‘DESPERATE’ POGBA AND ZIDANE CHAT
The Madrid press are finally admitting that Paul Pogba is joining Manchester United, but El Confidential claims that neither Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane nor the player himself is very happy about this fact. They claim that the French pair shared a ‘last desperate telephone call…with each man seemingly wanting the player to end up at Madrid, and urging the other to do what they can to help that happen’. Thanks to Sport Witness for that translation.
Barcelona director Ariedo Braida said on Thursday: “We know Pogba, he is a player who proved to be very strong and, for a while, Barcelona were interested, but clearly the dynamics changed and once the figures reached a certain point, we were no longer interested.”
So he is joining Manchester United. But only because Real Madrid and Barcelona did not fancy the £100m price.
ARSENAL MAD ABOUT THE BOY BELLERIN
‘Arsenal have been left fuming by Manchester City’s attempt to lure Hector Bellerin to the Etihad,’ claim the Daily Mirror. They have even gone so far as to issue an ‘angry hands-off warning’ to City’s chief negotiator Txiki Begiristain, it says here. They are apparently blaming City’s meddling for Bellerin’s reluctance to sign a new long-term contract with the Gunners.
It’s hard not to see that Bellerin would be an absolutely perfect signing for City, who are managed by former Barcelona boss Pep Guardiola and desperately need new, young blood at full-back.
GYLFI TO EVERTON?
According to the very reliable John Percy of the Daily Telegraph, ‘Everton manager Ronald Koeman is lining up a £25million bid for Gylfi Sigurdsson’. Quite what this would mean for Ross Barkley is unclear but Sigurdsson’s haul of 11 Premier League goals last season is certainly appealing to the Dutchman, who sees Sigurdsson as the kind of ‘marquee signing’ he could never make at Southampton.
And what would Swansea do with that money? Spend £15m on Tottenham’s Nacer Chadli, according to The Sun.
CHELSEA MOVE FOR CAVANI
What happens when Everton demand £75m for Romelu Lukaku and Real Madrid want £67m for Alvaro Morata? You bid £41m for Edinson Cavani, of course. According to reports in France, Chelsea have made an offer for the PSG striker that is likely to be quickly rebuffed, with the Paris club wanting £66.5m for their man. Jesus Christ, strikers are expensive this summer.
AND THE REST
Manchester City are to swoop for Palmeiras striker Gabriel Jesus…Juventus are interested in making Newcastle’s Moussa Sissoko Paul Pogba’s replacement…Leicester have offered Kasper Schmeichel and Danny Drinkwater new contracts in order to keep them at the club…Rubin Kazan have reached an agreement to sign Alex Song from Barcelona…Crystal Palace have made contact with the agents of Senegalese striker Moussa Sow about a possible loan move from United Arab Emirates club Al-Ahli…West Brom have not yet made a bid for Aston Villa defender Ciaran Clark, who has a £5m release clause in his contract…Carlos Bacca will decide on Friday whether to join West Ham or another club…Sunderland face missing out on Benjamin Moukandjo after West Brom joined the race for the Lorient striker…Eric Dier will follow Tottenham team-mate Kevin Wimmer in signing a new contract at the club…Watford are interested in signing Lille midfielder Sofiane Boufal, who scored 11 goals in Ligue 1 last season…Borussia Dortmund are close to signing former Chelsea forward Andre Schurrle after agreeing a £25m fee with Wolfsburg for the player.