Gregg Bakowski on 26 March 2018
José Mourinho hasn’t upset anyone for the past 48 hours so he plans to put this right by attaching Paul Pogba to a rod and dangling him in front of some of Europe’s biggest fish, in the hope they will gobble up the France midfielder and offer Manchester United some tasty treats in exchange. Apparently, the club have had enough of Pogba appearing to be more enthusiastic about posting pictures of his hair on Instagram than he is about tracking back and are targeting a host of players to rebuild the squad if they can recoup a chunk of the £89m they gave Juventus for him.
Toni Kroos and Raphaël Varane are key targets if Real Madrid bite, and pocket-sized Italian trickster Marco Veratti and Brazilian defender Marquinhos would be offered the chance to join Mourinho’s Manchester Fun House if PSG took Pogba back to France. United would also have a nibble at Neymar if the Brazilian is allowed to leave by the club’s Qatari owners.
But it says here that Real Madrid’s preferred United player would be Marcus Rashford. Juventus, too, would be offered the chance to take Pogba back to Turin as long as they part with full-back Alex Sandro, who is valued at around £40m. Oh, and the word is that the chances of Gareth Bale going to Old Trafford have been harmed by Mourinho’s very public bashing of Luke Shaw’s delicate ego.
Over at Manchester City, Pep Guardiola wants a reunion with Jérôme Boateng, whom he managed at Bayern Munich. The defender played for City in 2010-11 but was so underwhelming that he is best remembered for aggravating a knee injury in a collision with an aeroplane drinks trolley.
Reports in Germany suggest that Thomas Tuchel has told Bayern Munich he doesn’t want to just press the play button and win the title at the Allianz Arena. No, because he is a glutton for punishment, he would much rather try to rebuild what’s left of Arsène Wenger’s shattered empire at the Emirates. And the word is he’s already in talks with Arsenal but Chelsea would like the German to replace Antonio Conte, who will be offered £10m a season to make PSG as good as their owners think they should be.
Liverpool are preparing to slap a £200,000-a-week contract and fancy pen in front of Mo Salah in an attempt to ward off a bid from Real Madrid for the goal-guzzling Egyptian. They’re not planning to do the same for Emre Can, though, which is why he’ll sign for Juventus on a free in the summer. West Ham are hoping Jamaal Lascelles is enthused at the idea of playing in a post-apocalyptic environment every other week as they ready a £15m offer for the commanding Newcastle defender.
And 21-year-old Cagliari playmaker Nicolo Barella is expected to do his tricks and flicks at Internazionale next season instead of Liverpool, who had viewed him as a possible long-term replacement for Philippe Coutinho. The Serie A club will have to pay £45m for his services, though.