The race for Premier League glory may have tipped in Manchester City's favour but Liverpool are hoping to beat their title rivals in the race for a new star midfielder.

Germany international Florian Neuhaus is the player in demand and his club Borussia Monchengladbach may not be able to hold on to one of Europe's brightest talents.

The 23-year-old is being closely monitored by five major Champions League clubs and there is set to be a battle for his signature in the off-season.


TOP STORY – GERMANY ACE NEUHAUS WANTED BY CITY AND LIVERPOOL

It is understood that Neuhaus has a €40million (£35m) release clause in his contract with Gladbach, according to German media outlet Kicker.

That means Neuhaus will have the pick of his suitors, believed to be City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund and Italian champions Juventus.

He has already clocked up 81 appearances in the Bundesliga and the Reds see him as a potential replacement for the outgoing Georginio Wijnaldum.

Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola said he will work on the future of the Manchester United star in the "shadows" amid links to former club Juventus.

Pogba's future has been a subject of discussion since Raiola claimed his client's time at United was "over" in December, prompting speculation of a possible return to Serie A holders Juve or move to LaLiga champions Real Madrid.

The World Cup winner has started 15 of United's 23 Premier League matches during his fifth season since returning to Old Trafford from Juve in 2016.

Pogba's contract is set to expire in 2022 and United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has explained an "open dialogue" about a new deal for the Frenchman is ongoing.

But after stoking the speculation over Pogba's in the past, Raiola now wants to keep the 27-year-old's business behind closed doors.

"Pogba must also be left alone," Raiola told tuttomercatoweb.com

"When I speak people get nervous, he doesn't sleep at night, so I don't speak anymore.

"I will do what I have to do not in front of you, but in the shadows, as I always have."

Pogba has been in inspired form since the New Year, scoring a pair of crucial winning goals in away games against Burnley and Fulham in the Premier League.

However, Pogba limped off in the 39th minute of United's last outing against Everton with a thigh injury and has been ruled out for "a few weeks".

Manchester City and Manchester United have been handed away draws against fellow Premier League sides in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

City, who won their sixth FA Cup in 2018-19 but were knocked out in the semi-finals by eventual victors Arsenal last season, will play Everton at Goodison Park.

While City claimed a serene 3-1 win over Swansea City in the fifth round on Wednesday, Carlo Ancelotti's team overcame Tottenham 5-4 after extra-time in an instant FA Cup classic.

The teams will have a dress rehearsal for the last-eight clash on February 17, when they face off at Goodison in a Premier League match which was due to be played in December but had to be rescheduled due to a coronavirus outbreak at City.

Like their local rivals, United also fell short of reaching last season's final, going down to Chelsea in the last four.

United beat West Ham 1-0 after extra time on Tuesday and now face a trip to face Leicester City at the King Power Stadium. Brendan Rodgers' Leicester side are flying high in the Premier League along with United and leaders City, who are five points clear of their neighbours at the top.

Last season's runners-up Chelsea went into Thursday night's match at Barnsley knowing the winners would be rewarded with a home tie against Sheffield United, who beat Bristol City at the last-16 stage.

The other quarter-final tie throws up a south-coast clash, with Southampton travelling to Bournemouth.

Games are due to be played across the weekend of March 20 and 21.

FA Cup quarter-final draw in full:

Everton v Manchester City
Bournemouth v Southampton
Leicester City v Manchester United
Barnsley or Chelsea v Sheffield United

Manchester United are considering putting together a blockbuster deal to sign Real Madrid captain Sergio Ramos.

Ramos is in his 16th season with LaLiga champions Madrid but the upcoming free agent has reportedly rejected a two-year contract extension to stay in the Spanish capital.

The 13-time European champions are not expected to go back to the 34-year-old with an improved offer, leaving the door open for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side to swoop.


TOP STORY – UNITED TO DECIDE ON RAMOS

Manchester United will decide in the coming months whether or not to lure the 178-cap Spain international to Old Trafford, according to Italian journalist Fabrizio Romano.

Ramos' contract expires in June 2021 and the Red Devils are yet to make an approach, although Champions League rivals Paris Saint-Germain are said to be interested.

Mauricio Pochettino's PSG will only pursue Ramos if he is available on a free transfer. That will remain the case unless Madrid make a late move to keep the club icon at the Santiago Bernabeu.

Manchester United's players must demand success of each other in order to win their first silverware under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, according to captain Harry Maguire. 

Solskjaer's side advanced through to the quarter-finals of the FA Cup on Tuesday, recording a 1-0 extra-time win over West Ham thanks to Scott McTominay's strike. 

It was the Scotland international's seventh goal in 30 appearances for the club this season - as many as he managed in 84 outings in previous campaigns. 

United also have a Europa League last-32 tie with Real Sociedad to come later this month and are five points behind leaders Manchester City in the Premier League, albeit having played a game more. 

After reaching the semi-finals of three competitions last season, as well as losing at the same stage to City in the EFL Cup last month, Maguire is determined to get over the line this time around. 

"Last season, it was disappointing to lose in the semi-finals like we did, but we've got to win trophies," he told MUTV. 

"We've got to demand that of each other. We do. We demand that we win trophies and it's vital the team starts winning trophies, for the club and the fans as well."

United's clean sheet against West Ham was their sixth in 10 matches and Maguire felt his side were good value for the win at Old Trafford. 

"We got there in the end and we deserved it," he said. "We felt comfortable on the pitch.  

"I felt in the first half we played with intensity and dominated the game, played the game in their half and had chances where we should be one, two, three up." 

Victory for United was the ideal response to Saturday's 3-3 league draw with Everton, a defensive display Maguire concedes cannot be repeated. 

"When we've conceded, we've conceded too many - when we concede one it seems to be two. It was three against Everton. That's not good enough for this club,” he said. 

"We were disappointed at the weekend. We felt we deserved the three points but we couldn't feel sorry for ourselves.  

"We knew we had to come here tonight and bounce back and get that momentum back on our side ready for Sunday [against West Brom]." 

The Red Devils have won their last nine FA Cup matches at Old Trafford - their joint-longest home winning run in the competition, equalling their nine in a row between 1908 and 1912. Maguire is hoping they will get to play at their own ground again when the draw for the last eight is made on Thursday. 

"Yes, of course. We love playing at this ground, and we've got to make it tough for people to come here and get results," he said.  

"We need to get better and we seem to have improved a little of late. But no, obviously, we want a home game. 

"We fancy our chances against anyone. We just need to look after ourselves, perform well and assure that we start winning trophies at this club."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the pain of the late collapse against Everton inspired Manchester United to edge past West Ham in the FA Cup fifth round.

Scott McTominay's goal, seven minutes into extra-time, earned United a 1-0 win over the Hammers in a match the Red Devils dominated, leading the shot count 17-3.

Three days earlier, Solskjaer's side let a 2-0 lead slip and then conceded a stoppage-time equaliser in a 3-3 draw against Everton that dented their Premier League title bid.

Following some soul-searching after dropping the precious points at Old Trafford, Solskjaer believes United responded in the best way possible to advance to the FA Cup quarter-finals.

"We needed to have a good result and a good feeling today because we were low after the Everton game. It's hard to take but they were really focused and did the job," Solskjaer said.

"Of course you want to win every game. We want to challenge and we want to go to the final. That's what we're here at Manchester United for.

"Sometimes you're lucky with draws in the cup – we haven't been that lucky – but obviously we move another step closer to the final."

Manchester United eventually saw off West Ham 1-0 after extra-time to reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, substitute Scott McTominay getting the winner at Old Trafford on Tuesday.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer took the opportunity to give a few United fringe players opportunities to impress but ultimately had to turn to his regulars on the bench, with McTominay the one to make the difference.

United were frustrated in the first half as they struggled to make the most of their dominance over a West Ham side who offered very little in attack, with Victor Lindelof going closest for the hosts when denied by the upright.

Aside from United managing fewer shots, the pattern of the match hardly deviated after the break and it was no surprise to see it remain goalless at the end of the regulation 90 minutes.

But the hosts' superiority told in the end with West Ham unable to cancel out McTominay's 97th-minute strike.

It quickly became apparent that West Ham's plan was to pack their defence with as many players as possible and it was nearly undone just 11 minutes in, but Anthony Martial was denied by a crucial Angelo Ogbonna intervention that resulted in the Italian sustaining an injury.

But United's best chance fell to Lindelof in the 27th minute, his header from an Alex Telles corner taking a slight deflection before Lukasz Fabianski tipped it on to the post.

West Ham lost Ogbonna's replacement Issa Diop – who had clashed heads with Martial – at half-time as the recently introduced concussion substitution was used for the first time in English football, and they soon saw Andriy Yarmolenko forced off as well, former Manchester United trainee Ademipo Odubeko replacing him.

United wasted another chance a minute before Yarmolenko's exit, as Fabianski rushed out to thwart Marcus Rashford after Mason Greenwood's low cross was deflected through.

Extra-time was inevitable despite the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani coming on, but a penalty shootout was not necessary, with McTominay running on to Rashford's smart lay-off and rifling a low volley into the bottom-right corner.

West Ham made the first concussion substitute in English football during their FA Cup fifth-round game at Manchester United.

Issa Diop - himself an early replacement for the injured Angelo Ogbonna at Old Trafford - clashed heads with Anthony Martial towards the end of a goalless first half.

Ryan Fredericks emerged for the second period and West Ham announced via their Twitter account that the change was a concussion replacement.

Last month, the Premier League and the Football Association approved a trial allowing teams to make a maximum of two additional substitutions in the event of players suffering head injuries and showing symptoms of concussion.

Last weekend was the first time Premier League clubs had the option of making such changes, although none were required.

Teams participating in the Club World Cup can also make concussion substitutions, although FIFA is allowing just one additional change.

Amad Diallo has been named among the Manchester United substitutes for the first time in Tuesday's FA Cup meeting with West Ham.

Diallo, 18, was signed subject to a medical and international clearance in October, before his move from Atalanta was ratified at the start of January.

The winger could reportedly cost United up to £37million despite playing only a handful of time for Atalanta prior to his move.

Diallo's adaptation period has involved a couple of games for United's under-23s, but it was clear on the evidence of those two outings that his ability is a level above.

The Ivorian scored three goals and set up another three across two matches against the second teams of Liverpool and Blackburn Rovers – the respective games ending 6-3 and 6-4 to United.

His next aim will be to make his debut against the Hammers, having been named on a strong bench that also includes Luke Shaw, Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani, among others.

As for the United XI, there are rare starts for Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Dean Henderson, while Anthony Martial joins Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood in attack.

West Ham are without United loanee Jesse Lingard, who is ineligible.

Manchester United's scheduled Europa League trip to Real Sociedad will now take place on neutral ground in Turin.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side were set to head to San Sebastian for the round-of-32 clash on February 18.

However, the match has been moved from the Anoeta to Juventus' Allianz Stadium due to Spanish government restrictions on travellers entering the country from the United Kingdom in relation to the new COVID-19 variant.

The match will still kick off at 18:55 CET, with the February 25 return leg at Old Trafford due to go ahead as planned.

Both matches will take place behind closed doors.

"UEFA would like to thank Real Sociedad and Manchester United for their close co-operation and assistance in finding a solution to the issue at hand, as well as the Italian Football Federation and Juventus for their support and agreeing to host the match in question," read a statement issued by European football's governing body.

Similar rules in Germany have led to Manchester City and Liverpool's Champions League last-16 away games against Borussia Monchengladbach and RB Leipzig respectively being moved to Budapest.

Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain are still eyeing Barcelona star Lionel Messi.

Unsurprisingly, Messi's future remains a talking point with his contract with the LaLiga giants expiring at the end of the season.

And the two clubs most strongly linked with the six-time Ballon d'Or winner remain interested.

 

TOP STORY – PSG, MAN CITY STILL EYEING MESSI

Paris Saint-Germain are quietly continuing their push to sign Barcelona star Lionel   Messi , according to France Football.

The Ligue 1 giants have angered Barca boss Ronald Koeman as those connected with PSG have regularly discussed Messi.

ESPN says Manchester City are also still tracking Messi, but will wait until March or April before making more of a move.

ROUND-UP

- Out of contract at Real Madrid in 2022, Raphael Varane 's future is unclear. Marca reports the LaLiga giants suspect the defender will not renew and they could sell him for €50million at the end of this season as a result, with PSG and Manchester United interested.

- Madrid are favourites to land Bayern Munich star David Alaba . The Telegraph reports Alaba's wage demands, believed to be around £20m per year, are too high for Chelsea . Alaba is set to leave the Bundesliga giants when his contract expires at the end of the season.

- United 's sights may be elsewhere. The Independent claims RB Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate is their main centre-back target ahead of 2021-22. Konate has also been linked to Liverpool and Chelsea .

- Arsenal want a young left-back to learn from Kieran Tierney, according to The Athletic.

Paul Pogba will miss "a few weeks" for Manchester United, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed in concerning news ahead of a key month.

World Cup-winning midfielder Pogba returned to United's starting line-up to face Everton at the weekend but lasted just 39 minutes of the 3-3 draw.

The 27-year-old appeared to suffer a thigh injury and was quickly deemed a doubt for Tuesday's FA Cup fifth-round clash with West Ham on Tuesday.

Solskjaer has since revealed the extent of the issue, which could keen Pogba out of a series of big matches.

United play Real Sociedad home and away in the Europa League in February, before visiting Chelsea in the Premier League at the end of the month and Manchester City on March 6.

"It's an injury that will take a few weeks to heal," Solskjaer told MUTV. "He's just started his recovery, working with the medical staff and we'll get him back as soon and safely as we can.

"Of course, Paul has been very important for us and we're not going to take any risks. [It will be] a few weeks, definitely.

"You never want to be injured and, especially, now Paul was really finding his form and enjoying his football. For us, we just have to take as many points and wins as possible, when you lose players.

"We've been very healthy and strong for a long period so we can't moan too much."

Pogba scored winning goals at Burnley and Fulham in January, although United's form has since suffered a little, allowing City to build a five-point gap at the summit with a game in hand.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer suggested that captain Harry Maguire could be given a rest against West Ham, having sat out just two games since the campaign started.

"Of course I think about if he needs a rest, if he physically can keep going and going," said the United boss.

"The nature of a centre-back position is a different position compared to full-backs and wide men or even central midfielders, or any other position on the pitch. The centre-backs are the ones who are protected mostly from the real fatigue because you're working less.

"Then again, he's never injured, Harry. He's never been really badly hurt, touch wood, and hopefully he'll be able to carry on. But I'm not sure if he'll play on Tuesday or not. I've not decided yet."

United have scored 12 goals across their past two games and although Mason Greenwood did not find the net in the 9-0 win over Southampton or the draw with Everton, Solskjaer has been impressed by his recent displays.

Greenwood created two chances – one of which ended in an assist – and had two efforts on target against Southampton, while he also completed three dribbles. Versus Everton he failed to hit the target or supply a key pass, but was again successful with three of his five attempted dribbles.

"Mason was different class [against Everton]. I thought he was the standout performer on the pitch - he just didn't get the goal that his performance deserved," said Solskjaer.

"I think the last few games, if you look at him closely - yeah, I know we scored nine against Southampton - but if you look at his performance, I thought his performance was top.

"He's improved and matured immensely, and he's working with some of the top forwards in the country, of course. He's learning off them, and it's exciting to see that he's come over his blip and is playing really well."

Will he leave Paris Saint-Germain or not?

That is the question regarding French star Kylian Mbappe.

Real Madrid are keen, but they are reportedly prepared to wait.

 

TOP STORY – MADRID WAITING FOR MBAPPE

Real Madrid have decided to wait to sign Kylian Mbappe until Paris Saint-Germain put the French star up for sale, according to Marca.

LaLiga champions Madrid have been tipped to sign Mbappe, who has also been linked with Premier League holders Liverpool.

PSG are trying to re-sign Mbappe as his contract runs out in 2022, and if they are unsuccessful amid their pursuit of Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi, Madrid are ready to pounce.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Sergio Ramos' knee injury could spell the end of his illustrious career with Madrid. Ramos is out of contract at season's end and the star captain has been linked to the likes of Manchester United, Manchester City, PSG, Chelsea and Juventus.

Liverpool are interested in Leeds United winger Raphinha, reports Football Insider. The Brazilian only moved to Elland Road at the start of the season.

- Gazzetta dello Sport claims Juventus are hoping to sign Roma sensation Nicolo Zaniolo.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is awaiting the results of a scan to determine the severity of Paul Pogba's thigh injury after the star midfielder was substituted in the first half of a last-gasp 3-3 draw against Everton.

Pogba hobbled off the field with six minutes remaining prior to half-time as United capitulated at Old Trafford, where Everton sensationally salvaged a point in the 95th minute on Saturday.

United were in control when Pogba succumbed to injury – leading 2-0 at the interval thanks to Edinson Cavani and Bruno Fernandes – before two goals in the space of three minutes to start the second half restored parity for Everton.

Scott McTominay put United ahead again with 20 minutes remaining, but just as the Red Devils looked like securing maximum points, Dominic Calvert-Lewin silenced the hosts in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Asked about Pogba post-match, Solskjaer told reporters: "It seemed like a muscle injury, his thigh.

"We will check him tomorrow, give him treatment and a scan, see how bad it is. We hope it's not too bad.

"He couldn't carry on, we had to take him off."

United's collapse dented their Premier League title hopes, with rivals and neighbours Manchester City – who have played two matches less – two points clear atop the table ahead of Sunday's showdown against champions Liverpool.

Saturday's result was just the fourth time in Premier League history United failed to win a fixture in which they led by two-plus goals at half-time, and just the second time at Old Trafford – 2-2 at Tottenham in December 1998, 2-2 at home to West Brom in October 2010 and 5-5 away to WBA in May 2013.

It was also just the fourth time United led a Premier League home game by at least two goals and failed to win, with Everton responsible for the last two occasions (also 4-4 in April 2012).

Fernandes scored a memorable long-range goal on the stroke of half-time to put United 2-0 ahead of Everton, following Cavani's opener.

Since his debut in the Premier League, only Liverpool's Mohamed Salah (22) has scored more Premier League goals than Fernandes (21). Meanwhile, only Southampton star James Ward-Prowse (five) has scored more outside the box than the Portuguese (four).

It was raining goals at Old Trafford and St James' Park in another dramatic day of action in the Premier League.

Manchester United appeared certain to pick up another three points just four days on from their record-equalling 9-0 hammering of Southampton having led 2-0 and 3-2 against Everton.

But Dominic Calvert-Lewin netted a dramatic last-gasp equaliser to seal a 3-3 draw for the Toffees.

Newcastle United won by the odd goal in five in a 3-2 triumph against the free-falling Saints, while Arsenal were beaten by Aston Villa and Saturday's other two games finished all square.

Manchester United 3-3 Everton: Red Devils in late hell thanks to DCL

Manchester United squandered a two-goal half-time lead in the Premier League for just for the fourth time, having done so against Tottenham (December 1998) and West Brom twice (October 2010, May 2013).

Indeed, it was only the fourth time United led by two goals at Old Trafford in the competition and failed to win, Everton now responsible for each of the last two occasions.

Only Toffees' late hero Calvert-Lewin (five) has more headed goals than Edinson Cavani's four this season, while Scott McTominay has scored in back-to-back league games for the first time.

Everton scored with each of their three shots on target, the last of which was the 12th home goal United have conceded this term – one more than in the whole of the previous campaign.


Aston Villa 1-0: Villans channel class of '92-92

Arsenal's recent resurgence has ground to a shuddering halt as they followed a midweek defeat at Wolves with a 1-0 loss to Aston Villa.

Ollie Watkins' second-minute goal secured the Villans a first league double over the Gunners since the inaugural Premier League campaign in 1992-93 when Ron Atkinson was in charge.

Dean Smith's men now have 35 points from 21 games, equalling the tally they managed in the entirety of the 2019-20 campaign. It also represents their best return in the top flight after 21 matches since 2009-10 when they finished sixth.

Arsenal, for who Mat Ryan became the fourth goalkeeper to concede within two minutes of a full debut for a Premier League club, have lost 10 of their 23 games - the earliest they have reached such an unwanted tally in a domestic campaign since 1983-84.

Burnley 1-1 Brighton and Hove Albion: Seagulls still soaring despite draw

After defeating Tottenham and Liverpool in their past two matches, Brighton and Hove Albion had to settle for a point in a 1-1 draw at Burnley.

Still, Graham Potter's side are now unbeaten in their past five in the Premier League – matching their best unbeaten run in the competition, last going on such a streak in March 2018.

Lewis Dunk was on target for the Seagulls and has scored nine goals in the Premier League since Brighton were promoted to the top flight for the 2017-18 campaign. Only three defenders can better that effort (Marcos Alonso -14, Patrick van Aanholt -11, Virgil van Dijk-10).

Newcastle United 3-2 Southampton: Debut Magpies joy for Willock

Newcastle United ran out 3-2 winners over Southampton in a corking game at St James' Park, despite having Jeff Hendrick sent off after 50 minutes.

Joe Willock became the 11th different player to score on their Premier League debut for the Magpies and the third this season after Hendrick and Callum Wilson. His only other goal in the competition also came against the Saints.

James Ward-Prowse scored his fourth direct free-kick of the season. Only David Beckham and Laurent Robert (both with five) have ever scored more in a single Premier League campaign.

For Newcastle, this was the first time they had scored three goals in the first half of a Premier League game since October 2015 against Norwich City.

Fulham 0-0 West Ham: Fulham draw a blank again

Fulham's goalless draw with West Ham was their fourth in the Premier League this season, the most in the competition this term alongside Manchester United.

The Cottagers have now failed to score in 11 of their league matches - only Burnley with 12 have failed to score in more.

West Ham may not have been able to get the job done but they now have 39 points in 23 games, as many as they racked up the whole of last term.

Fulham have gone 12 games without a victory for the first time since April-September 2014, and this is their longest run without a win in the top flight since November 2007 to January 2008 (both were also runs of 12).

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