Pogba: Ibrahimovic the last person I'd think of as racist

By Sports Desk January 27, 2021

Paul Pogba has leapt to the defence of Zlatan Ibrahimovic, saying his former team-mate is "the last person I'd think of as racist" after his clash with Romelu Lukaku.

Ibrahimovic and Lukaku traded insults in heated exchanges during Inter's 2-1 Coppa Italia quarter-final derby win over Milan on Tuesday.

Both players were booked following a confrontation late in the first half and they had to be separated as the furious row continued after the whistle for half-time was blown.

Ibrahimovic, who was sent off in the second half for a second bookable offence, appeared to tell Lukaku to "Go do your voodoo s***, you little donkey."

The Milan striker on Wednesday denied he was guilty of racially abusing Inter's leading scorer Lukaku, who equalised in the second half before Christian Eriksen scored a late winner.

He tweeted: "In ZLATAN's world there is no place for RACISM. We are all the same race – we are all equal!! We are all PLAYERS some better then [sic] others."

Pogba, who played alongside the prolific Swede and Lukaku at Manchester United, later stated there is no way Ibrahimovic would subject anybody to racial abuse.

"Zlatan... racist? He loves me too much so he's the last person I'd think of as racist! Come on, don't joke with that one!" the United and France midfielder posted on Twitter.

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    Deals struck on this day can be born of desperation; however, if the right player becomes available, those that jump at the opportunity to reinforce might be thankful they took that choice come May.

    Here Stats Perform assesses five deals that went through and could prove hugely significant come the season's end.

    Enzo Fernandez: Benfica to Chelsea, £106.8million

    A World Cup wonder for Argentina, Fernandez's stock soared over four weeks in Qatar, to the point he became linked to the wealthiest clubs in Europe.

    It was Chelsea owner Todd Boehly who lasted the distance in the race for his signature, adding Fernandez to the previous window deals for Mykhaylo Mudryk, Benoit Badiashile, Andrey Santos, David Datro Fofana, Joao Felix, Noni Madueke and Malo Gusto.

    Fernandez has only played half a season in Europe after moving to Benfica from River Plate, so there is an element of risk in Chelsea's investment, regardless of his national team performances alongside Lionel Messi and co.

    He has played five Champions League group games, and the 22-year-old has looked the part, with his arrival handing Graham Potter another expensive plaything. This means there can be no excuses now for the head coach as he looks to turn the Blues into a winning machine.

    Marcel Sabitzer: Bayern Munich to Manchester United (loan)

    Bayern Munich decided they could afford to part company with Sabitzer, with the former RB Leipzig midfielder jetting out to secure a move to Manchester United, swapping one European giant for another.

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    Jorginho: Chelsea to Arsenal, £12million

    Arsenal wanted Moises Caicedo and were prepared to pay a king's ransom for the Brighton and Hove Albion midfielder. They settled for Jorginho, a Euro 2020 champion with Italy and Champions League winner with Chelsea, paying a small fraction of the fee they would have had to spend on Caicedo.

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    Joao Cancelo: Manchester City to Bayern Munich (loan with option to buy)

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  • Man Utd sign Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Man Utd sign Sabitzer on loan from Bayern

    Manchester United have signed Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich for the remainder of the season.

    The 28-year-old Austria international emerged as a deadline day target for Erik ten Hag's side following an injury to Christian Eriksen that will leave the Denmark international out of action until April.

    Ten Hag told reporters on Tuesday that United did not require a late addition to fill the void left by Eriksen.

    However, the availability of Sabitzer changed that approach and he has now completed a move to Old Trafford, bolstering the squad's midfield options for the remainder of the season as they battle on four fronts.

    United confirmed Sabitzer's arrival on their official website a little over an hour after Tuesday's transfer deadline, having submitted the relevant paper work in time.

    "Sometimes in life you have to make quick and important decisions," Sabizter said. "From the moment I heard about this opportunity I knew it was right for me. I am a competitive player; I want to win and help the club achieve its aims this season. 

    "I feel that I am at my peak as a player, and that I can contribute a lot of experience and energy to the squad. I am excited to start with my new team-mates and manager and to show my qualities to Manchester United fans."

     

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    While he has made 40 appearances for the Bundesliga champions, just 15 of those have been as a starter.

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  • BREAKING NEWS: Man Utd sign Sabitzer on loan from Bayern BREAKING NEWS: Man Utd sign Sabitzer on loan from Bayern

    Manchester United have signed Marcel Sabitzer on loan from Bayern Munich for the remainder of the season.

    The 28-year-old Austria international emerged as a deadline day target for Erik ten Hag's side following an injury to Christian Eriksen that will leave the Denmark international out of action until April.

    Ten Hag told reporters on Tuesday that United did not require a late addition to fill the void left by Eriksen.

    However, the availability of Sabitzer changed that approach and he has now completed a move to Old Trafford, bolstering the squad's midfield options for the remainder of the season.

    United confirmed Sabitzer's arrival on their official website a little over an hour after Tuesday's transfer deadline, having submitted the relevant paper work in time.

    "Sometimes in life you have to make quick and important decisions," Sabizter said. "From the moment I heard about this opportunity I knew it was right for me. I am a competitive player; I want to win and help the club achieve its aims this season. 

    "I feel that I am at my peak as a player, and that I can contribute a lot of experience and energy to the squad. I am excited to start with my new team-mates and manager and to show my qualities to Manchester United fans."

    Sabitzer joined Bayern from Bundesliga rivals RB Leipzig ahead of the 2021-22 season but has found regular opportunities difficult to come by.

    While he has made 40 appearances for the Bundesliga champions, just 15 of those have been as a starter.

    Sabitzer has not been signed in time for the second leg of United's EFL Cup semi-final against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday, but he could make his debut in the Premier League clash against Crystal Palace on Saturday.

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