Paul Pogba wants to leave Man United this summer, insists agent

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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is determined to leave the club this summer, according to his agent Mino Raiola.

Raiola claims he is already in the process of trying to move on the France international, who has been linked with Real Madrid and a return to former side Juventus, and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is aware of the player’s intention to depart.

“Everyone within the club from the manager to the owner knows Paul’s wishes,” he told The Times.

“Everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on. We are in the process of that.”

It is the last thing Solskjaer needed to hear with United due to fly to Australia for the first leg of their 20-day pre-season tour at the weekend.

Last month Pogba announced on a promotional trip to Japan that “now could be a good time to find a new challenge somewhere else”.

It is understood he was given permission to be absent for the start of pre-season training this week – as were Marcus Rashford and David De Gea – with Solskjaer taking into account Pogba’s workload over the last 18 months which saw him win the World Cup with France last summer.

United expect him to be on Sunday’s flight Down Under but Raiola’s comments put his future at Old Trafford in further doubt.

Solskjaer, meanwhile, has confirmed Manchester United are working on another two possible signings this summer.

United have already brought in Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka ahead of the 2019-20 Premier League campaign.

The club are understood to have had a £70million bid for Leicester’s England defender Harry Maguire rejected, while they have also been heavily linked with Newcastle’s Sean Longstaff.

“It’s a long-term and it’s a short-term project. You cannot just think three years down the line, so we’ve got short-term goals as well,” he told manutd.com.

“I think we’ve been quite calm and good in the market as we’ve got the right people, and we’re still working on a case or two.

“Of course, we’re always looking to improve the squad and, all over the summer, I’ve been in touch with Joel (Glazer) and Ed (Woodward) and all the recruitment people and analysis people.

“I’ve got to say it’s been very good so far. I’ve got the backing and we’ve got the people we wanted, for now, and there will probably be some more business being done.”

Paul Pogba

United have continued their summer business by handing new contracts to academy graduates Andreas Pereira and Axel Tuanzebe.

Pereira, the 23-year-old Belgium-born Brazil midfielder, has committed himself to the Old Trafford outfit until 2023, with the option of a further year.

The midfielder enjoyed a breakthrough 2018-19 campaign after spending previous seasons on loan at Granada and Valencia, and was given a run in the side after Solskjaer took over in December.

Pereira, who has made 35 United appearances, said: “I have spent so long in Manchester that I now regard the city and the club as my home and I’m extremely happy to continue my career here.

“The manager has shown great faith in me and I can’t wait to get this campaign started under him.”

Defender Tuanzebe, 21, has committed until 2022, also with the option of a further year, after spending last season on loan at Championship play-off winners Aston Villa.

Marcus Rashford and Juan Mata have also agreed new deals this summer.

Provided by Press Association Sport

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Rodri leaves Atletico Madrid as Man City activate release cause in his contract

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Manchester City have activated the release clause in Atletico Madrid midfielder Rodri’s contract, the LaLiga club have announced.

The 23-year-old was tied to Atletico until 2023, but City have met the reported £62.6million asking price to pave the way for his departure.

A statement on the Spanish club’s website said: “LaLiga has informed Atletico de Madrid that Rodrigo Hernandez, through his lawyer, and representatives from Manchester City, paid the player’s release clause at the sports association’s headquarters on Wednesday, July 3.

“Manchester City has paid the buyout clause on behalf of the player.

“The player has therefore unilaterally terminated his contract with our club, which ran until June 30, 2023.”

The Spain international began his career in Atletico’s youth ranks before moving to Villarreal in December 2015.

He made 47 appearances for the club last season as they finished runners-up to champions Barcelona and eight points clear of derby rivals Real Madrid, and eight more for his country.

Rodri would become City’s record signing with his fee eclipsing the £60million City paid Leicester for Algeria international Riyad Mahrez last summer.

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Transfer predictor: Rodri to Man City is a 9, but Lautaro Martinez to Barcelona gets a 3

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Struggling to pick out the facts from the figures? Reality from the rubbish? Sense from the silly season? We’ve got you sorted in our daily dose of the Transfer Predictor, where we round up the latest rumours with an analytical spin.

We sort through the most eye-catching transfer reports of the past 24 hours and give a balanced judgment on whether the move really will happen – and why.

Today’s edition features potential signings for Barcelona, Manchester City and Arsenal.

LAUTARO MARTINEZ

Lautaro Martinez

Inter -> €112 million -> Barcelona

Marca report that Barcelona view 21-year-old Lautaro Martinez as a long-term Luis Suarez replacement. The Spanish giants are reportedly prepared to pay the Argentine’s release clause.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

After showing promise in Inter colours, Martinez went on to impress at the Copa America. The forward scored two goals in four games and displayed good chemistry with Lionel Messi.

Martinez is young and is brimming with potential. With short supply of young number nines that could be incorporated at the Camp Nou, Barcelona could put in serious efforts in signing the Argentine.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

Antoine Griezmann’s transfer to the Catalan club is all but confirmed and Neymar is reportedly queuing up. It’s close to impossible that Barcelona can afford to spend €112 million more on another player in the same window.

Besides, Martinez’s agent recently confirmed that he has not been approached by Barcelona yet.

TRANSFER RATING: 3/10

Rodri

Atletico Madrid -> €70 million -> Manchester City

Several reliable sources including journalist Fabrizio Romano have confirmed that Rodri’s transfer to Manchester City is imminent. The Premier League champions will pay the midfielder’s release clause of €70m and hand him a five-year contract.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

€70m for a player of Rodri’s quality is definitely a fair price in the current market. Since City will be paying the release clause, they are not obliged to negotiate with Atletico, who are most certainly unhappy with core players leaving the club.

The midfielder could be a perfect replacement for Fernandinho and Pep Guardiola could be the perfect player to churn the most out of his vast potential. This transfer could hence pan out well for the player and the club.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

With Fernandinho’s departure all but confirming Rodri as a starter, the obstacle of lack of playing time will be absent.

Rodri will be heading to the Etihad in all probability and only a bumper offer from Atletico is likely to sway his mind.

TRANSFER RATING: 9/10

Jarrod Bowen

Hull City -> £12 million -> Arsenal

Arsenal have reportedly been following Hull City striker Jarrod Bowen since January and are now prepared to make a formal approach. The Sun report that the Gunners will bid £12m for the 22-year-old.

WHY IT WILL HAPPEN

Arsenal will find that unlike most of their transfer targets, Bowen is affordable. At £12m, Bowen could be a bargain of a great back-up striker, boasting of English football experience.

The player scored 22 goals for the Tigers last season and could add depth to Arsenal’s shallow attacking options. Most importantly, age is on Bowen’s side as he looks to impress in the Premier League.

WHY IT WON’T HAPPEN

To start with, no formal approach has been made yet and Arsenal could end their pursuit of the striker on the off-chance that they manage to rope in Wilfried Zaha on the cheap.

North London rivals Tottenham are reportedly in the tussle and between the two clubs, any young player is more likely to choose the Champions League runners-up.

TRANSFER RATING: 6/10

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