Pogba the provocateur
Paul Pogba has made a string of provocative comments that are unlikely to please Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho - and that will further fuel rumours the Frenchman is angling for a departure from Old Trafford.
Asked by French broadcaster RMC whether he was looking forward to returning to Juventus next week for United’s Champions League clash with the Italian giants, Pogba responded that he could not wait to go “home”, TalkSPORT reports.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
The comment has increased speculation about his allegedly strained relationship with the United manager.
“For me, it’s a pleasure,” Pogba said of next week’s trip. “Turin is my home, that’s where I scored my first professional goal… when you’re alongside players like Pirlo, Gigi [Buffon] or [Giorgio] Chiellini, you can only learn.
“Every day, in training, you try to observe them. Even as an established player, you can always learn from those sorts of men.”
Pogba spent four years in Turin between 2012 and 2016 before rejoining United, and says he was delighted when the draw was announced for this season’s Champions League group stage.
“I expected it, it was mad,” he said. “I’d spoken about it with my brother last summer. I said to him: ‘Imagine we’re in the same group as Juve.’”
Red Devils eyeing Rodriguez
Is Bayern Munich star James Rodriguez the man to replace Alexis Sanchez at Old Trafford?
The Daily Express says that the Red Devils have “emerged as suitors” for the Munich maestro amid question marks about the Colombian international’s future.
Currently in his second season on loan in Munich from Real Madrid, Rodriguez is enduring what the Express describes as a “turbulent time” under new boss Niko Kovac, and is consequently being linked with a move to Old Trafford.
The only fly in the ointment is that Paris Saint-Germain are also tailing the 29-year-old South American, the newspaper says, and it could come down to which club is prepared to table the biggest bid in January.
De Gea replacement
Meanwhile, The Sun claims that United are looking at a deal for Brighton goalkeeper Mat Ryan.
De Gea is reportedly being eyed up by Juventus, so Mourinho is looking into the option of signing the Seagulls’ Australian stopper as his replacement.
The 26-year-old, who has three-and-a-half years left to run on his Brighton contract, has impressed the United manager, who believes Ryan “is ready to take the step up to a big-six club”.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.