams this summer, according to reports. The FIFA World Cup winner has been linked with a return to Juventus, a move to Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain.

However, the financial problems which have been caused by the coronavirus pandemic, seem to have given United a problem in trying to secure the £89 million they paid for the player four years ago, if the player is sold this summer. Last summer, after announcing that he wanted a new challenge, United wanted £150 million for him.

A move to Real Madrid was not viable because of the players £15 million wage each year, something the Spanish club were not keen on having at the club, which would spark a wage row amongst a number of players at the club. Something Alexis Sanchez’s arrival at United seemed to park, considering the Chilean offered next to nothing at the club.

The Times states that United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sees the Frenchman as integral to his squad and has plans for him in the future, so based on that, the Norwegian would like to see him stay at the club he once described as his destiny. Club legend, Bryan Robson, whose quotes were carried by the newspaper, seemed to suggest just that, talking about Pogba and January signing, Bruno Fernandes, saying:

“They are both special talents. We all know that Paul is a great talent. What he’s got to do now is to fit into whatever role that Ole wants him to play, whether that’s further forwards, with Fernandes dropping back, or the other way around.

“It’s like when people used to say [Steven] Gerrard and [Frank] Lampard couldn’t play together because they were similar but I think they could have done.

“Lampard was always going to be an attacking player, and Gerrard had it in his locker to defend and read the game well.

“He could play that sitting role, and Paul has got the ability to do it too, but what he has got to do is to take on more responsibility on the defensive side of the game if Ole [Gunnar Solskjaer] is going to ask him to play that role.”

United supporters are excited to see what United can achieve with both Pogba and Fernandes playing in the same team. It would be fair to say that the Frenchman would not be the only player expected to pull the string in midfield, making it easier for him to shine. Personally, playing in a deeper role could suit him now, running forward to support the attack.

Slightly contradicting this report is another one from the same newspaper, confirming that Pogba is open to a move to Paris Saint-Germain this summer, which would be an embarrassing move for him, given the fact the club, despite having Neymar and Kylian Mbappe in attack, do not seem to be a force in the UEFA Champions League.

French news outlet, Le10Sport, suggest the French champions have thrown their hat into the ringer United World Cup winning midfielder. They go on to suggest the Real Madrid is the club leading the race to sign Pogba, despite reports stating his wages would be a problem. Juventus are also mentioned, probably trying to find more past it players to add.

It would seem that nothing will cast aside this speculation other than Pogba himself committing his future to the Old Trafford club, not only signing a new contract but publicly announcing that he does not see his future anywhere else. However, I do not think for one minute that this will ever happen. If it does, perhaps I called it? That is what a journalist would claim after covering all the bases.

copyright: JW