Rumour Has It: Man Utd, Chelsea & Liverpool fighting for Dortmund star Sancho

By Sports Desk December 08, 2019

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  • We have a similar story – Klopp full of respect for Atletico boss Simeone We have a similar story – Klopp full of respect for Atletico boss Simeone

    Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp spoke of his respect for Diego Simeone ahead of a trip to the Wanda Metropolitano, saying he had a similar story to the Atletico Madrid head coach.

    The Premier League leaders visit Atletico in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday.

    Liverpool return to the scene of their victory in last year's final, and they are preparing to face an Atletico side that are struggling.

    But Klopp remains wary of Simeone and Atletico, who have just one win from their past seven games in all competitions.

    "Their goal difference [in LaLiga] is they have scored only 25 which is not too many, but have conceded only 17, which is low," he told UK newspapers.

    "They have had massive injury problems in recent weeks, a lot of strikers missing. But [Alvaro] Morata was on the bench [against Valencia on Friday], I've heard [Diego] Costa is back in training and Joao Felix is available I'm pretty sure.

    "If somebody can play for a result, it's Atletico. Mr Simeone, who I respect a lot, he tries everything.

    "We have a similar story a little bit. We tried a lot and didn't win, but we still tried. I like that. He is so competitive – wow! Actually, we have a good relationship but I'm pretty sure he will forget that on the touchline because he is so animated."

    While facing Atletico away shapes as being tricky, the Wanda Metropolitano will bring back happy memories for Liverpool after their win over Tottenham in last year's final.

    But Klopp said his side – who are 25 points clear atop the Premier League – were focused on their task.

    "We know that it's just a stadium, but it's a positive emotion that we have when we think about that stadium," he said.

    "It was one of our greatest nights and I'm pretty sure that when the boys will go in they will see it.

    "But we are not going there for a pilgrimage. For sure not. We have had enough time to let these things settle."

  • 'Paul is our player and not Mino's' – Solskjaer addresses Pogba speculation after Raiola comments 'Paul is our player and not Mino's' – Solskjaer addresses Pogba speculation after Raiola comments

    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned that Paul Pogba belongs to Manchester United and not outspoken agent Mino Raiola amid ongoing doubts over the star's future at Old Trafford.

    Raiola cast fresh doubts over Pogba – who is recovering from an ankle injury – on Thursday when he said the United midfielder "would not mind" returning to Juventus as "Italy is like home".

    Pogba left United for Juve in 2012 but the 26-year-old was prised back to Old Trafford in 2016 for a then-world record transfer fee of €105million (£89.3m).

    LaLiga giants Real Madrid have also been linked to Pogba but United manager Solskjaer said: "I've not spoken to Mino that is for sure. And, no, I haven't sat down and told Paul to tell Mino what he should say. Paul is our player and not Mino's."

    Asked if he could conclusively say Pogba will play for United again this season, Solskjaer replied: "Well of course, I'd like to say that. 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."

    It has been an injury-ravaged season for Pogba, who has started just five Premier League matches this term and made only seven appearances in total.

    Pogba – who did not travel to Spain with his team-mates during the break – has only managed eight games across all competitions for United, who languish eighth in the Premier League after 25 rounds.

    Pressed on whether it has been a "disastrous" season for Pogba, Solskjaer – speaking ahead of Monday's trip to Chelsea – told reporters: "You're not going to get that headline from me.

    "As a player, the last thing you want to be is injured, and not being able to contribute to your team. Paul's a footballer and he wants to play football. He knows he has to work hard now to get back to his best.

    "He's been out for so long now, it's a challenge for him as well to get back into shape. I've been injured for a long, long time myself, it's a difficult period of your career, but it's part and parcel of being a player.

    "He's taken off his cast, so when he comes back here we'll integrate him with us. Hopefully soon. He's started running on the treadmill now, so he's getting closer. It's been a long haul, this, so hopefully we'll see him back soon."

  • Man Utd can attract world's best players without Champions League, says Solskjaer Man Utd can attract world's best players without Champions League, says Solskjaer

    Manchester United can attract the world's best players with or without Champions League football, according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

    United are set to spend heavily at the end of the season as the Red Devils continue to struggle in the Premier League – ninth and 41 points behind leaders Liverpool.

    Borussia Dortmund sensation Jadon Sancho, Leicester City's James Maddison and Aston Villa star Jack Grealish are among players being linked to United, who are six points outside the top four.

    While acknowledging Champions League qualification makes it easier to sign stars, under-fire boss Solskjaer insisted United still have pulling power.

    "The Champions League gives the club more resources, more money, that's one thing," said Solskjaer ahead of Monday's blockbuster trip to Chelsea.

    "It's a prestigious tournament to be in, of course.

    "But doing as well as we can, and if we play well the rest of the season, and players that we might want are impressed by that, it might be easier to convince them to come here.

    "But I don't think one season – this season is the Europa League – if next season is with or without the Champions League, I wouldn't say that's the be-all and end-all for a player to sign for us."

    It has been another tough campaign for United, who have only won nine of their 25 Premier League games so far.

    United are winless in three games, having only managed one victory from their past five outings in the league.

    Prior to the break, United were held to a goalless draw by Wolves as January signing Bruno Fernandes made his highly anticipated debut at Old Trafford.

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