Transfer news and rumours: Paul Pogba and Mino Raiola mock Manchester United reports, Arsenal bid for Lacazette
Paul Pogba and his agent, Mino Raiola, appear to be in no rush to announce the Juventus midfielder’s imminent transfer to Manchester United after the pair took to social media to mock the reports that have emerged in the last 48 hours surrounding the transfer saga of the summer.
Pogba’s world record move to United was reported to have been completed on Friday afternoon for a deal totalling £112m, with £92m of that fee going to Juventus and the remainder to Raiola as an agent’s fee. Juventus will pay the remaining £4m to Raiola.
However, Raiola took to Twitter to criticise journalists in both England and Italy reporting on the move and claimed that there was still no agreement between the two clubs and Pogba. Raiola posted: “Journalist = parrots No deal done between Clubs. It’s a game between Italy press and UK press who announce it first and who is worse.”
Manchester United’s best XI with Paul pogba
David De Gea
Has been Manchester United’s best player for the last four or five seasons and, after having a move to Real Madrid collapse last summer he is now more important than ever. He saved United repeatedly under David Moyes and Louis van Gaal and will hope under Jose Mourinho that there is less to do.
A good player whose first season at Old Trafford was badly affected by injuries, Darmian should improve next year under the guidance of Mourinho. He has played for a similarly prescriptive coach for Italy in Antonio Conte and will provide exactly what Mourinho wants in the role.
One of United’s most improved players under Louis van Gaal, he established a leadership and consistency that he had lacked before. Now he is near the peak of his powers and gives Mourinho someone to build around at the back.
The first of Mourinho’s summer signings, the £30million man from Villarreal has looked good in pre-season already. Will need to adjust to the speed of the Premier League but looks well equipped to do that and form a strong pairing with Smalling.
Had his last season ruined by a broken leg against PSV Eindhoven and without him United lacked pace and width down the left. Mourinho will like his competitive attitude and Shaw will surely feature in Sam Allardyce’s England squads soon enough.
Mourinho teams always have a midfield anchor, what he calls a ‘number 6’, and there is no-one better suited to the job at United now than Schneiderlin. Did not play as much as he should have done last year but that should change now.
The big issue for Mourinho will be where to fit in the £100million man. There will be times when he plays alongside Schneiderlin in a 4-2-3-1, when United can afford to attack more, and others where he is pushed further up with two midfielders behind him. Finding the perfect platform will be Mourinho’s hardest task.
Not the highest profile summer signing at Old Trafford but a technical wizard who excelled in his three seasons at Borussia Dortmund, which is why Arsenal wanted him too. Likelier to be on the right of a 4-2-3-1, where he will provide creativity and intelligence.
Mourinho said very clearly that Rooney will not play in midfield this season for United, so he will have to partner with Zlatan Ibrahimovic up front. Rooney will likely start as a second striker or number 10, but has a job to prove that he is still sharp enough for the job.
Never looked weighed down by his fee last season and showed pace, class and natural calm in front of goal. Likely to continue on the left this season where he will provide pace on the break, as long as he does the defending Mourinho demands too.
One final challenge for the big Swede who has won the league everywhere else he has played. Still has incredible strength and skill, even if he will be one of the slower strikers at the top this year. Just needs to find a way to be a focal point for his team-mates.
Raiola is not the only to make light of the transfer reports, as Pogba himself has posted two pictures from a trip to California’s Universal Studios to joke he is undergoing a medical and has signed a contract with United.
Pogba travelled from Miami to Los Angeles on Thursday after it emerged he would undergo a basic medical as part of his move to United. With Jose Mourinho’s squad flying out to Sweden for Saturday’s pre-season fixture against Galatasaray in Gothenburg, it was agreed that the France international would have a medical in LA before completing a full assessment on his arrival in Manchester.
United are also closing in on the signing of Monaco right-back Fabinho, according to Brazilian news outlet Globoesporte. The 22-year-old emerged as a transfer target earlier this month, and with United’s options at right-back proving far from convincing following Matteo Darmian’s injury-hit debut season and Antonio Valencia’s preference to play further forward, it appears Mourinho could launch a move for a fifth new signing this summer – providing Pogba completes his move as Mourinho’s fourth “pivotal” signing.
Arsenal are ready to make one last attempt to persuade Lyon into selling forward Alexandre Lacazette despite seeing the French club make their rejected £29m offer public earlier this week. Clearly angered by Arsenal’s offer – which fell £3m shy of West Ham’s largest offer earlier this summer – Lyon decided to publicly confirm the bid.
The Telegraph claims that Arsenal are willing to up their offer to £35m in order to sign the France international, with manager Arsene Wenger confirming on Friday of his desire to sign another striker due to his limited options in attack.
Arsenal are also in talks to sign Valencia defender Shkodran Mustafi. As revealed by The Independent on Friday, the Gunners contacted the Germany international’s agent, Ali Bulut, to discuss a move to the Premier League.
Mustafi has a £42.1m release clause in his Valencia contract, but differing reports suggest the La Liga club will allow him to leave for between £20m and £33m depending on negotiations.
Chelsea have seen a £57m offer for former striker Romelu Lukaku rejected by Everton, with The Mirror reporting that the Toffees believe they can hold out for a fee close to the £75m mark. Having paid £28m to sign Lukaku from Chelsea in 2014 after a successful loan spell, Everton are reluctant to sell their prize asset, although it’s claimed that they have accepted that they are unlikely to be able to hold onto the Belgium international.
Lukaku has been vocal in his desire to play in the Champions League – something Chelsea cannot offer the 23-year-old this season after finishing tenth in the Premier League – but the Blues have already brought in Lukaku’s international colleague Michy Batshuayi and French midfielder N’Golo Kante under new manager Antonio Conte.
Coincidentally, Lukaku is, like Pogba, represented by Raiola, and the Dutch football manager looks likely to land yet another large agent’s fee having already structured moves for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to United.
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