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Football rumours from the media

Speculation grows over Paul Pogba’s future at Old Trafford as it is reported a representative for the midfielder has spoken to several European clubs.

What the papers say

Several European clubs have been contacted by a representative of Paul Pogba amid speculation over the Frenchman’s future at Old Trafford, the Daily Mirror reports. Manchester United’s £89million midfielder has struggled to maximise his potential in recent months and the paper says this has placed strain on his relationship with Jose Mourinho. The France international, 24, did not start in United’s Champions League clash with Sevilla on Wednesday, but Mourinho said it was down to him recently feeling unwell.

Real Madrid want Thibaut Courtois to hold off putting pen to paper on a new Chelsea contract until April, according to the Daily Telegraph. The Spanish giants are said to want more time to decide whether to go for him or Manchester United’s Spain international David de Gea. Belgian international Courtois said he was in the negotiations over a new deal, reportedly worth £200,000-a-week, which would make him the highest-paid keeper in football. The Daily Mirror meanwhile reports Courtois said his agent will listen to offers from Real.

Pep Guardiola faces being left disappointed by Harry Maguire after he signalled he would stay at Leicester for some time to come, The Sun reports. Manchester City are rumoured to have been closely monitoring the 24-year-old after their manager was impressed by his performances. The England defender, who joined the Foxes from Hull on a five-year contract for £17million in the summer, is said to now be worth £50million. However Maguire has indicated he wants to remain part of Leicester’s push to recreate the magic that saw them win the Premier League in 2016.

West Brom are closely monitoring Ostersunds FK manager Graham Potter amid speculation over Alan Pardew’s future at the Hawthorns, the Daily Mail reports. The former Albion player has been in charge at the Swedish club since 2011, but is said to see the rest of his managing career playing out back in England. Potter has so far resisted offers from clubs back home out of dedication to Ostersunds, the paper says. Since he took over they have risen from the fourth tier of Swedish football to winning the club’s first major trophy, the Swedish Cup, last season. Since taking charge in November Pardew has failed to guide the Albion out of relegation danger and Saturday’s Premier League Huddersfield clash will reportedly heavily influence his future with the Baggies.

Ostersunds FK Training Session and Press Conference – Emirates Stadium

Former Tottenham chief scout Paul Mitchell is expected to use his links at the club to lure away some of its top emerging talent to new club RB Leipzig, the Daily Mail reports. Spurs youngster Reo Griffiths, 17, is tipped for a move to the Bundesliga after an impressive season at the club’s academy. The German league has proved attractive for young British talent, with several travelling to the continent for development. Everton’s Ademola Lookman, 20, joined Leipzig on loan in January and West Brom’s Scotland interational Oliver Burke, 20, spent part of the 2016-17 season at the club.

Social media roundup

Players to watch

Matteo Darmian: The Manchester United defender’s wife sparked speculation the Juventus-linked defender could be leaving the club with a “countdown” Instagram story, the Daily Mirror says.

Manchester United v Sampdoria – Pre-Season Friendly – Aviva Stadium

Nikola Moro: Manchester United want to sign Dinamo Zagreb’s 19-year-old Croatian midfielder, who has been hailed as the “new Luka Modric”, Talksport says.

Arsenal v Dinamo Zagreb – UEFA Youth League – Group F – Meadow Park

Matthijs de Ligt: Manchester United, Arsenal and Manchester City have made contact with Ajax’s Netherlands international centre-back, 18.


From Belfast Telegraph