PAUL CAN’T BE POG-BOTHERED
This has been coming. In fact, from precisely the moment Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gave that vague answer about Paul Pogba‘s ankle injury and the decision to operate on it having been made by the player’s representatives rather than the club.
Essentially, they want shot of each other. The Sun reports that even Solskjaer has grown tired of Pogba, even though he’s championed him time after time in public. While, less surprisingly, the midfielder is increasingly dismayed by just how far United remain behind Liverpool, Manchester City and – currently – Leicester.
The Sun also report that they believe that Real Madrid might see Pogba as the long-term replacement for Toni Kroos. We’ll say nein to the rumoured idea of a swap – Kroos isn’t going to join United – but it’s believable that he could be sold to make room for a more expensive, more marketable other in the Spanish capital. The price being mooted is now just £100m.
UNITED WANT ALL THE ENGLISH MIDFIELDERS
Over at ESPN, Rob Dawson is reporting that United are aiming their sights somewhat lower. Or not even aiming their sights, just firing blindly at a big list of British midfielders. And Emre Can.
Yes, Can is persona non grata at Juventus, he’s definitely available, but Dawson reports – also with the presumption that Pogba’s off – that United will move for one of James Maddison, Jack Grealish, Sean Longstaff and Declan Rice.
Four different players, all of whom do wildly different things; it’s so ridiculous that it’s entirely believable.
HOLD ON, THERE’S MORE…
…and Todd Cantwell, actually. That one’s according to The Mail, though, with Adrian Kajumba believing that United are willing to pay up to £30m for Cantwell, but will have to be prepared to battle Tottenham for the player’s signature. Cantwell is under contract at Carrow Road until 2022, so – even in the event of their relegation – will likely command that Maddison-sized £30m fee.
Nice player, great hair, but – really – £30m? Or does everyone just cost that now?
Sky Italia have an update on Christian Eriksen’s situation, with it looking increasingly likely that he’ll depart Tottenham this month, rather than waiting for the summer.
They report that Juventus have an interest, but would prefer not to pay a fee. They also believe that Inter Milan fancy Eriksen and, because they fear Juventus’s interest, could be compelled to meet Daniel Levy’s £20m asking price in January.
Hang on, we’re not calling him that…
“What’s your name?”
“That’s a good name!”
Anyway – him – West Ham want him. Because of course they do. He’s shiny, he’s just won the Copa Libertadores and, most likely, David Sullivan’s son rates him on some video game.
Barbosa has already been a crushing disappointment in Europe and he’s now been on loan from Inter for three straight seasons (Benfica, Santos, Flamengo). Even so, The Sun believe he’d cost north of £20m and that, more importantly, that’s a price West Ham are happy to meet.
AND THE REST…
Arsenal want Juventus’s Turkish centre-half Merih Demiral… Manchester City will offer a contract extension to Fernandinho… Ajax can’t afford Jan Vertonghen… Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang has ended his sulk over Arsenal being bad… Aston Villa want a Chelsea reserve forward on loan and either of them will do… Arsenal and Tottenham are interested in Thomas Lemar.