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Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 22 January 2019

Transfer talk: Man United and Man City battle for Paul Pogba, Arsenal want ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’

A round-up of the biggest football transfer stories circulating around Europe.
Paul Pogba is wanted by a host of Europe's biggest clubs, including Manchester United and Manchester City. Massimo Pinca / AP Photo
Paul Pogba is wanted by a host of Europe's biggest clubs, including Manchester United and Manchester City. Massimo Pinca / AP Photo

A round-up of the biggest football transfer stories circulating around Europe, including the latest on Paul Pogba.

Juventus

Manchester United and Manchester City are both prepared to offer player-plus-cash deals to Juventus in exchange for midfielder Paul Pogba, according to various media reports.

Pogba is expected to be at the centre of an ongoing transfer saga this summer, with Real Madrid and Chelsea also thought to be among the interested clubs.

However, according to British press reports, United are set to pull out all the stops to take Pogba back to Old Trafford.

It is being reported that Louis van Gaal will sanction a move that will not only be worth £53 million (Dh285m), but will also include striker Robin van Persie.

Juventus, along with City, were among the clubs keen on Van Persie before the Dutchman opted for United in 2012, and Van Gaal is hoping their interest in the striker will help soothe a deal for Pogba.

Van Gaal has made it clear that the signing of a world-class central midfielder is the top priority this summer, and Pogba certainly fits the bill.

United are expected to face stiff competition for the France international, none more so than rivals City.

While United are prepared to offer Van Persie-plus-cash, it is being reported that City will offer two players — in the form of striker Edin Dzeko and midfielder Samir Nasri — plus a smaller cash fee for Pogba.

Whether Pogba would be interested in a return to United, following his acrimonious exit from the club in 2012, is unclear, and could hand City the advantage they need in their bid for the 22-year-old.

Arsenal

Benfica’s highly-rated teenager Goncalo Guedes could be on his way to Arsenal this summer, but the London club have been told they must pay £40m (Dh215m) to complete the deal.

That is according to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo who have reported that Arsenal want to take the striker to London.

Guedes, who is yet to make his league debut for Benfica, has been earning rave reviews in Portugal, and has become the latest young player to be labelled the ‘new Cristiano Ronaldo’.

Given his tender age, it is unsure whether the 18-year-old can live up to that billing, but it is clear he has an admirer in Arsene Wenger.

Manchester United

Another midfielder-being-linked-to-United story, this time the Daily Mail claims Borussia Dortmund’s Ikay Gundogan could join teammate Mats Hummels at Old Trafford this summer.

With United in the market for a midfielder, expect a variety of names to be linked with the English Premier League club.

This time, it’s Germany international Gundogan, who according to reports has informed Dortmund of his desire to leave the club at the end of the season after rejecting a new bumper contract.

With his current deal set to expire in 2016, Dortmund may be left with no option than to cash in on his services this summer, with United willing to strike a deal.

It is being reported that Gundogan — valued at £15m (Dh81m) — could form part of a £50m (Dh268m) double offer from United that will include Hummels.

Liverpool

Premier League club Liverpool will be made to wait by two of their first-team players over new contracts, after Martin Skrtel joined Raheem Sterling in choosing to hold off until the summer before deciding to sign a new deal.

England forward Sterling has garnered much attention after revealing he had turned down a new contract at Liverpool worth in the region of £100,000 a week, before hinting he would be interested in a move away from Anfield.

Reports in the British media continue to claim that the 21-year-old has decided to wait until the summer to see what his options may be before committing to Liverpool.

Meanwhile, defender Skrtel has also decided to hold out until the end of the season.

The Slovakian centre-back has just one-year remaining on his existing deal, but has informed the bosses at Liverpool that he wants to evaluate his options before signing an improved contract.

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Updated: April 11, 2015 04:00 AM

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