Rumour Has It: Man Utd in Ronaldo-Pogba swap deal with Juventus

By Sports Desk April 14, 2021

Cristiano Ronaldo's future beyond this season has been a hot topic of discussion.

The 36-year-old Portuguese forward appears set to exit Juventus after three seasons in Turin, despite being contracted for another year.

Ronaldo has been linked with former club Real Madrid and a switch to the United States, but there may be another option.

 

TOP STORY – RONALDO IN UTD-JUVE SWAP DEAL

Manchester United want to sign Cristiano Ronaldo this off-season and would consider a swap deal with Juventus for Paul Pogba, according to Calciomercato.

Ronaldo played for United from 2003 to 2009 in the earlier part of his career, making almost 300 appearances for the Red Devils before his blockbuster move to Real Madrid.

Pogba, who spent time at Juventus from 2012 to 2016, has also been the subject of transfer speculation.

Juventus have this week been linked with a mega swap deal with United as they look for a transfer shake-up this off-season.

ROUND-UP

- The Independent reports Harry Kane's preference, if he was to leave Tottenham, is to remain in England and join either United or Manchester City.

- Juve forward Paulo Dybala has attracted interest from Premier League pair United and Chelsea, claims Tuttosport.

- United are also keen on an off-season move for Madrid defender Raphael Varane, according to The Mail. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United have also been linked with Madrid captain Sergio Ramos, RB Leipzig centre-back Ibrahima Konate, Sevilla star Jules Kounde and Villarreal defender Pau Torres.

- The Daily Mail reports Bayern Munich are bullish they can sign Borussia Dortmund sensation Erling Haaland as Robert Lewandowski's heir if he remains in Germany for one more season amid widespread interest this upcoming off-season. Haaland has been heavily linked with City, United, Madrid, Barcelona, Chelsea, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain.

- Arsenal midfielder Lucas Torreira is wanted by Argentine giants Boca Juniors, reports TyC Sports. Torreira is currently on loan at Atletico Madrid.

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  • 'He's an example to everyone' - Matic proud to have played with Ronaldo as he prepares for Man Utd exit 'He's an example to everyone' - Matic proud to have played with Ronaldo as he prepares for Man Utd exit

    Nemanja Matic hailed Cristiano Ronaldo as "an example to everyone" and a "winner", as the midfielder prepares to make his final Manchester United appearance on the final day of the season.

    Having joined United from Chelsea in 2017, Matic will depart Old Trafford as a free agent after the Red Devils travel to Crystal Palace for their final Premier League outing of the campaign on Sunday.

    Matic has made 23 league appearances for United this term, although the Red Devils can only finish as high as sixth after enduring a frustrating campaign under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick. 

    The form of Ronaldo has been one positive during United's underwhelming season, with the Portuguese legend scoring 18 goals in 30 league appearances since returning to Old Trafford at the start of the campaign.

    As he prepares to play his final game for United, Matic told the club's official media channels he was proud to have been able to share a dressing room with Ronaldo, hailing the striker's influence.

    "He's a fantastic player. He's an example to everyone, an example to young guys," he said of the 37-year-old. 

    "It's very important for them to see how he behaves every day and how he approaches the games and the training sessions. He's a winner. 

    "He's a great character and a very nice man outside of the pitch. I'm very pleased I had the opportunity to share the dressing room with him."

    Ronaldo's 18 Premier League goals this season make it his second-most prolific campaign in the competition, after he scored 31 times in 2007-08. However, just four of Ronaldo's league goals have come away from home this season ahead of Sunday's trip to Selhurst Park.

    Meanwhile, among all players to have scored 100 or more goals in Premier League history, Ronaldo has netted the highest percentage of his strikes in home games (70 per cent, 71/102).

    Matic, meanwhile, says he is yet to decide on his next move, and has refused to rule out a move abroad after spending over eight years in the Premier League with Chelsea and United.

    "I haven't decided yet. Let's finish the season and in June probably I will decide my future. But nothing is decided yet," he added. "All options are open for me and let's see." 

    With United already looking ahead of the imminent arrival of Ajax coach Erik ten Hag, the 33-year-old also reassured Red Devils fans that the future at Old Trafford was bright, thanking them for their support during a difficult era at the club.

    "I just want to say thank you for the fantastic support. I know that we had a couple of difficult seasons, but I just want them to know that us at the training ground, we're doing our best and United will come back, for sure," he added.

    "It's going to take some time, but United will be back and just keep supporting the team. Stay together."

  • 'I will always be Chelsea' – Rudiger thanks fans ahead of Stamford Bridge farewell 'I will always be Chelsea' – Rudiger thanks fans ahead of Stamford Bridge farewell

    Antonio Rudiger has professed he will "always be Chelsea" as he prepares to leave the Stamford Bridge club at the end of the season.

    The 29-year-old defender has established himself as an important figure since Thomas Tuchel took charge of the Blues last year but will leave the club next month after the expiration of his contract – with Real Madrid widely seen as his likely destination.

    Rudiger has played 33 Premier League games for Chelsea this term, contributing to 14 clean sheets as Tuchel's men secured a top-four finish, and will make his final appearance against Watford on Sunday.

    Writing about his imminent departure for The Players' Tribune, Rudiger emphasised his emotional connection to the club, where he has become a fans' favourite since arriving in 2017.

    The Germany international recalled one instance where he was on the receiving end of abuse from a Chelsea fan, which turned into a moment of solidarity, saying he will always be grateful for the support shown to him in west London. 

    "This one guy in the crowd started shouting abuse at me," Rudiger said, looking back on a 6-0 loss to Manchester City in 2019. "He was maybe five metres away, looking me right in the eyes. 

    "Listen, I have heard abuse all my life, but this was different. It was really personal. I shouted to him, 'Hey, if you want to talk, then come down here, and we can have a conversation'.

    "Of course, he didn't even take one step. Immediately, he stopped shouting. And what was remarkable to me was that all the fans around him turned to him and said, 'Hey, what are you doing? What's wrong with you?' The fans – the real fans – started cheering for me even louder. 

    "It was so overwhelming that even the idiot started clapping, too. The other fans literally made him clap and apologise to me. 

    "I will never forget that. Never. There is hatred in the football world, for sure. That's a fact. I have experienced the worst of it. But there is also a lot of joy, too. At Chelsea, I experienced both extremes. 

    "Yes, I heard the abuse. But I also felt the love. At the end of the day, the light was stronger than the darkness. For that, I will always be Chelsea."

    Although he never lifted the Premier League trophy with Chelsea, Rudiger has played a key role in Europa League, FA Cup and Champions League triumphs during his time with the club.

    Having fallen out of favour under Frank Lampard, he rediscovered his form under Tuchel as Chelsea were crowned European champions last season, although his final campaign at Stamford Bridge has been plagued by off-pitch uncertainty.

    However, Rudiger reiterated the takeover saga that has surrounded the club for much of 2022 had little bearing on his decision to leave, noting talks over a new contract had already begun to stall last year.

    "Chelsea will always be in my heart," he wrote. "London will always be my home. I came here alone, and now I have a wife and two beautiful kids. I also have a new brother for life named Kova [Mateo Kovacic]. 

    "I have an FA Cup, a Europa League and a Champions League medal. And of course, I have hundreds of memories that will stay with me forever. 

    "Unfortunately, my contract negotiations had already started to get difficult last fall. Business is business, but when you don't hear any news from the club from August to January, the situation becomes complicated.

    "After the first offer, there was a long gap of just nothing. We're not robots, you know? You cannot wait for months with so much uncertainty about your future."

  • Dortmund sack coach Rose after single season Dortmund sack coach Rose after single season

    Marco Rose has been dismissed as Borussia Dortmund coach following "intensive analysis" of his single season in charge of the Bundesliga club.

    Rose left Borussia Monchengladbach at the end of the 2020-21 campaign to take up his role at Dortmund.

    Yet he has lasted only 12 months at Signal Iduna Park despite finishing the season as Bayern Munich's nearest challengers in the Bundesliga.

    BVB were eight points off the pace in second, with any hopes of a dramatic title chase ended by their 3-1 defeat at Bayern in April.

    It is now 10 years since Dortmund last won the championship under Jurgen Klopp, while Rose also failed to deliver success in cup competitions.

    Dortmund finished the season without a trophy and endured a dismal European campaign.

    Rose's side could not advance from a seemingly kind Champions League group, losing 4-0 away to Ajax before dropping into the Europa League and suffering further humiliation.

    Eventual finalists Rangers won 4-2 in Dortmund en route to a 6-4 aggregate success.

    Rose was without talismanic forward Erling Haaland for that tie, although the next BVB coach will also have to come to terms with his imminent departure for Manchester City.

    Dortmund have at least made positive early transfer moves in terms of incomings, securely deals for Germany internationals Niklas Sule, Nico Schlotterbeck and Karim Adeyemi.

    Rose's exit was confirmed in a short statement on Twitter on Friday, which read: "BVB and coach Marco Rose end their relationship.

    "Following an intensive season analysis on Thursday, including Rose, [CEO Hans-Joachim] Watzke, [departing sporting director Michael] Zorc, [incoming sporting director Sebastian] Kehl and [consultant Matthias] Sammer, the club has decided to move forward and wishes Marco Rose the best of luck in his next opportunity."

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