Another day, another update on Paul Pogba’s move to Manchester United. And the Mail on Sunday seem particularly confident the deal will go through this summer.
‘Manchester United ready to spend world-record fee on Paul Pogba with Juventus man in line to become first £100m player,’ reads the headline to a story which says exactly that. The Italian side are demanding a nine-figure sum for the midfielder, ‘which has scared off’ Manchester City, Paris-Saint German and Real Madrid in the race to sign him. But not United. Oh no. They are ready, willing and able to meet such a valuation. Reportedly.
As aforementioned, the Mail seem weirdly confident that the 23-year-old will return to Old Trafford this summer. Joe Bernstein includes lines such as ‘the promised eye-catching purchase will be Pogba’, and that the Frenchman’s weekly wage will be £250,000.
Are we missing something, or does it not remain incredibly unlikely that United will sign Pogba? They cannot offer Champions League football, and will be up against Real Madrid. They are very much the David to the Goliath of the Spanish giants in this scenario, and, in the modern-day version, David doesn’t always win.
Speaking of Manchester clubs with huge dreams and bigger wallets, Manchester City want Luis Suarez and Toni Kroos. Good luck.
This claim comes from the Daily Mirror, who tell us that Pep Guardiola and his Etihad pals want to ‘land a Galactico’ to match Manchester United’s capture of Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Grow up, guys.
City are particularly keen on Kroos, and have ‘asked’ Real Madrid whether a deal can be done. The German midfielder is thought to be happy in Spain, but the prospect of playing under Guardiola, who managed him for a year at Bayern Munich, appeals to him. So does the lure of the Premier League.
As for Suarez, Guardiola ‘has been trying to persuade him to come back to England for months’. Suarez’s agent is the Spaniard’s brother, and the Uruguayan ‘is understood to be open to the move’. Persuading his family to return to England would be the difficult part for the 29-year-old.
A bid of £63m would trigger Kroos’ release clause, while Suarez’s fee would reach £85m. Time to break those piggy banks and look behind those sofas.
Sticking with the Mirror, and Neil Moxley reports that Liverpool will battle with Everton to sign Axel Witsel.
The Reds had been chasing Grzegorz Krychowiak (apparently – we hadn’t heard such a link), but the Polish midfielder will leave Sevilla for PSG this summer. That leaves Witsel as Jurgen Klopp’s next target.
Everton were thought to be the frontrunners to sign the Belgian midfielder, while the Toffees are also targeting Morgan Schneiderlin of Manchester United. Ronald Koeman wants both to sit in front of his defence. Poor James McCarthy.
Moxley adds: ‘But now that Klopp has joined the race those plans have been thrown up into the air, leaving Belgian international Witsel himself with a choice to make over his future.’
AND THE REST
Manchester City boss Pep Guardiola is refusing to be knocked back in his bid to land Torino star Bruno Peres for £15m…Liverpool have placed a £14m valuation on midfielder Joe Allen following his performances for Wales at Euro 2016…Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas has ruled out a summer exit for Arsenal and West Ham target Alexandre Lacazette…Chelsea have won the race to sign Napoli defender Kalidou Koulibaly, 25, for a £30m fee…Yannick Bolasie could be heading for the exit door at Crystal Palace in the wake of Andros Townsend’s switch to Selhurst Park, with West Ham keen on him…Tottenham are prepared to offer £38m for Inter Milan striker Mauro Icardi, 23, and have sent representatives to Italy to agree a deal…Meanwhile, Spurs goalkeeper Hugo Lloris, 29, is a £35m target for La Liga giants Real Madrid…And Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino is ready to sell midfielder Ryan Mason, 25, with Hull keen to sign him for £10m…Watford midfielder Jose Manuel Jurado, 30, has been linked with a £2.1m move to La Liga side Espanyol to reunited with former Hornets boss Quique Sanchez Flores…Swansea are ready to launch a bid to sign Euro 2016 hero Hal Robson-Kanu, but they face competition from Celtic…Swansea will also open contract talks with Gylfi Sigurdsson as soon as the Iceland international returns from Euro 2016…Stoke boss Mark Hughes has launched a last-ditch bid to hijack Nani’s £7m move to Valencia…Middlesbrough will complete a £11.75m deal for Atalanta midfielder Marten de Roon, 25, next week after agreeing personal terms on a four-year deal.