Real Madrid willing to pay £135 million for Man United star Paul Pogba

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Real Madrid is understood to be willing to pay £135 million for Paul Pogba as part of Zinedine Zidane’s rebuild, the Mirror reports.

But United want at least £150m to let the World Cup-winning midfielder unite with Eden Hazard at the Spanish club.

Maurizio Sarri will not be allowed to depart Chelsea two years early for Juventus until the Italian giants compensate the Blues for the manager, according to the Daily Mail.

Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale is reportedly no longer being sought by Manchester United.

The Red Devils’ executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has long targeted the Welsh winger but the Evening Standard says that goal has been surrendered in the face of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer’s vision to recruit the strongest domestic prospects to Old Trafford this summer.

The Telegraph reports Aston Villa are willing to pay £14m to secure Leeds’ Kalvin Phillips, but his club are seeking up to £20m for the hometown midfielder.

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Players to watch

William Saliba: The 18-year-old St Etienne defender is the subject of advanced talks with Arsenal, Le10Sport reports.

Dejan Lovren: Liverpool’s Croatia centre-back is being courted by AC Milan, according to Sky Sports.

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Premier League 2019/20 fixtures: Liverpool play opener v Norwich, Man United and Chelsea clash

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Manchester City

Liverpool will kick off the 2019/20 Premier League season with a Friday match at Anfield against newly-promoted Norwich City as the fixtures were released on Thursday.

Champions Manchester City on the other hand will begin their title defence away to West Ham on August 10.

The early run of games for Pep Guardiola’s side also features encounters with Tottenham, Bournemouth and Brighton in August.

Liverpool will hope to go one better this time around after finishing a close second last season and their latest title charge will also see them take on Southampton, Arsenal and Burnley in the opening rounds.

Their fans’ eyes however will immediately be drawn to December 4 for the Merseyside derby with Everton and October 19 when they face Manchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solkjaer’s first full season in charge kicks off with a tough clash at home to Chelsea on August 11 and he’ll hope incoming transfers over the summer will help his side be more competitive in the Manchester derby on December 7 than they have been in recent times.

Whether or not Maurizio Sarri will remain at Chelsea’s helm next season is unclear with a move to Juventus being speculated but if he remains with the Blues, a trip to Old Trafford first up will be challenging.

Mauricio Pochettino’s future is also up in the air at the moment but should he stay with Tottenham, he’ll lead his team out for their season opener against Aston Villa at home.

Meanwhile, Arsenal will be desperate to force their way back into the top four and their pursuit of Champions League football begins with an away game against Newcastle United.

The north London derby between Arsenal and Spurs is scheduled for August 31.

Check out the complete list of fixtures here.

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Man City boss Pep Guardiola reacts to report he could quit Premier League champions

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Pep Guardiola has dismissed suggestions he is considering taking a break from football.

Reports have claimed the Manchester City manager could take a sabbatical if he guides his side to Champions League victory next year.

Guardiola has had an extended break before, enjoying a year off after leaving Barcelona before taking over at Bayern Munich in 2013.

Yet with two years remaining on his contract at Etihad Stadium, the 48-year-old insists such thoughts are not in his mind.

Speaking to media at a golf event in Spain, Guardiola said, in quotes carried by Marca: “No. I do not take sabbatical years. I am young and I have desire.

“The news comes out and many things are not true. If they do not kick me out, I’ll stay there.”

Guardiola also emphatically denied speculation linking him with Juventus last month.

City won an unprecedented treble of the Premier League, FA Cup and Carabao Cup last season.

Their next challenge is to win the Champions League after defeats in the quarter-finals in the past two years.

Guardiola said: “We all want to win the Champions League because it is the most beautiful thing. The important thing is to try again and in our case we will do it again.

“If we fail, we will try again, as the important thing is to be there until the end.”

Following Real Madrid’s signing of Eden Hazard in a deal that could potentially cost £130 million, Guardiola also made an ironic comment about the perception City are viewed as the game’s big spenders.

“Real Madrid are signing good players, but only Manchester City spend money here,” he said.

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