MARTIAL TO PSG
With Zlatan Ibrahimovic announcing his expected departure from Paris St Germain on Friday, attention now turns to who will replace the forward in France. The Ligue Un champions have money to spend and egos to replace.
French newspaper L’Equipe provide news of where they might look. The list includes predictable candidates such as Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, Alexis Sanchez, Eden Hazard and Antoine Griezmann. They all have one thing in common: they won’t be leaving – at least not this summer.
The final name on said list is rather intriguing, however. L’Equipe state that PSG have contacted the representatives of Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, with a view to signing the £36.7million forward.
The temptation would be clear to Martial. The Frenchman could return home to play for easily the largest club in the country, and would be able to command a rather ridiculous wage.
However, while L’Equipe report of PSG’s interest, they also admit that United would be unwilling to sell their prized asset, while the 20-year-old may not wish to uproot once more.
‘Paul Pogba looks set to snub interest from Manchester City and United as he aims to become the main man at Juventus,’ reads the headline on The Sun’s website. Big news, this.
According to Wally Downes Jr, Pogba ‘appears eager to cement his legacy at [the] Italian club that offered him first-team football when Sir Alex Ferguson was stifling him’. The story includes quotes, so this could get juicy. Here’s what the midfielder said:
“I’m satisfied with my season, I think I grew up. This is demonstrated by the statistics, assists, goals. I beat all my records this year, I’m pretty proud of myself.
“I take more risks because there are fewer people to take them. Before there was Pirlo , Vidal and Tevez now I take a little more of the game in my hand although we have got experienced players like (Sami) Khedira or (Mario) Mandzukic.
“But it is true that I had to give a little’ more to the team. I always try to grow and when the game does not try to impress the audience, play my football, I’ve always been like that.
“I am told that sometimes I exaggerate, but Paul Pogba is this. if anything.
“I have to grow up in trying some play at the right time, this is where I improve. I’m still young, seek perfection and hope to achieve it.”
Mentions of Manchester City: None.
Mentions of Manchester United: None.
Mentions of ‘snubbing’ either side’s interest: None.
Mundane quotes about improving as a player expertly turned into a transfer story. It’s almost as if there is no football on this Saturday.
Things have turned sour for James Rodriguez at Real Madrid. The Colombian enjoyed an excellent debut season in Spain after joining the club for around £63million in summer 2014. This year, things have taken a sharp downturn.
Rodriguez has started just 17 La Liga games in a difficult campaign, scoring seven goals and assisting eight. He was overlooked for both Champions League games in the semi-final against Manchester City, as well as the latest El Clasico victory over Barcelona. Having struggled under Rafael Benitez, he has not fared much better under replacement Zinedine Zidane. And so he is looking to leave, according to Spanish publication AS.
Where could he go? Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United are all interested apparently. Each Premier League club would be willing to pay the £60m plus which would see Real recoup their initial outlay. Somehow, we can only see one of those clubs pay such a fee for the 24-year-old. They play in red. They have a lot of money. They love to disappoint their fans. Christ, Arsenal and United are similar, aren’t they? We mean United.
AND THE REST
Arsenal, Manchester United and Manchester City all want Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez, but the 24-year-old midfielder will not be allowed to leave the Spanish club…Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Granit Xhaka, 23, wants his transfer to Arsenal resolved before Euro 2016…Sam Allardyce wants to make Yann M’Vila’s move to Sunderland permanent this summer and is also targeting Swansea forward Andre Ayew and Lorient defender Lamine Gassama…Arsenal have made a £1.5m bid for Bolton defender Rob Holding and want a quick answer from the relegated Championship club…Everton have begun talks with the representatives of former Ajax boss Frank de Boer regarding the managerial vacancy at Goodison following the dismissal of Roberto Martinez…Everton will consider appointing a sporting director as they plot a new era at Goodison Park following Martinez’s exit…David Moyes said that he would consider a return to Everton as manager, after the club’s No 1 target, Ronald Koeman, revealed that he is ready to pledge his future to Southampton…Manchester United have emerged as the clear favourites to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic after the 34-year-old striker confirmed he would be leaving Paris St-Germain…Former Inter Milan boss Walter Mazzarri is the odds-on favourite to become Watford’s new head coach when Quique Sanchez Flores leaves the club…Leicester City are winning the race to sign Pescara striker Gianluca Lapadula, 26, according to the Serie B outfit’s president…Defender Daryl Janmaat, 26, could be the first player to leave Newcastle United following the club’s relegation to the Championship…Empoli midfielder Piotr Zielinski, 21, is a target for Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and has already been pictured wearing a Reds shirt…On-loan AC Milan striker Fernando Torres, 32, has confirmed he has entered negotiations with Atletico Madrid over a permanent deal.