Will Paul Pogba leave Juventus?

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Paul Pogba. Europe’s Golden Boy. One of the most promising young players in Europe. And currently helping Juventus on their way to a third-straight scudetto.

source: AP
Will anyone be able to tempt Pogba away from Juventus?

As Pogba grows in stature, so, to, does interest in his future. The 20-year-old has been with the bianconeri since 2012, when he moved from Manchester United. Thanks to injuries to both Claudio Marchisio and Andrea Pirlo, the Frenchman was given his chance to shine in midfield this season, becoming a regular starter. He has six goals and five assists in his 26 league appearances with Juventus, and he’s also tipped to be headed to the World Cup with France.

It’s little wonder, then, that some of the biggest clubs in the world are rumored to be after his signature. Juventus, however, insist that Pogba is not for sale. The Old Lady are a buying club, not a selling one, says president Andrea Agnelli, and because they’re still working at building the side’s future, they have no intention of selling Pogba.

But that won’t stop other clubs from trying…

The Contenders

Manchester United

Yes, the club that let Pogba go for nothing now wants him back. David Moyes was in the stands on Wednesday, watching while France defeated the Netherlands 2-0. It’s said that the Frenchman is one of United’s top targets come summer, which is no surprise as the Red Devils are still lacking oomph in the midfield. Juan Mata may have brought them a bit of creativity, but Pogba’s technique wouldn’t go amiss in a side hoping to get themselves back on track.

Real Madrid

Real might be top of La Liga, in the hunt for a Champions League trophy and in general one of the best teams in the world right now, but that doesn’t mean they couldn’t use another midfielder in their midst – particularly one with Pogba’s power. Sky Italia reported that Beppe Marotta was in Madrid for talks with Real – under the cover of the friendly between Spain and Italy – but the Juve director general refused to say whether the talks had been about Pogba.

Paris Saint-Germain

Marotta was in Madrid, Agnelli in Paris, so where, oh where is Pogba going? Well, PSG are keen to add a few more native sons to their soil. Yes, they landed Yohan Cabaye in January, but the Parisians would sure love to put Pogba in midfield as well. If any club can test Juve’s desire to keep ahold of Pogba, it’s PSG and their piles of cash. You’d think that their squad is strong enough already, sitting eight points clear of Monaco in the Ligue 1 table and almost certainly securing a spot in the next round of the Champions League after beating Bayer Leverkusen 4-0 in Germany, but if there’s anything that Bayern Munich have taught us, it’s that it’s impossible for a team to be too good.

MLS Snapshot: New York City FC 2-1 New England Revolution (video)

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The game in 100 words (or less): For nearly 75 minutes, NYCFC couldn’t muster up any chances in the attacking third, but thankfully their captain did what he does best. David Villa scored his 19th goal of the season on Sunday night to pull out a 2-1 win against the New England Revolution, but it was rookie Jonathan Lewis that notched the winner. The visitors took the lead 20 minutes prior after Sean Johnson spilled a shot in front of his own goal, allowing Teal Bunbury to pounce on the rebound. NYCFC now moves to within four points of Eastern Conference leaders Toronto FC with nine matches remaining in the regular season.

Three four moments that mattered

16′ — Harrison breaks ankles, but Villa can’t finish — This might be the only time all see you’ll see David Villa miss a chance like this…

38′ — Johnson gets a finger tip to Rowe’s blast — Sean Johnson had no work to do in the first half, at least until Kelyn Rowe decided to rip a shot from distance just before halftime.

57′ — Johnson’s error grants Bunbury, Revs the lead — Look away, NYCFC fans.

77′ — Villa find the back of the net — When you need a goal, who you gonna call? That’s right. David Villa. The NYCFC captain is now up to 19 this season.

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Man of the match: David Villa

Goalscorers: Teal Bunbury (57′), David Villa (77′), Jonathan Lewis (90+4′)

Honoring victims of attacks, Barcelona wins league opener

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BARCELONA, Spain (AP) Wearing shirts honoring victims of the recent attacks in Spain, Barcelona opened its Spanish league season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Real Betis on Sunday.

[ MORE: Neymar double helps PSG cruise past Toulouse ]

Players had the word “Barcelona” instead of their names on the back of their shirts, and the Catalan hashtag “TOTSSOMBARCELONA” (We are all Barcelona) was on display around the Camp Nou stadium. The message was also shown on the stadium’s large screens, as well as on many banners carried by fans.

An emotional minute’s silence was held before the game as the music of Catalan cellist Pau Casals played in the background.

Before the minute was up, the more than 55,000 fans at the stadium broke into a round of applause and began chanting “No tinc por” (I’m not afraid), a chant which has become a symbol of people’s reactions to the attacks that killed 14 people and injured more than 120 in Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils.

Extra security was implemented in and around Camp Nou.

There was a minute’s silence before every Spanish league match this weekend.

Without Neymar and the injured Luis Suarez, Barcelona got off to a winning start in the league after consecutive losses to rival Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final.

It scored two goals three minutes apart near the end of the first half – an own-goal by Betis defender Alin Tosca and a close-range shot by Sergi Roberto. Both goals came after plays started by Gerard Deulofeu, one of the players expected to try to replace Neymar after his world record transfer to Paris Saint-Germain.

“We lost depth with Neymar’s departure and we have to find a way to overcome that,” Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said.

Lionel Messi looked lively but wasn’t able to score his 350th goal in La Liga. He came close, though, being denied by the woodwork three different times.

AP Sports Writer Tales Azzoni contributed to this report.

More AP Spanish soccer coverage: https://apnews.com/tag/LaLiga

Brighton breaks club record with signing of winger Jose Izquierdo

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Brighton hasn’t gotten off to the ideal start in its debut season in the Premier League, but a key reinforcement is on the way.

[ MORE: Chelsea tops Spurs at Wembley behind Alonso’s brace ]

After starting the 2017/18 campaign with back-to-back defeats, the Seagulls announced on Sunday the signing of Colombian winger Jose Izquierdo from Club Brugge in Belgium for a record fee.

The 25-year-old spent three seasons in Belgium’s top flight and totaled 38 goals across all competitions for Brugge, prior to making the move to England.

Additionally, Izquierdo has worked his way into the Colombia squad as of late, and scored his first international goal for his country in June 2017 in a friendly against Cameroon.

MLS Follow Live — NYCFC hosts Revs, Minnesota meets Sounders

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Only two matches will feature on the MLS docket Sunday evening, but luckily two of the league’s most exciting teams will take to the pitch.

[ MORE: Toronto tops Fire as East leaders reach 50 points on season ]

First, New York City FC will attempt to continue its ascent up the Eastern Conference ladder when they host Kei Kamara and the New England Revolution.

In the night cap, the Seattle Sounders look to extend their unbeaten streak to nine matches when they welcome newcomers Minnesota United to CenturyLink Field.

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Here’s the schedule and kick-off times for Sunday’s two MLS fixtures.

New York City FC vs. New England Revolution — 6 p.m. ET
Seattle Sounders vs. Minnesota United — 10 p.m. ET