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Could PSG, Manchester United solve each other’s problems?

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It’s late on a Wednesday night without the UEFA Champions League, so let’s dance on a theoretical floor, shall we?

One of the more widely-praised transfers of the year came when Manchester United and Arsenal decided to swap problematic players with Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Alexis Sanchez.

While neither has been perfect in their new homes, both have had starring performances and could (should?) fit in neatly come a full offseason worth of preparation.

More swaps like these should happen more often given the glut of managerial changes across major European leagues, with square pegs sometimes finding round holes when the boss arrives in town.

And have we got a sensational swap lined up for you. And no, it’s not Jose Mourinho for Unai Emery (though should it be? Nah, forget it).

If Paul Pogba is to leave Old Trafford this summer, there are scant few teams who could afford his transfer fee. Likewise, Paris Saint-Germain has Financial Fair Play all over its case and cannot simply make moves to better build its team for the Champions League by splashing cash all over the place.

PSG bought the two most expensive players of all-time last summer in Neymar ($281m) and Kylian Mbappe ($181m). The latter is going nowhere unless FIFA intervenes, 19 years old and becoming a more complete playmaker since heading to PSG from Monaco.

The former, well, that’s a bit trickier.

Neymar has been hurt, and while there’s no doubt his absence is the primary reason PSG was eliminated by Real Madrid, his time at the Parc Des Princes has hit more than a few speed bumps, with the Edinson Cavani PK drama and more.

So if Neymar is “worth” $281 million, could he head to United in exchange for a pair of Frenchmen in Pogba and Anthony Martial?

Areola

Alves — Silva– Marquinhos — Berchiche

Verratti — Rabiot

Pogba

Mbappe — Cavani — Martial

It’s imperfect given Alexis Sanchez’s preference to also play left wing, but going to a 4-3-3 like this for Jose Mourinho would allow a certain amount of freelancing for his trident.

De Gea

Valencia — Smalling — Bailly — Young/new LB

Matic — Herrera — McTominay

Sanchez — Lukaku — Neymar

Mixing in Marcus Rashford, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata off the bench and for Cup games is not a bad luxury, plus we know United is going to splash a lot more cash to improve the center midfield and fullback depth.

There could also be a 3-4-3 of excellent repute here:

De Gea

Smalling — Jones — Bailly

Valencia — Herrera — Matic — Lingard

Alexis — Lukaku — Neymar

Bournemouth 0-2 Man Utd: Red Devils tighten grip on 2nd

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  • United moves to 74 points
  • Smalling scores from Lingard
  • Pogba assists Lukaku
  • Bournemouth remains 11th

Chris Smalling and Romelu Lukaku scored as Manchester United rebounded from a weekend loss to top Bournemouth 2-0 at the Vitality Stadium on Wednesday.

United moves four points clear of Liverpool and six ahead of Spurs in the race for second, with all three teams having played 34 matches.

Bournemouth sits 11th with 38 points, three back of Newcastle which has played two fewer matches.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Bournemouth was busy in the first 10 minutes, capped by a Phil Jones intervention to thwart a burst by Callum Wilson, and Jordon Ibe’s shot going wide of goal.

United had a top chance through Rashford, who muscled the ball off Nathan Ake and had a rip diverted for a corner by Asmir Begovic.

The goal came moments later, with Smalling darting into the six to meet a feed from Jesse Lingard.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Luke Shaw dodged giving a way a penalty when he wrapped up Wilson on a 56th minute cross.

United made it 2-0 with a classy connection between Pogba and Lukaku, who finished with a deft chop over the sliding Begovic.

Paul Pogba situation nearing endgame

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Will Paul Pogba still be a Manchester United player when the summer transfer window shuts on August 9?

Right now it seems highly unlikely.

Pogba, 25, put in a poor display and was hauled off in United’s shock 1-0 loss at home against West Bromwich Albion on Sunday, just a week after he delivered a star performance to score twice in a stunning 3-2 comeback win at Manchester City.

Jose Mourinho doesn’t appear to have any time whatsoever for Pogba’s inconsistent form and the relationship between the duo is said to have broken down since the turn of the year, especially on the training ground, as the French international was left out of the team on multiple occasions and criticized publicly by Mourinho.

Recently we heard from Pep Guardiola that Man City had been offered the chance to buy Pogba in January and although that was surprising to hear, when you sit back and add up what is actually going on in this situation it starts to make sense.

It is, quite simply, Mourinho’s way or the highway. Always has been. Always will be.

Yet Pogba isn’t, how should we say, well, “one of the bottle” just like the self-proclaimed Special One. His own emoji, lively hair cuts and plenty of off-the-field appearances leave Pogba open for criticism and it appears that he is in full self-preservation mode at this point.

And here we are. At an impasse and the only way this will get resolved is if either Mourinho or Pogba move on.

Mourinho is going nowhere with a new contract signed in January to extend his stay at Old Trafford, while Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is clearly testing the waters to see who will take Pogba this summer amid reports of Mourinho wanting a huge clear out. As our analysts said in the video above, it almost seems like Pogba is putting himself in the shop window by scoring goals (against Man City) and trying flicks and Hollywood passes whenever he can. That will not impress Mourinho. Not one bit.

With Anthony Martial and Luke Shaw also rumored to be joining Pogba on the way out, when it comes to all three of those players they are hugely talented but there are question marks about their mentality and consistency. That, in a nutshell, is why Mourinho wants them out.

He’d rather have a Nemanja Matic type over Paul Pogba. A Paulo Ferriera over a Luke Shaw. Jesse Lingard over Anthony Martial.

Mourinho has always valued reliability over razzmatazz and that is why Pogba doesn’t fit into his plans and why United’s club-record signing of $130 million less than two years ago will find himself leaving Old Trafford this summer.

Manchester United 0-1 West Brom: Red Devils concede title

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  • Win clinches league for Man City
  • Foster makes key saves
  • Rodriguez scores winner

A shocking Jay Rodriguez goal gave West Bromwich Albion a rain-soaked 1-0 win over Manchester United at Old Trafford on Sunday, meaning United cannot catch crosstown rivals Manchester City in the race for the Premier League crown.

It’s a first Premier League title for Pep Guardiola, whose team has 87 points, 93 goals, and a 16-point lead on second place United.

West Brom is dead last in the Premier League, now nine points back of safety with four matches to play. But caretaker manager Darren Moore has picked up a beautiful feather for his cap in Manchester.

[ MORE: Watch full PL match replays ]

Ander Herrera was denied an early penalty off a Romelu Lukaku feed, and United was very much on the front foot against Ben Foster and the Baggies.

Jesse Lingard thought he’d get a penalty for handball in the 64th minute, as the substitute tried to lead a United breakthrough.

Foster made an outstanding slap save on a Lukaku header in the 66th minute, and the Baggies dealt with a pair of ensuing efforts to keep it scoreless.

Lingard hammered a shot that took a slight turn off Chris Brunt, but it wasn’t spotted and West Brom got a goal kick.

Craig Dawson then headed a cross down to the center of the box, where Rodriguez dove to head an opener past David De Gea.

Foster collected a Chris Smalling header at the back post deep into stoppage time.

[ MORE: Latest Premier League standings ]

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Watch Live: Manchester United vs. West Bromwich Albion

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Manchester United looks for a win which would delay Manchester City’s Premier League title ambitions a bit longer when it hosts (seemingly) relegation-bound West Bromwich Albion on Sunday at Old Trafford (Watch live at 11 a.m. ET on NBCSN and online via NBCSports.com).

WATCH LIVE, ONLINE, HERE

Daniel Sturridge is on the bench for West Brom, while Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, and Marcus Rashford all begin on the bench for Jose Mourinho’s Red Devils.

LINEUPS

Manchester United: De Gea, Valencia, Lindelof, Smalling, Young, Matic, Herrera, Pogba, Mata, Lukaku, Sanchez. Subs: Pereira, Jones, Rojo, McTominay, Lingard, Martial, Rashford.

West Brom: Foster, Nyom, Dawson, Hegazi, Gibbs, Livermore, Phillips, Brunt, McClean, Rodriguez, Rondon. Subs: Myhill, Yacob, Sturridge, Gabr, Burke, Krychowiak, Field.