Rumour Has It: Man Utd eye Pogba replacement in Real Madrid's Valverde

By Sports Desk February 17, 2021

Manchester United are making plans for Paul Pogba's departure and may have already identified the Frenchman's replacement in Real Madrid's Federico Valverde.

The 22-year-old has struggled with injuries this season, while veteran midfielders Luka Modric and Toni Kroos have been in vintage form for LaLiga's champions.

Valverde has only started 12 games in all competitions this season, but the Uruguayan has impressed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer enough for United to step up their efforts to bring him to Old Trafford this off-season.

 

TOP STORY – UNITED EYE VALVERDE TO PLUG MIDFIELD

Valverde has shown his class while featuring in 89 games during his three seasons in the Spanish capital and has turned heads at United.

The Red Devils are said to admire his energy and box-to-box qualities as they seek a long-term solution to lock down a place in the centre of Solskjaer's midfield, according to The Sun.

One snag in the recruitment drive could be the Uruguay international's buy-out clause of a staggering £148million, though United can offer him a major improvement on his current £120,000 per week wage.

Related items

  • Rumour Has It: Man City plot move for Barcelona's De Jong Rumour Has It: Man City plot move for Barcelona's De Jong

    Manchester City had a relatively quiet off-season in the transfer market.

    City landed Jack Grealish from Aston Villa in a big-money move but failed in their efforts to sign Tottenham star Harry Kane following Sergio Aguero's exit.

    But the Premier League champions could be more active in the January transfer window.

     

    TOP STORY – CITY PLAN FOR DE JONG SWOOP

    Manchester City are plotting a move for Barcelona star midfielder Frenkie de Jong, according to Calciomercato.

    De Jong, who also has interest from Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich, signed a five-year deal with Barcelona effective from July 2019, tying him down to 2024.

    The 24-year-old Netherlands international has made 11 appearances in all competitions this season and is yet to score.

     

    ROUND-UP

    - Fabrizio Romano claims Manchester United have made no official proposal for former Chelsea and Inter boss Antonio Conte yet amid doubts over the future of Red Devils manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following Sunday's 5-0 rout at the hands of Liverpool. Zinedine Zidane and Ajax's Erik ten Hag are also possible options.

    - Manchester United's wantaway Dutch midfielder Donny van de Beek is preparing to make a January move with Voetbal International claiming he has swapped agents. EvertonNewcastle United and Juventus are all interested in Van de Beek, per Metro.

    Paris Saint-Germain will switch their attention to Bayern midfielder Corentin Tolisso if they cannot secure a move for Manchester United's Paul Pogba, reports Calciomercato. Pogba has also been linked with Juve and Real Madrid.

    Newcastle and Juve are contending to sign Barca forward Ousmane Dembele, according to Sport. Dembele is set to exit Barca at the end of this season and his agent has reportedly been in touch with both clubs about a move, while Liverpool and United are also possible destinations.

  • Giroud focused on winning Scudetto with Milan Giroud focused on winning Scudetto with Milan

    Milan forward Olivier Giroud is focused on winning Serie A with the Rossoneri as he targets league success.

    A Champions League victor in 2020-21 before leaving Chelsea for Milan, Giroud has not won a league crown since conquering Ligue 1 with Montpellier in 2011-12.

    Milan – without a Scudetto since 2011 – are level atop the Serie A table alongside Napoli through nine rounds after their enthralling 4-2 win at nine-man Bologna last week.

    "I used to say football is an everlasting new beginning and you must always be ready for the next challenge," France international Giroud, who has three goals in five Serie A appearances this season, told Football Ramble podcast.

    "That's one of my regrets in my career, it's not to have finished the job by winning the European Cup with France at home to Portugal. Another is not winning the Premier League with Arsenal or Chelsea.

    "I still have a lot of hopes regarding winning another league with my new club and I am focused on it."

    Stefano Pioli oversaw his 100th match in charge of Milan across all competitions following Saturday's triumph over Bologna.

    He has won 56 of those games, exactly as many as Massimiliano Allegri had recorded with the Rossoneri after the same tally of games.

    "This might sound like a threat for someone, but I expect to reach at least another 100 more," Milan head coach Pioli said.

    Milan have won eight of their opening nine games of a Serie A season for the second time in their history – previously in 1954-55.

    Pioli's Milan, meanwhile, have equalled their record of away wins in a single calendar year in Serie A thanks to 14 victories, as in 1964.

  • Messi isolated at PSG – Henry highlights Lionel's Ligue 1 woes Messi isolated at PSG – Henry highlights Lionel's Ligue 1 woes

    Lionel Messi is being "isolated" at Paris Saint-Germain, according to former team-mate Thierry Henry.

    Messi arrived from Barcelona in a blockbuster free transfer at the start of the season, but the record six-time Ballon d'Or winner is still finding his feet with the Ligue 1 giants.

    While Messi has scored three goals in three Champions League appearances for PSG, the 34-year-old is yet to score or assist a goal in Ligue 1 this term after Sunday's Le Classique stalemate at Marseille.

    In the league, Messi has created one big chance to go with five opportunities created from open play as Henry – who played alongside the Argentina captain at Barcelona – highlighted his struggles.

    "He [Messi] is isolated, he is on the ball less," Arsenal and France great Henry told RMC Sport.

    "I wouldn't say he's sad, but he's isolated. I prefer him through the middle.

    "I'm having trouble with Leo out on the right. In the middle, he can set the tempo.

    "Something needs to be found in order to get Mbappe, Neymar and Messi to play together."

    Henry added: "I don't think he can make the difference on the right, but then I don't have the exact details from the tactical standpoint.

    "Obviously when you stay high up and you get out of the way, you won't have an impact. Then you have fewer balls going towards him."

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.