Solskjaer: Pogba is staying
theweek: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer used the pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Barcelona to issue a “hands-off warning” to Real Madrid.
The Daily Mirror reports that the warning concerns Paul Pogba, who the Spanish giants are shamelessly courting. The normally mild-mannered Solskjaer shot down speculation that the World Cup-winning midfielder could leave Old Trafford for the Bernabeu in the summer.
“He’s a Manchester United player,” snapped Solskjaer when asked about Pogba’s future. “I cannot see him not playing for Man Utd next season either.”
The Norwegian than emphasised the importance of Pogba to United, declaring: “He’s one of our big performers on the big stage… at Paul’s best he can run a game like this. Paul’s job is to be the creator and to drive us forward. I expect him to perform [against Barcelona].”
Herrera speaks out
Ander Herrera has done little to endear himself to the United board and fans during an interview with Spanish broadcaster ABC.
On the subject of Pogba, the 29-year-old Herrera said the Frenchman “would be a great reinforcement for Madrid”. But it was what Herrera said about his own future that will most irritate the Old Trafford board, reports Metro.
The midfielder becomes a free agent at the end of the season and reports circulated last week saying he has reached a pre-contract agreement with Paris Saint-Germain.
He had been tipped to replace Antonio Valencia as United’s club captain but Metro claims that for the Spaniard to stay loyal they “will need to satisfy Herrera’s mammoth £200,000-a-week wage demands”.
Asked to clarify his contract situation, Herrera replied: “I only have two months on my contract left, and today, Manchester United and I aren’t thinking the same [on wages] and there is no renewal agreement. My duty is to keep listening to United… but also to other clubs. I do not close doors.”
Rice for Matic?
According to the Daily Express Nemanja Matic’s United future depends on whether the Red Devils can lure Declan Rice from West Ham.
The 20-year-old Rice, recently capped by England, is being linked with a move to Old Trafford despite his signing a new contract in December to keep him at the London Stadium until 2024.
United have made it clear they are ready to offer Rice “a significant increase to his £30,0000-a-week wages”, and the Express says that should United also meet the Hammers’ £50m asking price for Rice, the young midfielder could be moving into Matic’s locker at Old Trafford.
Rashford close to new deal
Finally, the Daily Mirror reports that Marcus Rashford is “closing in on a huge new Manchester United deal that will earn him a stunning £78m”.
The England striker is in advanced talks with United over a new five-year contract and assuming he signs, the 21-year-old will see his wage packet soar from his current derisory £80,000-a-week to a more respectable £300,000.
Champions League results and fixtures
Quarter-final first-leg results: Tuesday 9 April
- Liverpool 2 FC Porto 0
- Tottenham Hotspur 1 Manchester City 0
First-leg fixtures: Wednesday 10 April
- Ajax vs. Juventus (8pm, live on BT Sport 3)
- Manchester United vs. Barcelona (8pm, live on BT Sport 2)
Quarter-final second-leg fixtures
- 16 April: Juventus vs. Ajax
- 16 April: Barcelona vs. Manchester United
- 17 April: Porto vs. Liverpool (0-2 on aggregate)
- 17 April: Manchester City vs. Tottenham Hotspur (0-1 on aggregate)
Premier League fixtures
- Friday 12 April
- Leicester City vs. Newcastle United (8pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Saturday 13 April (3pm unless stated)
- Tottenham Hotspur vs. Huddersfield Town (12.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Brighton and Hove Albion vs. AFC Bournemouth
- Burnley vs. Cardiff City
- Fulham vs. Everton
- Southampton vs. Wolverhampton Wanderers
- Manchester United vs. West Ham United (5.30pm, live on BT Sport 1)
Sunday 14 April
- Crystal Palace vs. Manchester City (2.05pm, live on Sky Sports)
- Liverpool vs. Chelsea (4.30pm, live on Sky Sports)
Monday 15 April
- Watford vs. Arsenal (8pm, live on Sky Sports)
Source: Published by theweek