Manchester United: Pogba update; winger rejects approach; Southampton defender targeted
After a concerning tweet on Friday from Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola, it now seems that the deal is finally nearing completion and could be confirmed this week. Whilst various sources, such as the Telegraph claim that the deal is slowly edging towards completion, there is no real indication of what the current hold up is. One possibility is that the deal has in fact been done, and the Manchester club are waiting for the Frenchman to return from holiday before announcing the transfer.
If the deal has been sealed, it represents a coup for the Europa League club and it is a certain boost for Jose Mourinho and his team going into the new season. Pogba will immediately become one of the Premier League’s biggest stars, and whilst he will be under huge pressure to perform, his price tag is justified based on his performances for Juventus over the past few seasons.
However, the club were less successful in some other attempts to sign targets this summer, with the Mirror claiming that Chelsea star Willian turned down a move to Old Trafford this summer. The 27-year-old won the club’s player of the year award last season and enjoyed a great relationship with his former boss Mourinho, and the Portuguese manager was keen to reunite with the Brazilian, but he rejected the move.
Whilst Willian would have been a great addition to the squad, Red Devils fans will not be too disappointed to have missed out. Had Willian joined, it is unlikely that Henrikh Mkhitaryan would have been signed up, and the Armenian looks to be a promising signing who will fit into Mourinho’s system and the Premier League well. With a great record at Dortmund, Mkhitaryan may even outshine Willian this season.
In terms of the defensive search, a new name has arisen in the form of Southampton centre back Jose Fonte, claim the Sunday Times. The 32-year-old impressed for Portugal in their victory in France this summer, and has a consistently good record in the Premier League. However, the Daily Record claim that he has been subject to a £9 million bid from Everton, with Ronald Koeman hoping to bring his former captain to Goodison Park to fill a John Stones shaped gap in the Toffees defence.
Fonte is not the most glamorous of players to be linked with a move to the Theatre of Dreams this summer, and at 32 he is far from the youngest, but Mourinho is said to be a fan. Given his record at Southampton, who he joined when they were in League 1 before rising to captain them to a top half Premier League finish, he would bring welcome experience and strength to a young back line.
The Sunday Times also claim that a move for Leonardo Bonucci could cost at least £60 million to persuade Juventus to part with their Italian central defender. For United, that could be an obstacle, having already spent a substantial amount this summer and spent much of the summer locked in negotiations with the Italian club over the future of Paul Pogba.
Whilst a disappointment to miss out on bringing Bonucci to Manchester, few fans would argue with the fact that such a fee would simply be a step too far for the club who have so far been almost free spending this summer transfer window with various big names brought to the club.
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