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Transfer Balls: Manchester United have not signed Paul Pogba

It’s been two days since the Mirror newspaper reported that Paul Pogba had signed for Manchester United. Today the BBC reports that Man United are “keen to sign” Paul Pogba.

Mourinho said of Pogba:

“We set four targets for us, we got three of them and we are going to get the fourth… Everybody speaks about one, but it wouldn’t be a surprise for me if it is not him and it is another one because we went for profile.”

The Telegraph says Pogba to United is just a “rumour”.

“Paul Pogba believes he is heading back to Old Trafford, according to reports,” says the Star.

The Express says “Jose Mourinho to pull plug on deal if Juventus continue to stall.”

A quick reminder, then, of what the Mirror stated:


Pogba signs United


No. They haven’t. As the Mirror says today, the deal to sign Pogba has not been done:


pogba deal



And as Spain’s AS newspaper says:

Mino Raiola, agent Pogba, denied yesterday on Twitter that Manchester United have completed the signing of French after Italy leave all the covers wearing his player Red Devil: “There is no closed Pogba agreement, much blah, BLA bla…”.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 22nd, July 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Manchester United sign Paul Pogba (but not everyone agrees)

The Daily Mirror says Manchester United have signed Paul Pogba for £100m. The Juventus and France midfielder will very soon be back at Manchester United, the club he left when they didn’t give him enough playing time.


paul pogba united


The Mirror delivers the Pogba facts:

Man United CLINCH Paul Pogba deal

Manchester United have now SEALED a world-record £100million deal to sign Paul Pogba .

They have agreed to pay Juventus the massive fee for their France superstar and will hand Pogba a five-year contract worth £210,000-a-week, net.

Marca agrees that Pogba has agreed to join Manchester United for 120 million euros.

The Mail says “Manchester United have agreed personal terms to re-sign Paul Pogba’.

But Sky Sports Italia says nothing has been signed, and Real Madrid are set to make their move.

More to follow…

Posted: 20th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Smoking Paul Pogba’s lost weekend in Manchester United

The Daily Pogba: an at-a-glance look at news of Juventus and Franc footballer Paul Pogba, wanted by Manchester United.

The Daily Star says Manchester United have bid £85m for Pogba. It’s not enough. Juventus have snubbed “Jose’s offer”.  The idea that United manager Jose Mourinho has any say in how much the club should pay for the player is fanciful. United is run by the Glazer family from a shopping mall in the USA. They do the business.


Pogba manchester united


The Guardian says the opening offer is not £85m, but £100m. And it’s not yet been made. The Guardian appears to be acting as a negotiator, adding: United are expected to make an opening bid of £100m with £13m of that performance-related add-ons.”


pogba guardian


The Mirror also trumps the Star. Pogba is the paper’s “£100m man”. But it agrees with the Star that the money is Mourinho’s. According to both papers it is the manager not the Glazers who will make Pogba the world’s costliest player.


pogba united


The Sun, having told us Pogba joined United for £105m last weekend, focuses on the player’s private life.


pogba 105m


Today the Sun’s Phil Cadden reports: “MIAMI VICE Paul Pogba pictured smoking E-cigarette while on holiday with Romelu Lukaku in Miami.”


pogba the sun


“These snaps of the £105million Manchester United target will have Jose Mourinho fuming,” writes Cadden of the player he told us had already joined United and is now reduced to a “target”. He adds: “Pogba, who met up with Everton’s Romelu Lukaku, is wanted by United and Real Madrid.”

Ah, yes, Real Madrid. AS (Spain) says Pogba has been using his clothes to speak of his desire to play for Real. Below the headline “Pogba’s little message to Real Madrid? He is ‘all in white'”, the Spanish tabloid reports:

Pogba posted a photo on Instagram, along with the words “all in white”, which of course set off speculation, some of it fevered, that this was a clear wink to Real Madrid, who of course play in all white…


pogba real madrid


Real Madrid do not play in trousers. Fact.

More Pogba balls all summer.

Posted: 20th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Chelsea snubbed, Manchester United linked and Joao Mario’s vanishing ink

Trasnfer balls spots the Sun’s report on “Chelsea transfer target Joao Mario”.

On Jul 14, it was disappointing news for the Blues. Mario “snubs Blues to seal Inter Milan move” stated the Sun.


transfer balls, Chelsea


Two Sun journalists told readers:

The Portugal star, 23, has agreed a five-year deal with the Serie A giants, after Sporting Lisbon accepted a £29million bid for the midfielder.

Today the Sun delivered an update. The agreement was no agreement after all. The “exclusive” was utterly wrong.


Chelsea tranfers


Anthony Chapman had new news:

MUST BE JOAO-KING Joao Mario to Chelsea: Manchester United target won’t be on the move this summer as Sporting Lisbon rule out transfer away

Euro 2016-winning Portugal midfielder linked with Premier League duo and Inter Milan but looks set to stay put.

Such are the facts.

Posted: 19th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Paul Pogba makes Manchester United his last choice

Juventus and France midfielder Paul Pogba, 23, says Manchester United “are his first family“. The BBC says this “confirms” the player’s interest in joining the club.

The BBC’s story is rooted in a TV interview Pogba gave to Spanish TV. The headline of the story is “Manchester United target Paul Pogba unsure on future, happy at Juventus”.  Pogba spoke in Spanish to ESPN Deportes.


Paul Pogba receives Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid shirt on pre ESPYS award talk

Sun: “Paul Pogba receives Manchester United, Juventus and Real Madrid shirt on pre ESPYS award talk” – but not in that order.


The interviewer showed Pogba shirts from Juventus, Real Madrid and Manchester United, asking him for a view on each.

On Juventus, the first shirt produced, Pogba said: “This is my team, my family, where I am playing. I am happy there, I play football, and do things I wanted to do when I was small.”

On Madrid, the second shirt produced, Pogba said: “…the white house — which won the Champions League this year, a great club.”

On Manchester United, the last shirt produced, Pogba said: “I don’t know this one… It was my first family.

Was his family. Not is his family, as the BBC put it.

On getting a call from Jose Mourinho to join United, Pogba added: “My response would be ‘I don’t know.’ I don’t know when. We will see. For the moment, I am here [Juventus] and I am happy here. I don’t know where I want to go.”

Which when put through the journalisamobile, becomes:

The Guardian: “Paul Pogba hints that he is open to joining Manchester United”

The Telegraph: “Paul Pogba refuses to rule out Manchester United transfer”

The Sun spins the shirts, noting: “ESPN host awkwardly hands Paul Pogba a Juventus shirt before laying a Manchester United and Real Madrid shirt alongside.” The United top was third out of the bag.

In other words, and as they say at Real, United are in Pogba’s past and only his third choice of three.

Such are the facts.

PS: Is Pogba really that good?

Posted: 15th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Paul Pogba will reluctantly join Manchester United unless Real Madrid cough up

The Daily Pogba: is the France player heading to Manchester United for £100m? News is that Juventus, his current club, are to offer the player a pay rise. Stick with Juve and earn £130,000 a week (source: The Times). Manchester United are willing to pay him – get this – £200,000-a-week. Given Pogba’s showing at the Euros, Manchester United are rich, desperate and a touch mad.

So, Pogba’s a shoo-in to join them, says the Sun, which declared on July 9:

PAYING THE PRICE Paul Pogba transfer news: Real Madrid turned Juventus star down because he was too CHEAP… and have now been priced out by Manchester United

Priced out by United. Fact. Or as the Sun puts it today:

Reports the Spanish giants are out of the race… were wide of the mark. A top source said: “Madrid are very much still in for Pogba.”

Of course, Sun readers know that. After all, on July 2, they read:

POGBA WANTS SPANISH SWITCH Paul Pogba would rather join Barcelona, Real Madrid or even Manchester City than link up with Jose Mourinho at Manchester United

One thing the Sun can agree with itself on: Pogba is leaving Juventus. As the paper says today: “Paul Pogba must make his mind up whether to move to Man Utd or Real Madrid.”

He MUST. Or as his agent tells the Times: “Paul is not desperate to move. We are very happy at Juventus.”

Such are the facts.

Posted: 12th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United’s secret deal for Ighalo and Liverpool get Clyne by default

Here are a couple of stories that offer insight into how football transfers work. First up the news that last January Manchester United offered a massive £35m for Watford’s Odion Ighalo. You didn’t know about this because both clubs kept quiet. Watford didn’t want to upset their striker. Manchester United didn’t want the markets and money men to know their pulling power was so diminished that signing a Watford player for a huge fee was beyond their reach.

On the upside, Marcus Rashford got his chance and the then United manager Louis Van Gaal looked like he knew what he was doing.

The second story is that Barcelona have not bought Liverpool’s Nathaniel Clyne. Barcelona don’t buy lots of players, of course. Clyne’s story is newsworthy because the story goes that his people offered him to Barcelona. The Catalans  weren’t interested. Good for Clyne that he sees himself in one of Europe’s top sides but surely bad for his Liverpool career.

Clubs and players are not always in harmony.

Posted: 10th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Manchester Untied offer Paul Pogba £11m a year and Mata to Juventus

football transfers mata juventus paul pogba manchester unitedTransfer balls (with the Daily Paul Pogba) brings facts from Spain’s ASManchester United have agreed to pay Paul Pogba £11m a year and will table a £100m offer to Juventus for the France midfielder.

It only seems like yesterday (it was – ed) the media was telling readers Pogba to Man united was a”agreed”.

Does the mainstream media know anything?

Just one month ago, Pogba was a player who had joined Chelsea for £69m. A few days ago, Pogba was on his way to Real Madrid, his dream destination. And there was reporting on an agreement for Pogba to join Barcelona, his, er, dream destination.

Today’s Sun on Sunday reports that to fund Pogba’s purchase, Manchester United manager will sell Marcos Rojo, Morgan Schneiderlin, Bastian Schweinsteiger, Juan Mata and four others.

The Sunday Express says Mata will head to Everton for £20m. The Sunday People says Mata will head to Juventus as part payment for Pogba.

Mata says nothing.

PS: If Pogba does join United for £100m, the player’s agent Mino Raiola stands to pocket around a quarter of it, says the Sunday Times

Posted: 10th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Manchester United ‘agree’ Pogba deal amongst ‘friends’

Transfer balls hears a few more words on Paul Pogba and Manchester United, the club chasing the Frenchman they let go.

The Mirror says United are “closing in” on the Frenchman.

The IBTimes says United have “agreed a deal in principle” with Juventus. The player has “informed his friends” he wants to play for United. Friends like his agent, perhaps.

Sky Sports says “Paul Pogba’s priority is to join Real Madrid over Manchester United this summer”.

The Guardian says, “Paul Pogba has hinted he will join Manchester United only if his first choice of Real Madrid proves impossible.”

With the facts established, Sky Sports asks former Man United player Paul Ince what he thinks of Pogba:

“I think his style of football will suit the Premier League more than the Spanish league. I remember when I first went to Inter Milan in Serie A and I was that kind of aggressive player and every time I made a tackle I was getting booked, that was frustrating.”

Pogba plays for Juventus in Serie A. Ince played in Serie A for inter Milan. He did not play in Spain. Ince seems unaware that Inter Milan is in Italy.

Pogba joined Juventus in the summer of 2012. Every year since Pogba and Juventus have won Serie A.

Ince adds:

“So Pogba now coming into a league where it is tough, where he can show what he’s all about, I think is a perfect fit for him and for Man United.”

It’s worth looking at Pogba’s disciplinary record in Italy, where ‘every time Ince made a tackle he was booked’:

2012: Matches, 22; Yellow Cards, 2; Red Cards, 1

2013: Matches, 45; Yellow cards, 5

2014: Matches, 35; Yellow cards, 7

2015: Matches, 42; Yellow cards 10

As for joining Inter and playing in Italy, this is the Paul Ince who said of leaving Manchester United: “When I look back it’s the best thing I did because I went to Inter Milan and had a great time.”

Leaving United was the best thing Ince ever did. Pogba might well agree.

Posted: 9th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United: Jose Mourinho says he’s The Different One

New Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is a right one. Ever since the Portuguese manager declared himself the Special One, journalists have spoken with one voice. At his first Manchester United Press conference, the opening question was fired in:

Q: You were the special one, then the happy one. What does Manchester make you?

Mourinho: I don’t know, really. The other two times, I was arriving at the country, this is a Different One.

“Can José Mourinho be the Right One for Manchester United?” – Irish Times

“José Mourinho suggests he could be the Right One for Manchester United” – Guardian.

“Jose Mourinho is on the rebound from Chelsea but the Special One at Manchester United makes for a match made in heaven” – Daily Mail

“Jose Mourinho: The Impatient One eager to bury Manchester United’s three years of bad memories” – Independent.

“Now Mourinho is The Hungry One” – Daily Mirror.

“From ‘The Special One’ to ‘The Happy One’, Jose Mourinho’s opening news conferences have come with no shortage of entertainment.” – Sky Sports

“Arsenal news: Fans label Mourinho The Obsessed One” – Metro.

“Jose Mourinho shows Manchester United fans he means business in opening press conference as he becomes Serious One” – Daily Mail.

“Jose Mourinho doesn’t talk like The Tamer One in first Man United press conference” – Yahoo.

Posted: 7th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Pogba to Manchester United as talks progress

Is Paul Pogba on his way to Manchester United? Jason Burt explores the story with his Telegraph readers:

Big problem for Man Utd with Pogba remains persuading him to leave Juve and come back to them. Plus all the fees.

It’s that kind of insight that gets you the top reporting jobs.

The Guardian says United will pay the £84m for Pogba but Real Madrid is the player’s preferred destination.

Jose Mourinho wants United to agree to Pogba’s wage demands and cough up €300,000 (£250,000) a week. But – get this – Juventus, where Pogba plays, say £84m is just the starting point. They want more.

The paper adds that United’s club’s chief executive, Ed Woodward, is “holding face-to-face talks” with the player’s representatives. No negotiations via fax machines this summer at Jose’s more determined United.

Marca says United are favourites in the betting markets to land Pogba. So put your shirt on Pogba to Barcelona, then.

The Metro says Paul Pogba is heading to United because he “recently followed Memphis Depay, Jesse Lingard and Adnan Januzaj on Instagram”. How many of those three will be at United next season is uncertain, but you’d not bet on Januzaj and Depay making the cut.

Pogba also follows Justin Bieber. Make of that what you will…

Posted: 6th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester City ignore Wenger’s Arsenal in war on Manchester United

It’s war between Jose Mourinho’s Manchester United and Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City. Guardiola has “come out fighting” in “the Clash of the Titans with Jose Mourinho”. So says the Sun. In a first fight, I’d go with Guardiola, a former athlete who has the height, reach and stamina on the shorter Mourinho, who could counter with a low blow, the sneaky finger in the eye and a hissy fit. But never mind the physical stuff because Pep has started “mind games”. He has made his “first dig at Jose”.


Pep fighting the sun


What did the new City manager says? Well, get his: “In England the most important thing is football. The people don’t come to see the manager.” Ouch! That’ll sting Mourinho, who thinks they do. “There is Klopp, Conte, Ranieri, Mourinho, Pochettino. Koeman but the reason I work here is just to help the players.”

“EN GUARD,” puns the Sun, the French twist making us notice that the Spaniard never name-checked Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger. That first dig at Mourinho looks like a first dig at Wenger.

In any case, it’s war. Or as the Express and Star put it, it’s peace in our time:

mourinho guardiola Mourinho


Posted: 4th, July 2016 | In: Back pages, Manchester City, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Dortmund mock Manchester United as Mkhitaryan takes the money and runs

Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan has left the club to join Manchester United. The German club issue a delightful statement:

Following an intensive round of discussions, Borussia Dortmund accepted the Armenian international’s wish to join Manchester United next season. Based on a completely new situation, this transfer was a difficult trade-off for us. Manchester made us a very attractive offer. Had we refused it, the player would have left us on a free transfer in 2017 and we would only have delayed the matter of a replacement for a year,” explained Borussia Dortmund CEO Hans-Joachim Watzke.

Borussia Dortmund would like to wish Henrikh Mkhitaryan all the best for the upcoming season in the Premier League and the UEFA Europa League.

Dortmund shoot. They score. The goalscorer leaves the club. Plus ca change at Dortmund.

Posted: 2nd, July 2016 | In: manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United sign Mkhitaryan and cash in on fans

More Manchester Untied news now. Having been graced with a year-long audience with Zlatan Ibrahimovic, the Red Devils have secured the services of Henrikh Mkhitaryan. The Armenian will complete his move from Borussia Dortmund to Manchester United today, says the Daily Mail.

Sky says the deal has already been done.

Man United have posted pictures on the club website with Henrikh Mkhitaryan name on away shirts.


Manchester united Mkhitaryan



“An accident,” asks the Star. No. It’s marketing, of course. The United site crashed amid the interest.  “Unfortunately an error has occurred on the page you were trying to view,” the website told fans. “The Store Technicians have been informed of this error and will deal with it as soon as possible, in the meantime please use the menu at the top of this screen to navigate to other areas of the site.”

As United buy the message from the club’s owners continues: spend! spend! spend!

Posted: 2nd, July 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, News, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Manchester United get Zlatan and ‘close in’ on Paul Pogba

Manchester United are all over he tabloids backpages. The Star leads with news that Paul Pogba is on his way to United in a deal worth £80m. Looking for facts to support the story is like looking for one of Jeremy Corbyn’s Jewish “friends”. You get the words without the facts to support them.

The Star says United are “closing in” on the deal for Pogba. How close? The Star doesn’t say. But its sister organ, the Daily Express, has told us “Juventus and Barcelona agree pre-contract deal over Paul Pogba sale” and “PAUL POGBA has agreed in principle to join Paris Saint-Germain in the summer”.

Meanwhile, Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as the Sun reports, is on his way to Old Trafford. “Time to let the world know,” said the ageing star before one last tour. “My next destination is @manchester united.” He then added the sticky-fingered hastag to  #iamcoming.”

As Zlatan catches sight of his reflection and reaches for the tissues, the Sun says the Swede “can be United’s next Cantona”. Only better. After all, Zlatan is a black-belt in martial arts, whereas Canton was a mere amateur enthusiast. But, like Cantona, Zlatan is shy and retiring, stating: “The legend can still deliver.”

As the Mirror adds, “The ego has landed.” And on £220-a-week, he can come and go as he please.

The Mail is less sure. It wonder is Zlatan is the “new  Cantona…or Falcao”. He’s agree to join United or a year. And whoever he is or isn’t, it will be interesting.




Posted: 1st, July 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer Balls: Manchester United and Liverpool sign Arsenal’s Higuain as Chelsea wait

Transfer Balls favourite Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain, 28, will not be renewing his contract with Napoli, reports Spain’s Radio Continental. We know, of course, that Higuain plays for Arsenal. The Sun reported Higuain signed for the Gunners in 2013.


higuain transfer


He never did, of course. The Sun was wrong.

So is Higuain leaving Napoli for the Premier League?

“There was talk of a project worthy of the Champions League, a convincing plan to fight for the Scudetto,” says Higuain’s agent and brother.”

The agent then dangles a large carrot:





“I don’t need to talk with the Parisian club about my brother, if PSG want him they should call [Napoli chairman] De Laurentiis.”

The Express says this puts Liverpool and Chelsea “on alert”.

But what of Manchester United? On March 16, the Metro declared: “Gonzalo Higuain agrees Manchester United.” One day later the Express added: “JOSE MOURINHO has personally agreed a deal to bring Gonzalo Higuain to Manchester United if he becomes manager.”

On May 30, the Metro changed its mind: “Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain is keen to sign for Liverpool.” The Sun agreed. On June 7, it reported: “Liverpool set to seal mega-money deal for Napoli’s goal-scoring hero Gonzalo Higuain.”


Higuain liverpool


Such are the facts in the tabloids.


Posted: 29th, June 2016 | In: Arsenal, Back pages, Chelsea, Liverpool, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: James Rodriguez to Manchester United

More Manchester United transfer chatter in the Daily Mirror, which says the Red Devils are once again talking with Real Madrid. The paper says James Rodriguez, 24, “has been told” he can quit the Champions League winners for life at Manchester United. He must be delighted. Europa League football, here he comes. And just as soon as United stump up £50m he can be on his way.

The Sun says James to Manchester United makes sense because the Colombian and the club’s new manager Jose Mourinho are both represented by Jorge Mendes. Or maybe he’ll join Arsenal. Rodriguez is married to Daniela Ospina. sister of Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina.

Pick a link and hammer it. After all, the Express says James was “edging closer” to Manchester United back in April, when Louis Van Gaal was in charge.

The Star says Rodriguez it’s United all the way because the player is house hunting in Manchester’s “golden triangle”.

Not so says Marca, which notes that James could be on his way to Juventus. The, er, Mirror agrees, stating that Juventus and Bayern Munich fancy James.


Posted: 25th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Gareth Bale gets ‘deal for life’ as Manchester United ‘believe’

Is Gareth Bale heading to Manchester United? No. Moreover, the Daily Mail says Real Madrid are all set to offer Bale, 26, a “contract for life”.  The Mail says “Bale can expect a deal stretching way beyond his 30th birthday.”

We don’t know how old the Mail’s Ian Ladyman is but we suspect he consulted with a Snapchat of 14-year-old girls before deciding that 30 is very old and reaching the milestone constitutes a “life”.

The odds on Bale leaving Real are longer than Victoria Beckham’s shopping list. That doesn’t stop the Manchester Evening News teasing its readers with news that Bale and Manchester United are linked. Today’s MEN readers are told: “Why Manchester United manager Mourinho is a big fan of Euro 2016 star Gareth Bale.” Is it because Bales is the star of Euro 2016. Or does Jose like Bale’s hairstyle?

Stuart Mathieson reveals all: “New Man Utd manager Jose Mourinho believes Wales’ tournament leading scorer is a match winner.” Jose believes it. The rest of us know it.

Posted: 22nd, June 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment (1) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Pogba transfer balls: Manchester United boost and Real Madrid talks

The Daily Paul Pogba: a look at the former Manchester United player being touted as future Manchester Untied player.

Marca says Real Madrid have open talks with from Juventus.  “We are talking [with Real] but nothing is decided,” says Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola. “[The manager Zinedine] Zidane’s wish is important and the club’s wish is important. We are in the initial phase, it’s not a negotiation.”

It’s just a natter over coffee.

The Manchester Evening News has an alternative view, yelling: “Manchester United get Pogba boost.” How so? Isn’t his agent talking with Real Madrid? Samuel Luckhurst finds a single thread and ties in it knots:

It is difficult to think of one Jorge Mendes client who has not been linked with Manchester United…

Bébé, Nani, Anderson, Falcao, Angel Di Maria all were. In fact, United bought all of them. Nani was ok. The rest were not so good.

…but the politicking and mischief-making of the transfer window could work to Jose Mourinho’s – and Mendes’ – advantage. Valencia midfielder Andre Gomes has recently reaped the benefits of being represented by Mendes but is one Gestifute-connected player who might not end up at United.

Gomes not going to Manchester United. Ok. Got it. How is this linked to Pogba giving United a “boost”?

The Portugal international, 22, has been tipped to join Juventus by Gazzetta dello Sport in a €40million deal, which is more good news for United.

Top player could be joining Juventus. And that is “more good news for United”. What was the original bit of good news?

Mourinho vetoed signing Miralem Pjanic , who joined Juve last week, from Roma so United could focus on the Serie A champions’ prized Paul Pogba. A second midfield addition in Gomes would suggest the France international has played for the Bianconeri for the last time.

Luckhurst then write in another story on Pogba in today’s MEN: “Manchester United have not bid for Pogba.” This we know because Juventus chief executive Giuseppe Marotta told media “We have not received any offers. He is a fundamental and indispensable player for the present and future of Juventus.”

And the bidding war cranks up.

Posted: 21st, June 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United transfer news: Bonucci bid, Matic Chelsea swap, Pogba choses

Manchester United are using the TV to watch Italy’s Leonardo Bonucci. The Juventus defender who performed so well for Italy as they defeated Belgium at Euro 2016 is admired by Jose Mourinho. United are looking to make a £25m bid for Bonucci, says the Guardian.

Mourinho is less keen on another Italian, one Matteo Darmian. New Chelsea head coach Antonio Conte is reported to be eyeing an exchange deal, swapping United’s Darmian for Nemanja Matic.

Of course whenever we mention Manchester United we must (10th rule of journalism) mention Paul Pogba, the player that left them to make it big with Juventus. Marca say Juventus have informed Pogba that he can move away from Turin so long as the transfer fee is right. Overlooking the obvious that any player can move so long another club is willing to pay a fortune for them, Marca, being a Spanish organ, say Pogba would pick Real Madrid over Manchester United.

Not so says the not-at-all-biased Manchester Evening News. It says Pogba is a credible target for United. “They will face fierce competition to land the Frenchman – but Mourinho might be just the man to convince him to return to the club he left three years ago,” the paper adds.

United are also being linked with a move for ageing Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic. TF1 says The Zlatan has yet to decide on his future. When he does do United the whole favour of playing for them, and United agree to his demands to be renamed Zlatan United, we’ll let you know.

Oh, Ryan Giggs is all set to leave Old Trafford, says the Mirror. Where he goes next is not said, but Gay Neville’s mate does own Valencia, so…


Posted: 20th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Neymar to Manchester United

Manchester United are competing with Paris St-Germain and – get this – Real Madrid to buy out Neymar’s £157m contract at Barcelona.  Well, so says the Manchester Evening News, which reports the words of Neymar’s agent, Wagner Ribeiro. He says:

“There are three big clubs in the world that want to sign Neymar and pay a clause of €200m to Barcelona. I cannot say more than this because it is sensitive. I can only guarantee that Neymar is happy at Barcelona.”

Neymar wants a new and improved deal at Barcelona, the current Spanish champions, where he plays in a coruscating forward line with Suarez and Messi. If Neymar fails to get it he will move to Real Madrid – have the pig’s heads ready, lads – PSG and the French mono-league, or to live in Manchester and play in the Europa League. So says the Manchester Evening Post.

As negotiating tactics go, Neymar’s agent looks a bit desperate.


Posted: 18th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Dea Gea commits to Manchester United (again)

Good new for Manchester United fans: the team’s best player, David De Gea, is staying at Old Trafford. The Sun’s “exclusive” tells readers that David de Gea wants to stay at Manchester United. As the headline states:

‘DE STAYER: David De Gea gives Man United boss Jose Mourinho huge boost by saying: “I’m staying here”’

Unequivocal stuff. Or not. The paper hears not from De Gea, rather from a “friend”, who says:

“Jose played a big, big part in this story. If the other one was still manager, David would be a Madrid player today.”

This friend wouldn’t happen to know De Gea’s agent, Jorge Mendes, would they – the agent who also represents Mourinho?

“Jose has been texting David all the time to say ‘stay and play for me’. Madrid have been pushing and pushing the boy to come, but in the end it was his decision to stay in Manchester.”

Praise for Mourinho is fine. He is, after all, the self-style Special One. But that slight on Van Gaal is odd, especially given that De Gea told Marca last week (not an exclusive) that he wanted to stay at United and Van Gaal did a decent job:

“This FA Cup is important for the club, it’s important for the fans, and it’s an important step towards winning major titles again.”

So much for “the other one”.


Posted: 16th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United: David De Gea decides on Real Madrid transfer this Wednesday

Having declined to join Real Madrid from Manchester Untied last summer, David De Gea is once more being tipped for a move to Spain. The Sunday Times leads with news that the United goalkeeper “faces an ultimatum” this Wednesday.  That’s when an “exit clause” in his contract says he can join Real Madrid for £47m.

The story goes that De Gea was mentally winning Champions’ Leagues with Real when the a mix up with fax machines and deadlines caused him to sing a new four-year contract with United and eye next season’s Europa League.

de gea

Now we read that De Gea is even less decided than he was last summer, thinking that the arrival of new Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho could make the Red Devils a better team than Louis Van Gaal’s army. On the other side, Real’s president Florentino Perez wants De Gea has asked Madrid’s Spain national team players to use the country’s Euro 2016 campaign to convince De Gea to move.

Whichever way De Gea falls, he will surely kiss that club’s badge and tell everyone he has made the correct decision – until next summer…

Posted: 12th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Broadsheets, manchester united, Sports | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Transfer balls: Manchester United chase Bale with reasons

Transfer balls: The Daily Star says Gareth Bale will join Manchester United this summer. Bale, will – get this – leave Real Madrid, where he’s won two Champions’ Laegue medals and seen his star rise, to play for United in the Europa League.

United will pay Real £94.6m for Bale who is – get this II – “keen to return to England”. Colin Harvey adds, Bale will be “United boss Jose Mourinho’s marquee signing this summer”. A marquee is a large tent. Bale to United is a fantasy.

The Star’s scoop is a rehash of a report in Spain’s El Confidencial. Over there we learn from Kike Marin (via Google translate):

Gareth Bale is back in the crosshairs of Manchester United , but this time in the offices of Old Trafford are convinced that his move is feasible…. the Welshman is eager to return to the Premier League…

It is known that Florentino Perez feels predilection for the Welshman, who has always seen as the heir to Cristiano Ronaldo, although Bale asks him to return home, neither will be easy for the president to keep him…

Is Marin right? His report contains no word from anyone. His track record is a little mixed. And then there is the Star:


Bale Manchester United


Oh, and this is what Bale said on May 26th:

“I feel much more comfortable this year, it’s true. You can notice that on the pitch. I feel more integrated, I have more personal relationships with my team-mates and that always gives you more happiness and that reflects on my game. I’m enjoying myself a lot in Madrid and I hope this continues for many years.”

He’s chomping at the bit.


Posted: 11th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0

Manchester United ‘favourites’ to land £78 Pogba who wants Real Madrid

As the summer arrives so too does the newspapers’ obsession with Paul Pogba, the former Manchester United player now starring for Juventus and France.

The Daily Mirror says Manchester United “must” pay £78m if they want Pogba back at Old Trafford. The Mirror says news United manager Jose Mourinho wanted Pogba when he was at Chelsea last season. But Chelsea and Manchester City baulked at the £71m asking price.

The Sun spots the Premier League’s “scramble” for Pogba. The clubs need not bother. The Sun says Pogba’s “dream is to play in La Liga for Real Madrid or Barcelona”.  The Juventus player is “waiting on Spain’s big two before making any decisions”.

Not so says the Manchester Evening News’s Rob Pollard: “Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea have all been linked with him in the last 18 months – but it seems the path has cleared somewhat and United are now clear favourites to land him.”


manchester evening news pogba

Manchester Evening News 


So United will pay £78m? No, says the Express : “JOSE MOURINHO will offer Matteo Darmian as part of a deal to try and land Paul Pogba.” The deal is Darmian plus £60m cash.  So says the Express, which has also told its readers that Pogba has agreed to join PSG and Barcelona.


Pogba Barcelona Man United


Such are the facts.


Posted: 10th, June 2016 | In: Back pages, Chelsea, manchester united, Sports, Tabloids | Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed:RSS 2.0