Rumour Has It: Juve plotting Pogba bid, Man City eye Haaland and Lukaku

By Sports Desk January 17, 2021

Will a Juventus-Paul Pogba reunion become a reality?

The future of Manchester United star continues to dominate headlines.

A move back to Turin could be on the cards for Pogba.

 

TOP STORY – JUVE TO MAKE POGBA OFFER

Serie A champions Juventus will try to prise Paul Pogba from Manchester United at the end of the season, according to the Calciomercato.

Pogba appears set to leave United following the 2020-21 campaign after his agent Mino Raiola claimed the French midfielder was unhappy in Manchester.

Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain have been linked but Juve, who signed Pogba from United in 2012 before losing him to the Red Devils four years later, want to bring the World Cup winner back to Turin.

 

ROUND-UP

- The Telegraph reports Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola will be given £200million to spend on new players in the next transfer window. Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland and Inter forward Romelu Lukaku are on the list of potential targets, as well as Benfica's Darwin Nunez amid doubts over Sergio Aguero 's future. Haaland has also been linked with neighbours United , Madrid , Barca , Liverpool and Juve .

Bayern Munich are interested in Madrid defender Eder Militao , claims Mundo Deportivo. It comes as Bayern look to replace David Alaba , who is set to leave the Bundesliga champions on a free transfer. Alaba has been tipped to join Madrid .

Milan  are close to re-signing star pair Gianluigi Donnarumma and Hakan Calhanoglu , says Tuttosport. Corriere dello Sport reports Milan are also nearing a deal to sign veteran forward Mario Mandzukic .

- The Athletic claims Mesut Ozil is poised to leave Arsenal for Turkish giants Fenerbahce after reaching an agreement in principle to terminate his Gunners contract.

- The Transfer Window Podcast claims Madrid are considering the possibility of using Eden Hazard in a deal to lure Kylian Mbappe from PSG.

Memphis Depay has been strongly tipped to move to Barca , however, Ok Diario reports the Lyon captain could join Madrid following Luka Jovic's loan return to Eintracht Frankfurt.

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    Juan Mata has called for a reset at Manchester United as he suggested any player who does not meet the standards should not be at Old Trafford.

    United have suffered another dismal season and, regardless of the result in their final game at Crystal Palace on Sunday, will finish the campaign with their lowest points tally in Premier League history.

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was dismissed in late November before the short-term appointment of Ralf Rangnick, who will leave with the lowest win rate of any United manager in Premier League history (currently 43.5 per cent – 10 wins from 23 games).

    Erik ten Hag is the next man tasked with transforming United's fortunes, and midfielder Mata urged improvements from his side next term as questions persist over the players' commitment and attitude.

    "It's clear that on the pitch, we have made many mistakes," Mata told The Athletic. "We could have also dealt better with certain situations that were happening in the club, managers changing, negative things.

    "At the end of the day, we let that maybe affect too much the energy of Carrington.

    "Certain standards were not met. Whether that's attitude, level of training, off the pitch, which doesn't include players, we haven't been good enough. So that's where we could learn.

    "Also, certain things were out of our control, which we shouldn't let affect us. You feel that way when you see certain things are not good enough. But we shouldn't have let things happen.

    "Many circumstances can affect certain behaviours. If you don't have a solid base, when bad things come, it is difficult to stay all together.

    "We need a reset in the culture of the club. That's how I feel. The standards, what it means to represent this club to any player, what entitles you to play for Manchester United, what is expected on the pitch and off the pitch.

    "Many things that need to be clear – this is Manchester United and anyone who doesn't meet those standards is not up to the task and should not be here. That's as clear as I can be."

    United require victory over Palace to guarantee they do not drop to seventh, which would mark their joint-worst finish in the Premier League (alongside the 2013-14 season) and see them play Europa Conference League football next term.

    Cristiano Ronaldo will look to add to his 18 Premier League goals this season, only netting more in a single campaign in 2007-08 (31), while goalkeeper David de Gea will aim to end a positive season on a personal level on a high note.

    De Gea implored United to perform for the fans when they visit Palace, who have never won in 12 Premier League home games against the Red Devils (D4 L8), which is the most one team has faced another at home without ever winning in the competition.

    "We know [this season has] been difficult," he told MUTV. "But at least just for [the fans] and for our pride [we will] try to win the game.

    "[I want to] at least give a win for the fans because they have been absolutely amazing for the whole season and it's great to have them at every single game.

    "It will always have been a tough season for us, but I am very proud of my season, to be honest.

    "I worked really hard in the summer to be here and be ready to play and show my qualities for the team. I think I did very well. I played very consistent this season and helped the team a lot."

  • Mbappe turns down Real Madrid to stay put at Paris Saint-Germain – reports Mbappe turns down Real Madrid to stay put at Paris Saint-Germain – reports

    Kylian Mbappe has decided to stay at Paris Saint-Germain instead of joining Real Madrid, according to multiple reports.

    Real Madrid were widely expected to sign Mbappe as a free agent following the expiration of his contract.

    However, PSG were determined to keep the 23-year-old forward – who has been in sensational form this season – and they now seem to have won that battle.

    Earlier this week the pendulum seemed to have swung firmly in Madrid's direction, with reports suggesting talks between Mbappe and PSG's Qatari owners had not swayed the striker, and that he wanted to join Los Blancos.

     

    Mbappe's mother and agent confirmed on Friday that agreements had been reached with both clubs and a decision would be made over the weekend.

    On Saturday, multiple major publications in France, including L'Equipe and Le Parisien, as well as ESPN, reported the former Monaco striker will be staying put.

    No details were put forward as to the length of Mbappe's new contract, though it was suggested the France star could confirm his decision at the Parc des Princes following PSG's season-ending match against Metz on Saturday.

    Mbappe is the club's second-highest goalscorer in their history, behind Edinson Cavani, having overtaken Zlatan Ibrahimovic when he netted for the 157th time in a PSG shirt earlier this season.

    The news will come as a blow to Madrid, who face Liverpool in the Champions League final next week.

    Los Blancos had also been linked with Borussia Dortmund star Erling Haaland, but he has decided to join Manchester City, and it appears as though Madrid president Florentino Perez will be made to wait for his next Galactico.

  • Inzaghi: Scudetto will not define Inter's season Inzaghi: Scudetto will not define Inter's season

    Simone Inzaghi insists Inter's season will be defined as a success even if they fail to win the Scudetto.

    Inzaghi's side head into the final matchday of the Serie A campaign two points behind leaders and fierce rivals Milan, who require just a point at Sassuolo to win the title due to a superior head-to-head record.

    Inter host Sampdoria, who have won just one of their last 19 league visits to the Nerazzurri, knowing the Serie A title is out of their hands as they rely on Stefano Pioli's Milan faltering on Sunday.

    Regardless of the title outcome, Inzaghi views the season as a success after winning the Coppa Italia and Supercoppa Italiana, while making the Champions League last 16, where they were defeated by Liverpool.

    "We have won two cups, expressed ourselves well, returned to the Champions League last 16 and are fighting for the title on the final day of the season," Inzaghi said at Saturday's pre-match news conference.

    "The team has had a great year and I am very happy. It would be extraordinary to win the Scudetto as well, but we have given everything and we know we have given satisfaction to our fans."

    Inter sit on 81 points heading into the final day, and 80-plus points have been enough for the Nerazzurri to win the title on five of the previous six occasions they have passed that mark.

    However, should Milan avoid defeat at Sassuolo, the 2021-22 campaign will follow suit with the 2019-20 term when Inter finished second behind Juventus, despite collecting 82 points.

    Inzaghi will be bitterly disappointed should Inter miss out to neighbours Milan, but he does not expect to come under criticism for failing to defend the title that Antonio Conte's Nerazzurri won last season.

    "I have an excellent relationship with Antonio, there is mutual respect," he said of Conte. "Comparisons are normal, but I have never given those any weight.

    "The club has always been with me from day one. It will have been a satisfactory year for our work anyway.

    "The coaches are always under scepticism, we knew how things were and the demands of the club. Along the way we realised that we have gone beyond expectations."

    Meanwhile, Ivan Perisic has hinted at a move away when his contract expires at the end of the season.

    Asked about a renewal after the Coppa Italia win, Perisic told Mediaset: "I don't know, but with the important players [the club] doesn't wait until the last moment."

    But Inzaghi assured there will be discussions with the Croatia international, who he feels is a special player.

    "I think he went further; until you train a player you can't realise," Inzaghi said when asked if Perisic has lived up to expectations.

    "Perisic has always been special to watch. He has had an extraordinary season – I think he has outdone himself.

    "There will be a meeting with the club. I hope there will be progress. He is an important player for Inter. There is a great, open relationship and we will take stock of everything."

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