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Paul Pogba could extend Manchester United contract as he has ‘never been happier’ – reports

It is being reported that Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba could perform a u-turn and remain at the Old Trafford club beyond his current contract, which is due to expire in the summer of 2021, although there is another year that could be added on, which was agreed at the time he re-signed for United back in the summer of 2016.

Last summer, the Frenchman stated that he wanted a new challenge but that did not happen for him with rumours of an exit to Real Madrid not actually becoming anything serious at the time. The player has endured a poor season though, sitting on the sidelines through injury for much of the season, recovering during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Since returning for United, Pogba has been playing well and looks to be happy at the club and thriving with midfielder Bruno Fernandes in the team, which has given United a new attacking edge, seeming one of the things that has made the Frenchman happier at the Old Trafford club this season. It will be good to see the player secure his future at the club.

It was suggested that both Juventus and Real Madrid were interested in signing Pogba this summer but because of the coronavirus pandemic and the fact that clubs will face financial problems because of the pandemic as supporters will be kept out of stadiums for a prolonged period of time. ESPN have suggested that Pogba is that happy he could prolong his stay.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer seems to have found his feet at the club with the players performing well this season and on a 15-match unbeaten run, chasing Chelsea in a big to finish inside the top four of the Premier League this season, earning UEFA Champions League football next season. United sit just two points behind Chelsea at present.

It is suggested that Solskjaer’s relationship with the Frenchman is a good one and that the players partnership with Bruno Fernandes, who arrived at the club during the January transfer window could be seen as a positive at the club with Pogba seemingly seeing what United could achieve if Solskjaer continues his rebuild of the club successfully.

Speaking about Pogba last month and whether the 27-year-old Frenchman could raise his form this season, Solskjaer said:

“Yeah, I really hope and believe. Of course Paul has had his difficult season this year with loads of injuries, but I can see his mentality and focus now that he is fit and training and available, that he is ready to play again and to prove… he has always had quality, Paul.

“He is one of the best midfielders in the world so hopefully we can get that going as soon as possible.”

Manchester United interested in signing Arsenal ‘bad boy’ Matteo Guendouzi this summer – reports

Manchester United are apparently interested in signing Arsenal ‘bad boy’ Matteo Guendouzi this summer after it was claimed that the 21-year-old wants to leave the Emirates this summer feeling that manager Mikel Arteta does not trust him. It is certainly something for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to keep his eye on this summer.

Guendouzi signed for Arsenal from Lorient in the summer of 2018 for a fee in the region of £7 million. The Frenchman was thrust into the spotlight after his antics over the past week with the Premier League returning and Arsenal being beaten 3-0 by Manchester City and 2-1 by Brighton and Hove Albion before beating Southampton 2-0.

Under Arteta, Guendouzi has played just 12 times, playing 13 times before the former City assistant came to the club. It might be something or nothing but with Arsenal and the season they are having, you could not blame him for wanting to leave the club, especially with the club well out of the European places so far this season with all to play for.

In Arsenal’s 2-0 victory over Southampton, Guendouzi was dropped and that seems to have caused a lot of speculation with the player being linked to Paris Saint-Germain, Barcelona and now United. It was French news source, L’Equipe that reported United being interested in the player. You cannot blame Solskjaer for keeping his eyes open.

Guendouzi appeared to lose his head last weekend at the Amex, which is where United travel on Tuesday evening on their return to Premier League action after facing Norwich City in the Emirates FA Cup, appearing to lash out at Neal Maupay, who scored the winning goal in the game, also injuring goalkeeper Bernd Leno earlier in the match.

It has also been alleged that Guendouzi had made unsavoury taunts towards the Brighton players because of their salaries. This is nothing new for the 21-year-old who seemingly had egg on his face after a trip to Vicarage Road earlier this season, making a 2-1 gesture as he was substituted, watching Watford equalise later in the match.

There was also an incident with referee Mike Dean during the 2-0 FA Cup victory over Portsmouth with the player sarcastically placing the ball for a free-kick after being wound up by Dean. Arrogance is something that all footballers have, some show it more than others – Guendouzi could be that way inclined. Arteta spoke about his absence this week, saying:

“It was squad management. I don’t like to make any decisions to send messages. The messages that I send to the team or individually are very open and I’m clear with how I feel.

“Winning is the most important thing and when you win, everything is fine. Whatever issue we have internally, I will resolve it in a private way. I explained that I cannot explain and that’s it.”

This season, Guendouzi has played a total of 34 times for Arsenal this season, playing in the Premier League, the UEFA Europa League, the Emirates FA Cup and the Carabao Cup, is yet to score a single goal and has assisted three times. Could he score more goals if trusted by his manager? Guendouzi can play in central midfield and defensive midfield, a position that Solskjaer may need to think about soon.

Manchester United view Jeremie Boga as back-up for Jadon Sancho this summer – reports

Manchester United apparently view Sassuolo winger Jeremie Boga as another option should Ole Gunnar Solskjaer fail to sign Borussia Dortmund winger Jadon Sancho this summer. The England winger has been heavily linked to the Old Trafford club ahead of the summer transfer window opening.

It is suggested that Dortmund would want £117 million to part company with Sancho this summer, which is once expensive deal, even without the financial restrictions the club will be facing because of the coronavirus pandemic that swept the country in mid-March, suspending the Premier League at the same time, along with the rest of world football.

It is suggested by ESPN that United still view Sancho as the priority but are seeking other players, so they do not end up not signing a winger this summer, which is something that has needed to happen for some time now. Solskjaer ended up not signing a striker last summer, despite Romelu Lukaku leaving the club, which was a regret.

Solskjaer will have many other players on his transfer list this summer, ensuring that the club do make the required signings, even if they are not the ones that the manager wanted to sign. Not everything happens the way people want it to and United are no different. I trust that Solskjaer will address the problems in the squad, he has done so far.

United’s three signings last summer; Daniel James, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Harry Maguire were the best three recent signings by the club, proving that Solskjaer has a clue of what he is doing. Bruno Fernandes arriving in January was another decent signing, as was the loan signing of Odion Ighalo, who will stay at the club until the end of January 2021.

Julien Laurens of ESPN has suggested that Boga is one of the back-up players should Solskjaer not end top signing Sancho this summer, of which there is a very high possibly of that happening based on the price of the player. The 23-year-old may not be of the same level but that is not reason enough to write him off.

The Serie A in Italy resumed this week and Sassuolo have already played two matches; losing 4-1 to Atalanta and drawing 3-3 with Inter Milan – there are 11 more matches remaining for the club this season. Sassuolo sit in 12th place in the league table, so could possibly break into the UEFA Europa League places if they start winning matches.

This season, Boga has made a total of 27 appearances, playing in the Serie A and the Coppa Italia, scoring eight goals and four assists, which is not the greatest return, however, the player could finish the season on a high with the club. Boga started out at ASPTT Marseille before being sold to Chelsea, playing in their academy from 2009.

At Chelsea, Boga was loaned to Stade Rennais for the 2015/16 season, then to Granada for the 2016/17 season before being loaned to Birmingham City for the 2017/18 season. He made just one first team appearance for Chelsea in his time at the club. He was sold to Sassuolo in the summer of 2018 for a fee reported to be around £3.5 million.

World-class Paul Pogba needs to remain committed to Manchester United, says Gary Neville

Former Manchester United right-back and captain Gary Neville believes that Paul Pogba is “one real world-class player” and that he can become a legend at the Old Trafford club if he stays loyal to the club. It is expected that Pogba will leave the club, whether it be this summer, next summer or the summer after – if his sixth year is added to his contract.

Last summer, the French World Cup winner spoke about wanting a new challenge, which did not happen for him last summer and so far this season, his new challenge was remaining fit after a series of ankle injuries kept him out of action. He made his ninth appearance for the club against Tottenham Hotspur on Friday evening.

When he has played for the club this season, it seemed as if his heart was not in it but it could have been the ankle injury he was carrying that falsely showed that, however, the jury will be out on his performances for the remainder of the season. He did well on Friday against Spurs and many, including myself, will be hoping that he gives his best this week.

Pogba has many fans amongst the clubs supporters, some of them will find any excuse to praise him, including suggesting the people that do not value him being racist, which is probably not the case. However, that being said, him putting his heart out there and showing that he wants to be a part of the club, moving forward, would be good to see.

His partnership with Bruno Fernandes, who arrives at the club during the January transfer window is something that many are waiting to see, getting a glimpse of it against Spurs in the 1-1 draw, with Fernandes scoring the penalty that Pogba won in the 81st minute of the match. It is hoped that Fernandes and Pogba will start on Wednesday. Neville, talking on his podcast about Pogba and his commitment, said:

“There’s no doubt that a committed Paul Pogba to Manchester United can be a great player. His assists, his goals, are good. They’ve been very good in the last couple of seasons.

“He’s up there with some of the very best in his position in Europe. It’s just the case of settling down.

“Hopefully with the economic problems around Europe, teams won’t be able to go out and spend £80, £90 or £100 million on new players, Manchester United will keep him and Paul Pogba will understand that he’s staying at Manchester United.

“That’s all I’ve ever asked of Paul Pogba, just commitment. His performances, I’ve never blamed him for Manchester United’s problems over the years.

“I do believe he’s the one real world-class player – David de Gea I would have said two years ago – in Manchester United’s squad.

“He’s the one who should be leading from the front, and if there’s continuous speculation over his future it isn’t helpful, it creates doubt in the dressing room.

“Now, I feel there’s a better chance of that team really succeeding, and I think they’ll play at Old Trafford on Wednesday night, and there won’t be any doubt that he’ll play with Bruno Fernandes.”

Pogba was linked to Real Madrid last summer and there were reports to suggest that United turned down an offer of James Rodriguez and £27.6 million for the Frenchman, which was a bit of an insult. I don’t understand why clubs like Madrid and Juventus feel that teams like United should be accepting of their failed players as part payment.

Gone are the days of United playing games like this with other clubs and if these clubs want to offer players as part payment, let United choose which ones, rather than the ones that have failed. It is suggested that Juventus are interested in re-signing Pogba and reports have linked the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot and others moving the other way.

United are a much bigger club that these clubs think and despite being on poor times with them not challenging for a league title for seven years now, even in the season they came second to Manchester City, albeit 19 points adrift, it was not a title challenge. United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to change that and fodder from other clubs will add more problems, not solve them.

Peter Schmeichel ‘convinced’ that Paul Pogba will stay at Manchester United this summer

Former Manchester United goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel feels that French midfielder Paul Pogba will remain at the Old Trafford club this summer. There has been a lot of speculation linking the French FIFA World Cup winner for the last few years, linking him to Barcelona, Real Madrid and with a return to Juventus, the club he arrived back to United from.

It has been four years since the 27-year-old returned to United, a club he described as his destiny. However, the player announced that he wanted a new challenge last summer on a promotional tour of the Far East, which is something that never materialised last summer and may be stopped from happening this summer too.

Pogba returned to action after a spell on the sidelines with ankle injuries this season, the latter needing surgery and his recovering during the coronavirus pandemic, getting himself match fit over the past month or so and coming off the bench against Tottenham Hotspur, a match United drew 1-1 in, needing a win in their next match against Sheffield United.

The United treble winner feels that Pogba is ready to remain at United, possibly set out to achieve what he wanted to achieve when he returned to the club in the summer of 2016. He even thinks that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s man management skills could be a key factor in keeping the Frenchman this summer. Schmeichel said:

“I’m absolutely convinced he wants to stay. I think we’ll somebody, more of a player we saw a year ago.

“One thing is how he’s portrayed in the media for what he does and what he says himself, and another thing is what his agent is doing. And a completely different thing is what it’s really like.

“He wanted to come back to Manchester United, he wanted to come back. And he has got, like any other player at that level in the world, he’s got his pride. And I don’t think he wants to leave. I don’t think so.

“I think when Ole came, we straight away saw with Ole’s guidance and his knowledge with Paul, we saw precisely what he can give us. And that’s a lot.

“Unfortunately I don’t think he’s gotten great representation. He’s such a valuable asset so it’s great to shift him to another club, because that’s a lot of money to make.

“I think that if you have somebody telling you that in your ear at some point you’re bound to be confused. You’re a young player. All he should be content and focused on is playing.

“I hope with this period of being out of the game, I hope that with Ole’s management skills, he’s going to come back and love playing for Manchester United.”

Paul Pogba might not start against Tottenham Hotspur for a number of reasons – reports

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba might not be in line to start against Tottenham Hotspur with the Premier League returns for the club on Friday evening. The Frenchman has been absent for much of the season with ankle injuries, the latest needing surgery. The player recovered during the league’s suspension and is fit to play now.

However, Pogba is likely to be on the bench against Jose Mourinho’s side with many expecting him to start his first match for the club since the 1-1 draw with Arsenal back in September. It would seem that there will be a wait before that actually happens. Pogba has made just eight appearances for United this season, assisting twice.

Pogba seemingly understands that he will have to win his place back in the team, which is only fair considering the performances of Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, Fred and Nemanja Matic during the period the Frenchman was out of action with ankle injuries. The Athletic has suggested that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has plans for United’s return.

It would be right for Solskjaer to pick the players who were behind United’s 11-match unbeaten run in which they had scored 29 goals, conceding just two and keeping nine clean sheets before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football. Pogba, who was absent for all this, does need to win his place back in the team.

It would be possible for Pogba to do this in two or three matches, maybe sooner, if he comes off the bench against Spurs and leads United to a first victory at the North London clubs new stadium. The Frenchman is one of the best players in the team in terms of ability and on his day he can do things that many in the squad have not been able to do.

However, the Pogba that United needs in the team is the Pogba who helped inspire United to a 4-0 victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford in the opening Premier League fixture, also the player who inspired United to come back from 2-0 down against Manchester City, winning 3-2. If this Pogba returns, the harmony in the squad will be rich better than it is.

Paul Pogba will remain at Manchester United this summer, according to Adnan Januzaj

Former Manchester United winger Adnan Januzaj has suggested that Paul Pogba has told him that he will not try to force a move from the Old Trafford club this summer. The 25-year-old now plays for Real Sociedad in Spain and is performing well there this season. Januzaj became close friends with Pogba when the pair were coming through the academy.

The due remain in contact with each other and the Belgian suggested that Pogba will knuckle down under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after his agent, Mino Raiola has talked the talk but not walked the walk for the past year or so, always talking about his player moving on. Speaking about the Frenchman remaining at United, Januzaj said:

“I think Paul [Pogba] is staying. I am still very, very close with Paul. We have known each other since we were kids, when we both played in the United youth teams.

“Our families are also close friends and we keep in contact. That will never change.”

It would be good news for United if Pogba was happy to continue at the club. His contract is due to expire in the summer of 2021, however, a further year could be added to that contract, which was agreed when the player made his return to United in the summer of 2016, at the time suggesting that the Old Trafford club was his destiny.

This season has not been the best for Pogba, making eight appearances, scoring no goals but assisting twice, sitting much of the season out with ankle injuries, the latter needing surgery with the player ready to return to action for the delayed close of the season. The midfield has changed at the club with the addition of Bruno Fernandes.

Many United supporters, including myself, are looking forward to seeing the duo in action together in the midfield, both of whom can play advanced roles, swapping during the match to keep the opposition at bay. Pogba could return against Tottenham Hotspur on Friday, facing up against former United manager Jose Mourinho.

Januzaj still shows some resentment about being forced out of the Old Trafford club under Louis van Gaal, who managed the club from the summer of 2014 until after the Emirates FA Cup final in May 2016, being sacked by the club days after winning the first major honour post-Sir Alex Ferguson. Speaking about this tough period, Januzaj said:

“Louis van Gaal? I should not defend myself against him. The stats speak for themselves. Every time I scored or gave an assist, he put me on the bench in the next game.

“Thankfully there are people at Manchester United who did rate me. Ryan Giggs is one of the people at Manchester United who I owe so much to.

“When he was still a player, he was always giving me good advice – and I also learnt a lot from him when he was a coach. I started so young and this is what people forget. I am only 25 now.

“My best years as a player must still come. I am a skilful, attacking player who has never had any injuries. I still have 10 years ahead of me.”

Januzaj did look like the next best thing at United during David Moyes’ tenure at the club but things did not work out for him under the Dutchman, which is a shame. After being loaned to Borussia Dortmund and Sunderland, Januzaj was sold to Real Sociedad for £9 million and this season has made 22 appearances, scoring six goals and four assists.

Manchester United urged to sign Corentin Tolisso from Bayern Munich; agent rubbishes rumours

Manchester United have been urged to make a move for perfect transfer target, Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso. Reports in France has suggested that United hold an interest in the player, who has been injured this season. A suggestion has even been made that United have spoken to Bayern about a switch for the player this summer.

The Bundesliga leaders are happy to sell the player this summer, as long as a £31 million fee is agreed. That might sound good at this moment in time, but his injury record is problematic, with the player last playing a game at the end of February, before the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football. He probably won’t play again this season.

The 25-year-old had been a regular in the side this season, prior to his injury, making a total of 24 appearances in all competitions, scoring three goals and five assists. Former United right-back, Rafael da Silva, who played with Tolisso at Lyon, told United to sign the player, saying:

“One of the best midfielder I play with, I think will be perfect for Manchester United. Hope he goes there.”

However, the reports seem to be rather premature with the agent of the player speaking out, especially against the comments made by United’s former right-back. Eric Castagnino has seemingly dashed any transfer to United based upon what he has said, which could end this rumour almost as quickly as it started. Castagnino said:

“I’m not having any talks with Manchester United. Corentin [Tolisso] is currently injured and his return to the pitch is currently a top priority.”

The French international is out for the remainder of the season, unless he can gain some fitness to play in the UEFA Champions League when it resumes, which is expected in August at some point. Maybe he will play a part in the domestic season, depending on when it finishes in Germany. I guess the player and his agent will know more.

The links to another midfielder do seem premature from a United point of view. Currently, United has Paul Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, Fred, Nemanja Matic, let alone the likes of Andreas Pereira, James Garner and Dylan Levitt. There would be little space in the squad for another central midfielder, unless a player or two was leaving.

Paul Pogba must earn his place back in the Manchester United team, says Paul Scholes

Manchester United legend Paul Scholes has stated that French midfielder Paul Pogba should have to earn his place back in the squad after his injury lay-off. The Frenchman has not played for United since Boxing Day when he played 45 minutes in the 4-1 victory over Newcastle United at Old Trafford.

The 27-year-old French World Cup winner has suffered two major injures this season, both ankle injuries, on both ankles – the latter requiring surgery. If the season had not been suspended by the coronavirus pandemic, Pogba might not have played again this season, however, he has now recovered and is training with his teammates.

Pogba has played eight times this season, seven times in the Premier League, where he has two assists to his name and once in the Carabao Cup. I am sure he will be looking forward to getting back on the pitch and representing United for the remainder of the season, no matter what is planned for after the season is over – whether the player stays or goes.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be happy to see his prized asset returning and the United supporters are thirsty to see him playing alongside January signing Bruno Fernandes in midfield, which could well make the best United midfield since the days of Scholes and Roy Keane at the club. Scholes, 45, has commented on Pogba and how he needs to do more to get back into the squad at the club, saying:

“Paul [Pogba] has got a little bit of work to do to get into the team. Before the outbreak happened, you have to say that the players that were playing – Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay and Fred – they were really doing well in midfield.

“It’s not going to be straightforward for Paul. He’s got some work on his hands just to get back into the team. But we all know what Paul’s capable of. He’s a top player when he’s on form. The better players you play with – surely that can only be to the benefit of the team.”

Ryan Giggs, a former teammate of Scholes, feels that Pogba should be returned to the starting XI, playing alongside Fernandes, which is what will probably happen, if the player is fit enough to start matches for the club – he has been training for long enough so he should be. Giggs, talking about Pogba and Fernandes, said:

“Good players should be able to play with good players but we’ll have to wait and see. They both have lots of quality, it’s about if they can compliment each other now.”

Manchester United ready to make move for Moussa Dembele after transfer value declines – reports

Manchester United will apparently step up their pursuit of Lyon striker Moussa Dembele, according to reports. It has been stated that it is though the player’s transfer value may have dropped because of the coronavirus pandemic which has swept the world, suspended world football with so far only the Bundesliga back in action ahead of its third weekend back.

The pandemic has had a high financial reaction on all businesses around the world with it to take its toll on football too, with United already losing £28 million which was announced recently. The longer supporters are kept away from stadiums will result in even more financial losses for clubs. This could be good for the transfer market.

In recent years, massive fees have been paid for players who have become mediocre with European players heavily inflated, even after one good season of football, costing many clubs money when the player does not fit into place and is then sold for a lesser fee or worse, released on the expiry of their contract.

Dembele has been a player who has been linked to the Old Trafford club a few times but more recently under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, he has continued to be linked to the club. This would suggest that the Norwegian is interested in the player, which could culminate in the player being signed by the club, if the price is right.

United signed Odion Ighalo during the January transfer window on a six-month loan deal and would like to keep him for the remainder of the season, if Chinese club Shanghai Shenhua will allow him, seemingly with United only viewing him as a short-term option. This could reinforce the fact that Solskjaer has eyes for another striker.

It has been reported that the coronavirus pandemic could see Dembele available for around £45 million, which at this moment in time, would be a good result for both United and Lyon. The French club, on the cancellation of Ligue 1 back in April, meaning the club will miss out on European football, something United should still have.

copyright: JW