Paul Pogba will have been all too aware that his quotes over the weekend were likely to generate yet more speculation on his future. Mino Raiola being Mino Raiola, it was probably the agent’s plan all along, of course.
According to the Daily Telegraph, Barcelona are all too happy to be used as a pawn in this game, provided it helps them land the midfielder ‘for a reduced price’. The La Liga champions ‘privately accept’ they will not be able to sign Pogba this summer after the Premier League transfer window expired, as United would be utter fools to sanction a sale. But they ‘will continue to pursue’ him.
It could even lead to a bid in January, never mind in 12 months’ time. Barca made a derisory offer of €50m plus Yerry Mina and Andre Gomes – both with buy-back options – earlier this month, but ‘did so in the knowledge’ United would reject it instantly. So why bloody do it?
Barca will eventually return ‘with a vastly improved offer’, and will continue to monitor Pogba’s situation, namely his relationship with Jose Mourinho. Lovely.
The Sun sell it as a ‘keeper headache’ for Jurgen Klopp, but the real news is that Liverpool have potential suitors for both Loris Karius and Simon Mignolet, which is some sort of genuine witchcraft.
Apparently, Karius ‘has emerged as a shock target’ for Besiktas, who would rather like him on loan. How far he has fallen.
The Turkish side did originally want Mignolet, but could afford neither his fee nor his wages. Which leads to a quite wonderful line: ‘So they dramatically switched to the other Anfield shot-stopper.’
How does one ‘switch dramatically’ from one goalkeeper target to another? Was it like an Eastenders cliffhanger? Is Dirty Den actually alive?
But the ‘headache’ is that Klopp must decide which of Karius or Mignolet to lose. The latter is wanted by Napoli, and Liverpool ‘are happy with one senior reserve’ as back-up to Alisson. So which of Klopp’s sh*ts does he decide is shinier?
BAKA THE NET
Reports over the weekend claimed that Tiemoue Bakayoko was a little bit upset with Maurizio Sarri for fobbing him off, but his Chelsea exit seems closer than ever. Sky Italia are reporting that AC Milan have agreed a loan deal with an option to buy.
Bakayoko will spend this campaign in Italy, and will hope to impress Milan enough to secure his permanent exit from Chelsea. To do so, Milan would have to part with £35.65m next summer. Sweet baby Jesus.
On the bright side, Bakayoko has a lovely man bag.
— Simone Nobilini (@SimoNobilini) August 13, 2018
AND THE REST
Maurizio Sarri says he regrets not signing Gonzalo Higuain for Chelsea, but the 30-year-old Argentine says he joined AC Milan from Juventus because Sarri ‘was the only one who wanted me at Chelsea’ whereas ‘at Milan everyone wanted me’… Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce aid midfielder Jack Grealish looked ‘every penny a £30m footballer’ in his side’s win over Wigan on Saturday in the wake of Tottenham failing in a £25m bid for the 22-year-old… Manchester City’s 23-year-old centre-back Jason Denayer has refused to go out on loan as the Belgium international wants a move to Turkish club Galatasaray… Cristiano Ronaldo has urged Juventus make a move for Lazio’s midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic. The 23-year-old Serb had been linked with Manchester United and Chelsea… Paris St-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot, 23, has turned down an offer to renew his contract with the Ligue 1 champions. The Frenchman’s current deal runs out at the end of the season… Schalke’s German defender Thilo Kehrer, 21, is set to join Paris St-Germain after a £33m deal was agreed… Real Betis could make an offer for 25-year-old Inter Milan’s Joao Mario. The midfielder made 14 appearances during a loan spell with West Ham United last season and played for Portugal at the World Cup… Watford’s French midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure, 25, has indicated that he could move away from the club in the future.
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