Paper Round: United raise Pogba asking price to £180m
Manchester United set Paul Pogba's asking price as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aims for more signings, Arsenal want Ruben Dias, and Fabian Delph will join Everton.
United increase Pogba asking price
Manchester United have put down a marker for Paul Pogba’s agent, after they increased their valuation of the midfielder from around £150 million to £180 million, according to the Sun. The move came after Mino Raiola’s public agitating for a move away from Old Trafford for the 26-year-old midfielder. They are able to make such a firm stand because there are two years left on his contract, with the option of another.
Paper Round’s view: All this posturing is justifiable. Pogba is their player, and he has done little in his time at United to be given an easy way out of the club. Additionally, Eden Hazard moved for not much less and he is rated by some as similarly talented, so the asking price is fair from that point of view. However, the most important thing is to get Pogba out of the club and let him be someone else’s problem.
Arsenal target Ruben Dias
Arsenal’s problems with Laurent Koscielny have led them to reassess their pursuit of Benfica defender Ruben Dias. His £54 million release clause had seemed too high for them to trigger, so instead they will attempt to structure a deal with a cheaper upfront payment for the 22-year-old player, says the Daily Mail. This comes as they grow desperate to replace Koscielny, who has gone on strike to be let out of a contract he agreed to.
Paper Round’s view: Koscielny’s behaviour, after the club supported him through injury and many years of mediocre performances, is disgraceful, and the club would be justified in letting him stew in the reserves for a year. Dias would stretch the club’s transfer budget but Benfica generally have to sell to stay afloat, so there may be a compromise to be negotiated.
Delph set for Everton transfer
Fabian Delph looks set to leave Manchester City for Everton, reports the Telegraph. The 29-year-old utility player has seen Angelino arrive at left back at the Etihad, and Rodri is expected to take up a role in midfield. That gives him little chance of getting regular time on the pitch this season and he is expected to move to Marco Silva’s side for around £8 million.
Paper Round’s view: Delph has improved significantly under Pep Guardiola, and if Everton can improve their form then that could help the England international maintain his own standards. At 29, this is his last big contract, and a chance to play 40 games a season in the top flight, something he sacrificed when he joined Manchester City.
Solskjaer looking for more players
The Mirror report that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to add more players to his squad after signing just Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka. That strengthens the right wing of the side but there are more players needed to improve the squad. The Norwegian manager said: “But it doesn't matter if they're English, Norwegian, French, Brazilians, you just want good players, good people, quality and speed, of course, is a big thing in football nowadays.”
Paper Round’s view: Given the rumours are of maybe one or two more players for United, it is worth remembering that Ed Woodward has almost always failed to meet the expectations of his manager. Therefore, it can be assumed that maybe Sean Longstaff will arrive from Newcastle and, unless they can raise funds elsewhere, nothing will change for the rest of the window.