Manchester United: Pogba's medical; defender to leave; latest on Blind's future
In the latest development of the Paul Pogba transfer saga, the Telegraph are now reporting that the Frenchman will travel to New York today to undergo a medical for the Manchester club as the deal nears completion after weeks of difficult negotiations.
Pogba is away on holiday until the end of this week, and it had been thought that this was what was holding the deal up. With a medical set in New York though, it seems that all parties are encouraging the deal to be completed as soon as possible with the medical likely to be one of the final steps of negotiations.
One man who may be heading the other way, from Manchester to Italy, is Matteo Darmian. Gazetta dello Sport are reporting that Roma are preparing an offer for the full back, who suffered a mixed first season at Old Trafford after a move from Torino, and Jose Mourinho is said to be happy to allow him to leave provided the club recover the £12.7 million they paid last summer.
With Napoli and Besiktas also said to be interested in the right back, it could be fairly likely that Darmian will be moving on before the transfer window slams shut this summer. For United, it shows the power that Jose Mourinho has acquired, with Darmian representative of a new transfer policy of targeting young players with bags of potential, which Mourinho has clearly abandoned in part with the signings of players like Zlatan Ibrahimovic.
On the other hand, Daley Blind has joined the squad’s tour of China and has been busy denying that his Old Trafford future is in doubt, according to Metro, despite rumours that he would be one of those to be culled following the former Chelsea boss’ arrival this summer. Mourinho is yet to begin the culling of his squad with no major exits to date, but there is plenty of speculation and the cull may truly begin after the Paul Pogba deal is confirmed by the club with all attention currently focused there.
The Holland international was often one of the first names on the team sheet under Louis Van Gaal, and as the most experienced central defender currently available, it would be foolish to allow him to leave without a replacement. As a versatile player who can play in a variety of positions, Blind is a valuable asset who Mourinho can ill afford to exile without having replacements lined up to fill his place.
Another player said to be fighting for his future, so say the Manchester Evening News, is Antonio Valencia. The Ecuadorian has struggled in recent seasons, with poor and inconsistent performances, and it seems that Jose Mourinho will not have the patience that former bosses have had for a player on decent first team wages. That said, finding a suitor for Valencia may be a more difficult task given his current wages and failure to impress, but hopes may be buoyed by an impressive performance against Galatasaray.
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