Paul Pogba

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Transfer rumor roundup: Real Madrid to snatch up Haaland, Pogba

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A roundup of all of Friday’s biggest transfer rumors, including a few involving Premier League clubs…

[ MORE: Thursday’s transfer rumor roundup | Wednesday | Tuesday ]

When a player possessed world-class talent or potential, it feels like all roads eventually lead to Madrid — or, at least a chance to move to the Spanish capital. Sure, Erling Haaland is only 19 years old, but he’s already been earmarked as Real Madrid’s star striker for the next 10 or 15 years with Zinedine Zidane reportedly very keen on bringing the Norwegian to the Santiago Bernabeu this summer. It was inevitable from the moment he started scoring goals for Borussia Dortmund.

Speaking of Madrid restocking the pond full of world-class stars, Zidane also hopes to have Paul Pogba in his team when the 2020-21 season kicks off. With his current contract with Manchester United set to expire in just over 12 months, it’s now or never for Pogba to move elsewhere or re-up for another few years. Given the up-and-down nature (it’s mostly been down, if we’re honest) of his second stint at Old Trafford, Pogba seems a safe bet to make another big-money move this summer.

Wolverhampton Wanderers forward midfielder Raul Jimenez on speculation that he’ll leave the club this summer if they don’t qualify for the Champions League, via Facebook Live: “I have a contract [with Wolves] until 2023. It’s not that we have to qualify for the Champions League in order to stay. I’m good [here], happy with Wolves, doing important things — me as well as the whole team.”

Don’t be surprised if Arsenal make a decidedly Spanish turn in the coming transfer windows with Mikel Arteta at the helm. The former Gunners midfielder was a crafty technician himself and has a preference for similarly skilled players, based on reports of his interest in Valencia midfielder Carlos Soler. The 23-year-old has been a revelation for Valencia as they made their way into the Champions League knockout rounds for the first time since 2013, and clubs the size of Arsenal have certainly taken notice.

Pedro will leave Chelsea when his contract expires this summer, according to the player himself. The 32-year-old World Cup winner will almost certainly have a number of suitors at mid-tier European clubs as well as the Middle East and China.

Pogba to stay at Man United? ‘We’ll see what happens’

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Paul Pogba is happy to stay at Man United for now, according to his agent Mino Raiola, but there could be movement this summer.

Pogba, 27, has seen his 2019-20 season ravaged by injury and that comes after he and his agent both made it clear he wanted a move away last summer.

That didn’t happen and Raiola told Spanish outlet Marca that even though there was plenty of interest in Pogba, the past is the past and he’s focused on returning to full fitness and helping Man United qualify for the Champions League. Then they will see what happens.

“Paul Pogba is going through a tough time at the moment and given how sensitive they are in England, let me be clear that he’s focused on having a strong end to the season with Manchester United,” Raiola said. “He wants to get back into the team, finish the season well and secure the club’s place in the Champions League next year.

“We can’t say what will happen [when Pogba’s contract expires in June 2021]. We can’t know that right now. What matters now is the club and the team. We will see what might happen further down the line. There was a lot of interest in him, but it [a transfer] wasn’t possible. Last year doesn’t matter now. We will see what happens.”

This storyline continues to rumble on and that is mostly because we just haven’t seen enough of Pogba this season and both Raiola and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have issued public statements having a pop at one another.

Pogba has made a few comeback attempts after foot and ankle injuries but they have been brief and he has played just seven times in the Premier League this season, with his last appearance coming against Newcastle United on Boxing Day.

With Bruno Fernandes the new midfield star at Man United and the duo of Fred and Nemanja Matic giving the Red Devils much-needed defensive balance in central midfield, do Man United need Pogba?

That will be the big question this summer, of whenever the transfer window reopens, as Real Madrid, Juventus and many others will be circling for Pogba again and Man United will probably be more likely to sell him given Fernandes’ incredible start to life in the Premier League.

Pogba set to return to Man Utd training; Martial misses LASK trip

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Paul Pogba may be granted a birthday wish to return to Manchester United training.

Pogba turns 27 on Sunday, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says the United star will rejoin the team in training next week.

[ MORE: Premier League schedule ]

So we’re getting closer to seeing a Manchester United attack with both Pogba and Bruno Fernandes, which is nice considering the Red Devils are unbeaten in 10 matches after a win in the Manchester Derby.

The Frenchman hasn’t played since Boxing Day, and has just four appearances since the calendar flipped to September.

It’s been an extremely challenging season for Pogba, who has constantly been mentioned in the rumor mill.

Every decision in his rehabilitation has been met with second-guessing amongst media and fans, and his agent sure hasn’t helped things.

In other United injury news, Anthony Martial is set to miss out on Thursday’s Europa League first leg at LASK due to fallout from a derby collision with a goal post.

Martial may return when the Red Devils visit Spurs on Sunday before a second leg versus LASK at Old Trafford.

Then there’s an FA Cup match with Norwich City on March 22 before a league match April 4 at Brighton and Hove Albion.

Raiola slams Solskjaer in bizarre Pogba rant

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Mino Raiola has slammed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in a bizarre rant about his client Paul Pogba.

The Man United manager reacted to Raiola’s comments about Pogba not being able to ‘escape Man United’ and that he ‘feels at home’ in Italy and talking up Juventus by saying that Pogba is United’s player and doesn’t belong to his agent.

“As soon as he gets fit he’ll be good enough to play for the team and I’m sure Paul’s desperate to play for us again,” Solskjaer said. “I haven’t sat down and told Paul to tell his agent what to say, but Paul is our player and not Mino’s.”

Safe to say that Raiola wasn’t happy with Solskjaer’s response on Pogba. At all.

“Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer’s property, Paul is Paul Pogba’s,” Raiola said. “You cannot own a human being already for a long time in the UK or anywhere else. I hope Solskjaer does not want to suggest that Paul is his prisoner. But before Solskjaer makes comments about things I say he should inform himself better about the content of what has been said.”

“I am a free citizen who can think and express my thoughts. Until now I was maybe too nice to him. Solskjaer should just remember things that he said in the summer to Paul. I think Solskjaer may be frustrated for different reasons and is now mixing up some issues. I think that Solskjaer has other things to worry about. At least if I was him I would.”

This is the latest in a long-running saga between Pogba, Raiola and United as the French midfielder wanted to leave last summer and has then spent the majority of this season out injured.

He has been linked with moves to Real Madrid and Juventus consistently and Raiola is quite eager to discuss Pogba’s future at every available opportunity.

Pogba is still recovering from injury and it will be intriguing to see how he responds publicly to a very public spat between his agent and manager.

At this rate, all signs point to Pogba moving on this summer.

Pogba ‘can’t escape Man United’ keen on Juventus return

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The agent of Paul Pogba, Mino Raiola, has stated that Juventus and Italy is like a “second home” for his client and he “can’t escape Man United now” but will reassess the situation after EURO 2020 this summer.

Pogba, 26, has been out injured for most of this season after he picked up an initial foot injury in September and has aggravated it on several occasions.

The World Cup winner has been missed in United’s midfield and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains a big fan but after Pogba’s push to leave last summer there are still plenty of question marks about his future.

“Pogba feels at home in Italy. Italy is like his second home or family, same for [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic. That’s why Paul would like to come back to Juventus. But we’ll go to speak about that just after Euro 2020,” Raiola told reports after Juventus v. AC Milan in the Coppa Italia on Thursday. “Pogba wants to play at the best levels always … but he can’t escape Manchester United now, in this moment where the club is not having a good period.”

The so-called ‘super agent’ then moved to clarify his comments on Friday as he pretty much said that Pogba’s time at Old Trafford with Man United is over.

“Italy is like a second home for him, ” Raiola has then told our partners in the UK Sky Sports News. “The question was is he happy. You cannot be happy if you are not competing for the title or for the Champions League. The aim is for every top player to do that. For now he is concentrated on his recovery the next period is important for him and Man Utd to try to get into the Champions League then the European Championship and then we will see.”

Pogba is almost back to full fitness and it will be intriguing to see how he slots into this United team with Bruno Fernandes arriving in the central attacking midfield role for $88 million in January.

With Pogba and Scott McTominay ready to return for the crucial final few months of the season, plus Marcus Rashford pushing to be fit for March, United just have to hang in there in their battle to reach the Champions League.

Their trip to Chelsea on Monday (Watch live, 3 p.m. ET on NBCSN and online via is pivotal both for this season and planning for next season as the likes of Pogba will push harder for a move away without Champions League action.

Win and United will be just three points behind fourth-place Chelsea but a defeat means they would be nine points off the top four with 12 games to go.