In Brief

Man Utd transfer news: Tielemans, Pogba, Ndidi, Maguire, Longstaff, Dumfries

United are linked with replacements for wantaway midfielder Paul Pogba

Pogba seeks ‘new challenge somewhere else’

Paul Pogba has lit the blue touchpaper under some serious summer transfer fireworks by all but declaring he wants to quit Manchester United - announcing that it “could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else”.

The French World Cup winner has already been linked with Real Madrid and Juventus and has now “made his move to drive a summer transfer”, says The Guardian.

“Zinedine Zidane, the Real manager, wants Pogba as he overhauls his squad following a desperately disappointing season,” reports the paper, but the Spanish side will have to offload players, including Gareth Bale, to raise the money.

Pogba’s other suitors, former club Juventus, have also been in touch with United about re-signing the 26-year-old, who spent four seasons in Turin.

“The Serie A champions have taken Maurizio Sarri from Chelsea to replace Massimiliano Allegri as manager and they want to give him a world-class midfielder,” adds the Guardian.

However, the Daily Mirror says United will “take a tough line” over Pogba: “United are not simply prepared to wave goodbye to their star midfielder, who cost a then-world record £89m in 2016, and are determined to resist letting him go.”

They will demand a fee of £150m, which could be too much for Real and Juve says the Mirror: “Their hardline stance is a message to Pogba that the French World Cup winner cannot dictate terms to them.”

But the player and club are on a collision course as Pogba wants to win titles and play in the Champions League, and United are a long way from that level of success.

Today’s back pages: Paul Pogba wants out of Man Utd

Tielemans targeted - or not?

Of course, Pogba’s potential departure provides a golden opportunity for the rumour mill to grind out a list of potential replacements.

Early favourites, according to the Mirror, include Monaco’s Youri Tielemans, who impressed on loan at Leicester City during the second half of last season, and Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.

Tielemans features in the Daily Mail’s list of possible Pogba substitutes. It describes him as “one of the most promising midfielders in Europe” who would likely cost around £40m.

However, The Daily Telegraph says Tielemans is not on United’s radar. The Monaco youngster “is one of numerous players to have been offered to United but the club are not thought to be pursuing a deal for the 22-year-old and are instead focusing on other targets”, it claims.

Ndidi the real deal

Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi is also being touted as a possible answer to United’s midfield problems. And the Nigeria star has certainly got his admirers at the Manchester Evening News.

“At just 22 years old the Leicester midfielder represents an exciting potential investment for United and he is one player who has already shown what it takes to make an impact in the Premier League,” says the paper.

Sounds ideal. But the problem is that Ndidi does not appear interested in a move. He told he was “flattered” by the interest from United and other clubs but added: “There is nothing on the ground so I won’t care about it.”

He said his focus was on the Africa Cup of Nations and the new campaign with Leicester. “We have a great manager with ambition to compete with big clubs in the Premier League,” he added.

Longstaff could be the answer

Could Newcastle prospect Sean Longstaff be the man to fill Pogba’s shoes? He is “a player with clear talent and potential - but one who would represent a slight risk for United”, says the Daily Mail.

Football Insider believes that the 21-year-old has been identified as a key summer target as United “look to recruit talented British youngsters who can be developed into established Premier League stars”.

The website claims United “are ready to table an opening bid for Longstaff of around £18m this week”, and adds: “The central midfielder only has 13 senior appearances under his belt for his boyhood club, but has done enough to convince United he is a genuine star-in-the-making.”

Maguire mission

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward “will stop at nothing” to get his hands on Leicester and England defender Harry Maguire this summer, claims The Sun.

And to that end Woodward is not only prepared to part with £80m to land the centre-back, but will also offer him a five-year deal with an eye-watering salary of £350,000 a week.

“Leicester are holding out for a world-record fee for a defender - and add-ons could take United to the price they want for the 26-year-old,” says the Sun.

“The Red Devils could throw Eric Bailly and Marcos Rojo into the deal if Foxes boss Brendan Rodgers is prepared to accept a part-exchange.”

Dumfries instead of Wan-Bissaka?

United’s other defensive target this summer, Crystal Palace youngster Aaron Wan-Bissaka, is not quite so critical to their plans, however. With Palace demanding upwards of £50m for the 21-year-old right-back, United are considering other options.

Among them is Dutch wing-back Denzel Dumfries, according to the Daily Star, which picks up on reports linking the player to Old Trafford.

“Dumfries will cost around £25m, half of what United would have to fork out for Wan-Bissaka,” says the Star. “At just 23, he also fits in to United’s transfer strategy this summer to sign younger players.”

The PSV Eindhoven defender helped his side run Ajax close for the Eredivisie title last season and also started both games for the Netherlands in the recent Uefa Nations League finals.


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