Premier League news and gossip: Paul Pogba, Eden Hazard, Marcus Rashford
Five things to know today about English football’s top-flight
Pogba: United’s next leader?
He produced the goods on and off the pitch as France won the Fifa World Cup, but can Paul Pogba do the same in the Premier League with Manchester United?
Writing on Sky Sports Adam Bate asks that question as he looks at whether United will see the Pogba that was a world-beater in Russia or the Pogba that struggled at times last season. United will hope the World Cup winner can lead the club to success.
Bate writes: “Samuel Umtiti claimed that Pogba had always been a leader but another France centre-back, Adil Rami, was perhaps more accurate when he spoke of the 25-year-old becoming one in Russia.
“Pogba had, after all, been jeered by his own fans when playing against Italy on the eve of the tournament. He grew into this role and he grew into his role in midfield too.”
Can Kante help Chelsea keep Hazard?
Chelsea have offered N’Golo Kante a new five-year contract and they hope this will also help them pursuade Eden Hazard to stay at Stamford Bridge.
The London Evening Standard reports that Kante is “prepared to put pen to paper” on a new deal and Chelsea feel that “sends out a strong message of intent to Hazard, who has been subject of strong interest from Real Madrid”.
France World Cup star Kante, who has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain, is set to sign a deal worth £290,000-a-week while Hazard has been offered terms worth a minimum of £300,000-a-week.
Klopp wants Scousers in his team
Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp believes that having local players in his squad is important for the future success of the club. When asked about the talented youngsters coming through the Anfield ranks, Klopp spoke excitedly about players such as Trent Alexander-Arnold, 19, and Curtis Jones, 17.
“I love it, I love it!” he told Goal.com. “It’s important for this club. If you have the chance, then you should do it. How many people live in Liverpool? 500,000? Iceland has 330,000, I think, so Liverpool should have enough people to create our own team!
“It’s always this little plus if they come from Liverpool. If I have two players, same quality, but one speaks proper English and the other one speaks Scouse, the Scouser is in! That’s why we are Liverpool.”
Adam: Liverpool need another centre-half
Former Liverpool midfielder Charlie Adam thinks the club still needs a couple of players to have a serious chance of winning the Premier League.
Speaking on BBC Radio 5 live, Adam said: “Liverpool are one or two players from the title. He [Jurgen Klopp] has added quality to the squad, I still think they could do with another centre-half.
“They have brought [Xherdan] Shaqiri in, a good replacement if Mohamed Salah needs a rest. Daniel Sturridge is to come back in - if he stays fit he could be in that team as well.
“The goalkeeper situation was a big problem for them last season. He has seen that problem and got that deal done. He [Alisson] is going to be worth six to eight points over the season. It adds a total belief and confidence.”
Clubs accused of ‘emotional blackmail’
The Daily Mail reports that three England World Cup players are breaching their own contracts by returning to pre-season training earlier than expected.
Chelsea’s Ruben Loftus-Cheek arrived for training a week early while Manchester United duo Marcus Rashford and Phil Jones have “agreed to cut their holidays short”.
FIFPro, the world players’ union, is concerned that players are not getting enough rest. A FIFPro spokesperson told The Times that “some players were being subjected to emotional blackmail by their clubs”.