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Transfer Talk: Will Pogba stay at Manchester United?

July 17, 2019 14:25 IST

Paul Pogba

IMAGE: Paul Pogba said in Tokyo last month he could seek a new challenge elsewhere amid reports linking him to Juventus and Real Madrid. Photograph: Paul Kane/Getty Images

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is eager to build his team around midfielder Paul Pogba despite media speculation linking the French World Cup winner with a move away from Old Trafford ahead of the new Premier League campaign.

 

Pogba's agent recently told The Times that the 26-year-old intends to leave the club, while the player said in Tokyo last month he could seek a new challenge elsewhere amid reports linking him to Juventus and Real Madrid.

"Paul is a fantastic player, a fantastic human being and has always been a great professional," Solskjaer told reporters in Perth.

"I said (previously), 'if he's in your squad, you'd build your team around him'... I haven't changed that much since then, so I'd say the same now."

Pogba, who joined United from Juventus in 2016 for a then-world record fee of 89.3 million pounds (0.83 million), has blown hot and cold in his second stint at the club despite scoring 31 goals in 142 appearances.

"We know Paul has been criticised by a few but he's loved by loads more," Solskjaer added.

"The ones that might want to leave (the club) now haven't been here when it's been successful. Hopefully they want to be part of that. I want to be part of it."

United, who finished sixth last season, kick off their new league campaign against Chelsea at Old Trafford on August 11.

Atletico set to sign England's Trippier from Tottenham

Kieran Trippier

IMAGE: Kieran Trippier helped Spurs to the Champions League final for the first time in their history last season, where they were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

England defender Kieran Trippier is on the verge of moving from Tottenham Hotspur to Atletico Madrid, reports in the Spanish and British media said on Tuesday.

English newspaper The Daily Telegraph said Trippier, 28, has travelled to the Spanish capital ahead of a move worth 20 million pounds ($24.83 million).

Spanish daily Marca said Atletico, who finished runners-up in La Liga last season, have turned to Trippier after failing to sign Portugal right back Nelson Semedo from Barcelona.

An source from Atletico told Reuters that negotiations are ongoing with Tottenham.

Trippier helped Spurs to the Champions League final for the first time in their history last season, where they were beaten 2-0 by Liverpool in Atletico's Wanda Metropolitano stadium.

Speaking after the final, the right back admitted his future with Tottenham was unclear, saying: "I want to stay in England, but what can you do? I'll see what happens and what the club wants, most importantly."

Trippier was part of the England side that reached the last four of the 2018 World Cup, scoring from a free kick in their 2-1 semi-final defeat against Croatia.

Marca also said that Atletico are set to sign Spain defender Mario Hermoso from Espanyol as they look to bolster their back line after a spate of high-profile departures.

Atletico bid farewell to former captain Diego Godin and fellow stalwart defenders Filipe Luis and Juanfran after their contracts expired. In January they agreed to sell France defender Lucas Hernandez to Bayern Munich for 80 million euros ($89.7 million).

Striker Antoine Griezmann, Atletico's top scorer in each of the past five seasons, has left for champions Barcelona for 120 million euros, with holding midfielder Rodri also departed after Manchester City paid his 70 million euro release clause.

Atletico have already brought in 30-year-old central defender Felipe from Porto and 21-year-old left back Renan Lodi from Athletico Paranaense.

They have also increased their attacking options by landing Portugal forward Joao Felix from Benfica for a club record 126 million euros as well as signing Serbian forward Ivan Saponjic, Mexico midfielder Hector Herrera and Spanish midfielder Marcos Llorente.

Arsenal's Emery waits for decision on Koscielny's future

Laurent Koscielny

IMAGE: Arsenal captain Laurent Koscielny has been linked with a switch to Ligue 1 clubs Girondins Bordeaux and Olympique Lyonnais. Photograph: Michael Regan/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Unai Emery said he is awaiting a decision on Laurent Koscielny after the captain refused to travel with the squad for their pre-season tour to the United States but added the Premier League club must "keep moving ahead" regardless.

The 33-year-old French centre back, who has a year left on his contract, has been linked by the British media with a switch to Ligue 1 clubs Girondins Bordeaux and Olympique Lyonnais.

"I spoke with him three times for his situation. We wanted him to come with us but he decided to stay," Emery told a news conference after Arsenal defeated Colorado Rapids 3-0.

"For me now, it's clear. We need to keep moving ahead. We're playing with the spirit to create a new way."

Emery said Koscielny, who joined Arsenal from French side Lorient in 2010 and has made over 350 appearances, is still an "important player".

"Now it's a matter for him and the club," the manager said. "They need to speak and are speaking about his situation ... I'm waiting on his conversation and decision ... I can't say more than that."

Arsenal take on Bayern Munich on Wednesday, before matches against Fiorentina and Real Madrid as part of the International Champions Cup.

Emery's side, who finished fifth in the league last season, kick off their new campaign at Newcastle United on August 11.

Villa continue spending spree by signing defender Engels

Newly promoted Aston Villa continued their close season spending spree by signing defender Bjorn Engels from French side Stade Reims for an undisclosed fee, the Premier League club said.

British media said Villa had paid Reims 7 million pounds ($8.69 million) for the 24-year-old, taking their spending to nearly 100 million pounds following their promotion from the Championship after beating Derby County in the playoff final.

"Bjorn is a player that I've been watching for the past 18 months. We're very happy to have secured his services and look forward to working with him," Villa boss Dean Smith told the club's website.

Engels follows fellow centre backs Ezri Konsa, Tyrone Mings and Kortney Hause into the club, with Villa also signing winger Anwar El Ghazi, left back Matt Targett, midfielder Jota and striker Wesley to boost their squad.

Villa had narrowly missed out on a return to the Premier League at the end of the 2017-18 season after losing 1-0 to Fulham in the playoff final, following which their financial troubles came to light.

They had unpaid tax issues before reaching an agreement with authorities last year and then received "significant" fresh investment from co-owners Nassef Sawiris and Wes Edens.

Fulham, meanwhile, were relegated from the Premier League last season after becoming the first promoted club to spend over 100 million pounds on players in the close season.

Villa will look to avoid a similar fate as they prepare for their first season back in the English top flight since 2016, with their opening match at Tottenham Hotspur on Aug. 10.

PSG sign defender Diallo from Dortmund

Paris St Germain have signed French defender Abdou Diallo on a five-year deal from German side Borussia Dortmund, the French champions said on Tuesday.

No financial details were disclosed but media reports said the fee was worth about 29 million pounds ($35.98 million).

"It is a great honour to be involved with such a prestigious club as Paris Saint-Germain. I have always said that the Parisian project was very attractive," the 23-year-old said in a statement on the club's website.

"Joining the capital club today is another important step in my career. I am committed to giving my all for my new club and look forward to bringing my qualities and desire to this team renowned for its high quality and high ambitions."

Diallo joined Dortmund last season from Mainz 05 and went on to make 38 total appearances for the German side who finished runners-up in the Bundesliga behind champions Bayern Munich.

"We're in a good position in the defensive area, both in terms of player numbers and quality, and Abdou really wanted to accept the offer from his home country, and it's a very valuable one for us," Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc said.

"We thank Abdou Diallo for his commitment to Borussia Dortmund and wish him good health and much success in his new workplace," Zorc added.

Barcelona bring youngster Cucurella back from Eibar

Barcelona have re-signed left back Marc Cucurella from Eibar after the 20-year-old's impressive first season in the Spanish top flight.

A statement from the La Liga champions said they had exercised a buy-back clause in the player's contract for four million euros, less than two months after Eibar had agreed to sign him on a permanent basis for two million euros.

Cucurella, who can play on the left side of defence and on the left wing, came through Barca's youth ranks but only played seven minutes of first-team football in the Copa del Rey before moving to Eibar on loan last season, playing 31 La Liga games.

He made his name with a stunning performance in the Basque team's 3-0 win over Real Madrid and scored against Barca in a 2-2 draw on the final day of the season.

Delph joins Everton from Manchester City

Everton have signed England international midfielder Fabian Delph on a three-year deal from Premier League champions Manchester City, they announced on Monday.

The 29-year-old, who has made 20 appearances for England, became surplus to requirements at City after they recently signed Spanish midfielder Rodri in a club record deal from Atletico Madrid.

Delph had one year left on his City contract and played 22 times in City's title-winning 2017/18 season. He featured in only 20 matches in all competitions last season as City won a domestic treble.

No financial details were disclosed but media reports said the fee was worth up to 10 million pounds ($12.52 million).

"The club that I’ve been at has had success, especially in the last two seasons, and over the last four years we managed to win trophies," he told the Everton website.

"I wanted to be playing more regularly and the opportunity to come and play for Everton Football Club was too good of an opportunity to turn down.

"I’m at an age now where I am probably one of the most experienced players, so hopefully I can bring that and try to help my team mates here to do better," he added.

Manager Marco Silva said Delph would bring quality and experience to a side that finished eighth last season.

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