UNITED BEGIN TALKS OVER NEW POGBA DEAL
It’s the day after the day after the latest Manchester United nadir and Ed Woodward wants you to believe he’s not just sitting idly by while Old Trafford crumbles.
Via The Times, we’ve learned that United have apparently taken the first steps towards persuading Paul Pogba to sign a new contract. The France star has two years remaining on him current deal and United have the option to extend that for another 12 months, meaning United can pin him down until 2022 if they wish.
But that’s not long enough. The story goes that the club have made contact with Mino Raiola in an effort to tempt him to the negotiating table, upon which Woodward would likely be sacrificed up to whichever deity the super agent bows down to. Assuming he doesn’t reckon himself to be the almighty, which is entirely possible. Regardless, it doesn’t end well for Woodward.
RED DEVILS OPEN TO JANUARY DEALS
The Manchester Evening News have offered Woodward some recruitment advice. Samuel Luckhurst says United are always reluctant to buy in January because it’s a seller’s market. The winter window is for the ‘desperate’, which is exactly where United find themselves.
We all knew of their interest in Sean Longstaff but the Red Devils baulked at being quoted £50million for the Newcastle midfielder. If they ask again in January, the price is only likely to go up. Apparently, only City and Tottenham made any move for Bruno Fernandes, while Declan Rice was a ‘non-starter’ in the summer. That isn’t likely to change.
In attack, United watched Erling Haaland bag a Champions League last week but the RB Salzburg striker is hardly the ready-made goalscorer Solskjaer needs. The MEN also suggests that Solskjaer’s friendship with Roy Keane could cause a problem, which is weird. It wouldn’t be a problem for Alf Inge Haaland.
Timo Werner is flagged up by Luckhurst and United were said to be interested in the Germany striker when it seemed likely that Romelu Lukaku would be off. But nothing came of it and Werner finished the summer by signing a new contract with RB Leipzig. Though reports suggest he has a £30million buy-out clause, which is almost certainly going to be paid by Bayern Munich next summer. That can be the only reasonable explanation why United have taken their initial interest any further.
AND THE REST
Real Madrid are considering ‘a medium term’ move for Raheem Sterling… Barcelona are pondering a move for Megan Rapinoe… Bayer Leverkusen midfielder Kai Havertz has been valued at £90m, with United, Arsenal and Chelsea all said to be interested… Willian is being monitored by Juventus… Mario Mandzukic fancies a January move to the Premier League… AC Milan want Tottenham defender Serge Aurier… Aston Villa and West Brom are keen on Coventry left-back Sam McCallum.