Gossip: Operation Pogba doomed; Man City want Martinez

Date published: Wednesday 4th December 2019 8:55

Zinedine Zidane still wants Paul Pogba (it was the ‘only’ condition of his return, apparently) and Paul Pogba still wants Real Madrid, but the Spanish club’s power-brokers are more than reluctant to spend over £100m on the Frenchman who has barely kicked a ball in a very disappointing season.

They want to find cheaper alternatives and Marca now describe ‘Operation Pogba’ as a ‘mission impossible’. The club’s directors want Ajax’s Donny van de Beek and/or Christian Eriksen, who will be available for free next summer.

Meanwhile, the Evening Standard says that Tottenham will sell Eriksen for ‘less than £40m’ in January, but it’s hard to see anybody paying that kind of money when he is available for nothing in June.


We have seen him linked with Manchester United but he is way, way, way out of their current league. It seems more likely that Italian reports of interest from Barcelona and Manchester City are far nearer the mark. His 13 Serie A and Champions League goals deserve more than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Martinez has a buy-out clause of around £100m but Inter Milan are scrambling to get him signed to a new deal that would increase that number. A long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero? He would cost money that City are usually reluctant to spend.


Tottenham need new centre-halves (preferably homegrown) and Norwich have a homegrown centre-half who is probably too good for a relegation battle, so Football Insider have put these two things together and come up with Spurs interest in Ben Godfrey, which sounds rather more like a Tottenham move than a Jose Mourinho move, so we shall see how that one develops.

The price they mention is £20-25m, which sounds about right for an England Under-21 international. They might want to enquire about the impressive Todd Cantwell too.


Enfield Town’s Muhammadu Faal is a target for Norwich, Watford and Crystal Palace…Atletico Madrid want Timo Werner…Chelsea will listen to offers for Olivier Giroud in January…

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