Man Utd Face Backlash Over Pogba’s Contract Offer – Reports

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba applauds the fans at the end of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on October 16, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) /

 

 

Paul Pogba’s stay at Old Trafford is set to take a dramatic turn as Manchester United are set to make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League with a mouth-watering contract offer. But the move is getting a backlash from players. 

With a few months left on his contract, there are reports that the Frenchman will extend his contract with the English giants.

The 2018 World Cup winner, who earns £290,000-per-week, is set to be offered a bumper package that starts off with a basic salary of £400,000 with add-ons reaching half-a-million pounds, according to reports.

These terms, if accepted, would see him surpass Portuguese superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo (£450,000-per-week), David De Gea (£375,000-per-week), Jadon Sancho, and Raphael Varane (both £300,000-per-week) in the club’s wage’s structure.

This offer has left members of the squad discontent over the 28-year-old’s on-pitch mediocre performances as well as his non-committal stance.

According to Dailymail, certain teammates have taken their grievances to the board as they see the Frenchman as not worth the money that is about to be splashed on him.

Speaking about his future in an interview with a French news outlet, Pogba indicate he was confused with the playing system within the club as well as the tactics employed.

“I know my role, I feel I can play in my position. I know what my role is, I feel the confidence of the coach and the players. It is normal to feel this difference with Manchester, because it is difficult to be regular when you often change position, game system or partner in the middle,” he said.

“But we get along very well with the coach, he has given me a role I know, but at Manchester United, do I really have a role? I ask the question and I don’t have the answer.”

Pogba is one of five players out of contract with United this summer. Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, and Edinson Cavani are all preparing to join new clubs

Manchester United’s Pogba Reveals Burglary ‘Nightmare’

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba gestures during the UEFA Champions League round of 16-second leg football match between Manchester United and Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford stadium in Manchester, northwest England on March 15, 2022. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

 

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has revealed his house was burgled during his club’s Champions League defeat against Atletico Madrid while his children were asleep in their bedroom.

Pogba discovered that he had been burgled just minutes after United lost 1-0 to Atletico in the last 16 second leg on Tuesday, crashing out of the competition 2-1 on aggregate.

The France World Cup winner, who played as a second half substitute against Atletico, was stunned to learn of the break-in, which happened while his wife Maria Zulay Salaues was at Old Trafford watching the match.

“Last night our family’s worst nightmare was realised when our home was broken into and burglarised while our babies were sleeping in their bedroom,” he wrote on Twitter on Wednesday.

“The burglars were in our home for less than five minutes but in that time they took from us something more valuable than anything we had in our home… our sense of safety and security.

“This occurred during the final minutes of last night’s match when they knew that we would not be home.

“My wife and I rushed home not knowing if our children were safe and unharmed.

“As a father there is no feeling worse in this world than not being there to protect your children and I sincerely hope that no one ever has to feel what I felt last night.

“It is for this reason that I would like to offer a reward for anyone who has a clue to help us.”

 

 

Pogba’s United team-mate Victor Lindelof was the victim of what he described as a “very traumatic” break-in at his house as he played against Brentford in January.

The Swedish defender’s home was targeted while he was in London, forcing his wife to lock herself and their two children in a room for safety during the burglary.

Pogba Return A Month Away, Says Rangnick

This file photo taken on November 02, 2021 shows Manchester United's France's midfielder Paul Pogba warming up ahead of the UEFA Champions League group F football match between Atalanta and Manchester United at the Azzurri d'Italia stadium, in Bergamo. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
This file photo taken on November 02, 2021 shows Manchester United’s France’s midfielder Paul Pogba warming up ahead of the UEFA Champions League group F football match between Atalanta and Manchester United at the Azzurri d’Italia stadium, in Bergamo.
Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

 

Paul Pogba is not expected to return from a thigh injury for at least another month, Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has confirmed amid mounting speculation over the French midfielder’s future.

The 28-year-old last played in a 2-2 draw at Atalanta in early November before pulling up with the injury during training on international duty with France.

Former United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hoped Pogba would be back “just after Christmas”.

But interim manager Rangnick is now resigned to a far longer layoff.

READ ALSO: Djokovic Tested Positive To COVID-19 In December, Lawyers Tell Court

“Well, a week ago I was told that it would take another four or five weeks,” said Rangnick.

“He’s not training with the team as yet. As far as I know from the medical department, it will last another three weeks, four weeks and once he is then fit for training that does not necessarily mean he is also match fit.

“It will probably take a couple of weeks until he is really able to compete for the first team.”

Pogba’s absence comes as he is now able to speak to foreign clubs about signing on a free transfer for next season.

His contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the campaign with no breakthrough in negotiations on a new deal for a player that cost United a then world record £93 million ($126 million) fee to buy from Juventus in 2016.

Rangnick admitted he is missing a midfielder of Pogba’s presence after a woeful performance in losing 1-0 to Wolves last time out.

That was the first defeat for the German in six games in charge, but had been coming after a series of unconvincing displays.

“Well, it doesn’t help if there is a profile missing,” added Rangnick.

“We need to and want to work with the players we have. We showed we are able to keep clean sheets with this group of players but it’s what we’re doing with and without the ball.

“We had too many giveaways, too many turnovers in that game.”

United are aiming to bounce back when they host Aston Villa on Monday in the FA Cup third round.

AFP

Pogba Pulls Out Of France Squad With Injury

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba reacts after losing the UEFA Champions league first leg quarter-final football match between Manchester United and Barcelona/ AFP

 

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has been ruled out of France’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers with a thigh injury suffered in training on Monday, the French Football Federation said.

The 28-year-old limped out of training at France’s Clairefontaine base after taking a shot.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Man United side are next in action on November 20 at Watford in the Premier League.

READ ALSO: Super Eagles’ Shot-stopper Okoye Joins Watford

The FFF said Pogba was the “victim of an injury to the quadriceps of the right thigh”.

France host Kazakhstan on Saturday knowing victory would secure a place at next year’s World Cup, before their final Group D game in Finland next week.

Roma midfielder Jordan Veretout has replaced Pogba in the squad.

AFP

Man Utd Must Fix ‘Mentality And Tactics’, Says Pogba

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba applauds the fans at the end of the English Premier League football match between Leicester City and Manchester United at King Power Stadium in Leicester, central England on October 16, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)

 

Paul Pogba delivered a withering assessment of the state of Manchester United’s form after a 4-2 defeat to Leicester left the Red Devils already five points adrift in the Premier League title race.

United have not won an English top-flight title since 2013 but were expected to challenge this season after splashing out to sign Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane in the transfer window.

However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have taken just one point from a possible nine against Aston Villa, Everton and Leicester in their last three league games.

United also crashed out of the League Cup last month and are under pressure for Wednesday’s Champions League clash with Atalanta after losing their opening group game to Swiss side Young Boys.

“If we want to win the title, these are the games we need to win, even if they are very hard,” Pogba told Sky Sports.

“We have been having these kinds of games for a long time and haven’t found the problem. We have conceded easy and stupid goals.”

United’s defence was easily exposed by a Leicester side that had not won since August before Saturday.

Solskjaer started with all of Pogba, Bruno Fernandes, Sancho, Mason Greenwood and Ronaldo and hinted afterwards he may have to sacrifice some of his attacking stars to better balance the side.

“We know that the fans were going to push and put pressure on us and we need to be more mature, play with more experience and arrogance – in a good way – by taking the ball and playing our football,” added Pogba.

“We need to find the key for this change because we deserved to lose.

“I don’t know if it is the mindset of the players. We need to change something. We need to find the mentality and tactics to win. We have to look as individuals and as a team to fix this.”

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville said Solskjaer’s forward players were not working hard enough defensively.

“I love them as players those five, but having them all in the same team there’s not enough workhorses,” said Neville.

“We needed workhorses alongside the great players. Manchester United at this moment in time are imbalanced.”

The pressure is rising on Solskjaer to turn things around quickly ahead of a demanding run of fixtures.

Solskjaer’s men face Liverpool, Tottenham, Manchester City, Chelsea and Arsenal in their next six Premier League games.

Ronaldo Rolls Back The Years With Dream Double On Man Utd Return

A supporter holds up a lifesized cut-out of Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. – Manchester United won the game 4-1. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Cristiano Ronaldo enjoyed a dream return as a Manchester United player by scoring twice as the Red Devils beat Newcastle 4-1 in front of a rocking Old Trafford on Saturday.

Ronaldo now has 120 United goals to his name, but scored his first since leaving for Real Madrid 12 years ago to take Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men top of the Premier League table.

“He’s still a ruthless and clinical goalscorer,” said Solskjaer. “He smells the big moments when there is a goal in there.”

United were made to work harder than expected for the three points, but were able to rely on Ronaldo’s predatory instincts to strike twice either side of Javier Manquillo’s well-worked equaliser for the Magpies.

Bruno Fernandes then sealed a day where Portuguese stars shone with a stunning long-range effort 10 minutes from time before Jesse Lingard rounded off the scoring in stoppage time.

United’s fortunes on the field have declined dramatically since Ronaldo’s departure with no Premier League or Champions League success since Alex Ferguson retired as manager in 2013.

 

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba gestures as he leaves after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) 

 

His return was enough to generate a feverish atmosphere among 74,000 in attendance not seen at Old Trafford for many years.

The 36-year-old was serenaded with songs in his honour long before kick-off and even received celebrations of the goals he scored in a shooting drill in the warm-up.

“The atmosphere has been electric around the club,” added Solskjaer. “The supporters have really enjoyed the last 10 days or so. There was loads of expectation on him and the team and he’s delivered.”

Ronaldo’s arrival has added even more firepower to an already loaded selection of attacking options on offer to Solskjaer.

Jadon Sancho and Mason Greenwood flanked Ronaldo in a front three with Fernandes and Paul Pogba supplying the ammunition from midfield.

 

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (R) congratulates Manchester United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) after the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

The crowd who had come for a party were starting to get restless as Newcastle held out relatively comfortably until Ronaldo’s first big moment arrived in first-half stoppage time.

Greenwood had scored in all of United’s first three Premier League games and provided the spark once more as Freddie Woodman spilled his deflected effort and the ball fell perfectly for Ronaldo to smash home.

Rather than opening the floodgates for a comfortable win, Newcastle emerged for the second-half with a far more potent threat and cut United open to stun the home support 10 minutes into the second-half.

 

Newcastle United’s Spanish midfielder Javier Manquillo celebrates after scoring their first goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Miguel Almiron burst through midfield and released Allan Saint-Maximin, who rolled the ball perfectly into the path of Manquillo to slot home his first Newcastle goal in 85 appearances.

United on the other hand now have one of the deadliest finishers in the history of the game and Ronaldo ensured the day would be all about him on 62 minutes.

Despite his advancing years, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner showed no shortage of pace to burst away from Isaac Hayden to latch onto Luke Shaw’s pass and his powerful strike went straight through Woodman’s grasp.

Fernandes has been United’s talisman for the majority of the 20 months since he joined from Sporting Lisbon, just as Ronaldo did in 2003.

And the midfielder ensured he was not completely overshadowed by his compatriot with a sensational strike into the top corner from Paul Pogba’s pass.

 

Manchester United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard (L) celebrates with teammates after scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on September 11, 2021. – Manchester United won the game 4-1. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP) 

 

“Everyone knows what Cristiano means for the club, what he means for the world of football,” said Fernandes. “We are really happy to have him, but the most important thing is the team performance. At the end we got the result we want.”

 

Manchester United’s English midfielder Jesse Lingard runs through the Newcastle defence on his way to scoring their fourth goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Newcastle at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on September 11, 2021. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)

 

Pogba now has seven assists in four games this season as he also created the fourth for Lingard as the English international turned onto the Frenchman’s pass and curled into the far corner.

Fernandes, Pogba Shine As Five-Star Man Utd Thrash Leeds

Manchester United’s English striker Jadon Sancho (R) comes onto the field during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on August 14, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP)

 

 

Bruno Fernandes scored a hat-trick and Paul Pogba provided four assists as Manchester United thrashed Leeds 5-1 at a packed Old Trafford on Saturday to get their Premier League season off to a flying start.

In front of 73,000, the biggest football crowd in the United Kingdom since March 2020, United ran riot with their two midfield maestros sparking hope of a challenge for a first league title since Alex Ferguson retired as manager in 2013.

Fernandes gave the home side a deserved half-time lead, but Leeds levelled early in the second-half through Luke Ayling’s stunning strike.

However, with Pogba in scintillating form, United were not to be denied as the Frenchman teed up Mason Greenwood, Fernandes and Fred, while Fernandes completed his first United hat-trick in thumping fashion.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men finished a distant second to Manchester City in the Premier League last season with any hope of a title challenge undone by their poor record in front of an empty Old Trafford.

The Theatre of Dreams was transformed into a cacophony of noise by a full house, which resulted in a similar transformation on the field from United.

The home fans were on their feet even before a ball was kicked to welcome Raphael Varane as the French centre-back was paraded on the pitch following his arrival from Real Madrid for a reported £40 million ($55 million).

Varane was not registered in time to make his debut, while United’s other big money signing of the summer Jadon Sancho started on the bench.

United were also without Marcus Rashford and Edinson Cavani, but that allowed Pogba to star in his favoured role on the left of a front three.

The 28-year-old has again been the source of speculation in recent weeks after starring for France in an otherwise disappointing Euro 2020 for the world champions.

But Pogba finally produced his international form for United as he surpassed his tally of assists for the entire 2020/21 league season inside 90 minutes.

The only blot on the former Juventus midfielder’s day was his finishing as he slotted wide with just Illan Meslier to beat midway through the first-half.

Fernandes showed Pogba how to do it as United cut Leeds apart for the opening goal.

Pogba’s dinked ball over the top perfectly picked out the Portuguese and Meslier could not keep out his powerful effort despite getting his foot to it.

 

Manchester United’s Portuguese midfielder Bruno Fernandes (C) holds the match ball as he reacts with teammates at the final whistle during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Leeds United at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on August 14, 2021. (Photo by Adrian DENNIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No use in betting publications, games or single club/league/player publications. /

 

Leeds were lucky to go in at half-time only one goal behind and looked to have regrouped at the break when they levelled in stunning fashion three minutes into the second-half.

Ayling strode forward from right-back to unleash an unstoppable effort from 25 yards into the top corner for his first ever Premier League goal.

However, the jubilation of the travelling Leeds support was short-lived thanks to Pogba’s vision four minutes later.

Greenwood was the recipient of the defence-splitting pass this time as he sprinted clear of Pascal Struijk and fired accurately in off the far post.

Fernandes then slotted home his second of the afternoon from another Pogba pass before completing his first United hat-trick in style with a thumping finish into the roof of the net from Victor Lindelof’s long ball.

Leeds were thrashed 6-2 on their first league visit to Old Trafford for 16 years last season and Marcelo Bielsa’s men headed back to Yorkshire with their tails between their legs once more as United ran riot.

Pogba’s fourth assist of the afternoon teed up Fred to slot home a rare goal from the edge of the box.

Solskjaer could then afford the luxury of handing Sancho his debut with the game won as the £73 million winger and Anthony Martial were introduced for the final 15 minutes.

They could not add to the score, but United’s work was already done as they sent out an early warning to their title rivals.

Pogba Ranked Among Top 10 Error-Prone Players in EPL

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba reacts after losing the UEFA Champions league first leg quarter-final football match between Manchester United and Barcelona/ AFP

 

Heavily criticized Manchester United and French midfielder, Paul Pogba has added yet another unwanted accolade to his resume by being listed among the top 10 error-prone players in the 2020/21 premier league season.

A recent claim by the super-agent Mino Raiola that the star’s time at the English outfit was over has further amplified the rumours linking him with a move away from the club.

Flashes of brilliance combined with mediocre performances have left a somewhat infuriating output that has yet to win over the United faithful.

In a research by a giant sports bookmakers bettingodds, Pogba lies in the sixth position out of ten premier league players who are prone to errors, with 114 errors so far in the season.

This equates to an error every 4 mins and 4 seconds

 

READ ALSO: Manchester United Scramble For Answers After Champions League Exit

–  Criteria For Selection?

The study using big data analysis collated certain metrics that count as errors while basing it on player position.

Goalkeepers – Goals conceded, errors leading to a goal, yellow cards, red cards, fouls, own goals, loss of possession, conceding a penalty.

Defenders – Unsuccessful tackles, duels lost, aerial duels lost, unsuccessful crosses, errors leading to a goal, yellow cards, red cards, fouls, own goals, loss of possession, conceding a penalty.

Midfielders – Shots off target, big chances missed, unsuccessful tackles, duels lost, aerial duels lost, unsuccessful crosses, errors leading to a goal, yellow cards, red cards, fouls, own goals, loss of possession, conceding a penalty.

Forwards – Shots off target, big chances missed yellow cards, red cards, fouls, own goals, loss of possession, conceding a penalty.

 


Kirsty Wigglesworth / POOL / AFP

 

– Top Ten List

Making the top of the list is Burnley’s midfielder, Vydra with 43 mistakes despite having no red cards and yellow cards this season.

Another surprising inclusion on the list is Tottenham’s Giovani Lo Celso who has been instrumental in Mourinho’s revolution at the club, despite his manager describing him as “a very good player” who can ”express all of his quality” when in the topmost condition; he sits on 5th spot just above Pogba on the list.

View the full list below:

1. Matej Vydra (Burnley) – 43 Mistakes / Mistake every 3 minutes 13 seconds
2. Trézéguet (Aston Villa) – 187 Mistakes / Mistake every 3 minutes 33 seconds
3 = Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion) – 45 Mistakes / Mistake every 3 minutes 52 seconds
3 = Neeskens Kebano (Fulham) – 30 Mistakes / Mistake every 3 minutes 52 seconds
5. Giovani Lo Celso (Tottenham Hotspur) – 79 Mistakes / Mistake every 3 minutes 53 seconds
6. Paul Pogba (Manchester United) – 114 Mistakes / Mistake every 4 minutes 4 seconds
7. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (Fulham) – 82 Mistakes / Mistake every 4 minutes 18 seconds
8. Max Lowe (Sheffield United) – 94 Mistakes / Mistake every 4 minutes 25 seconds
9. Luke Thomas (Leicester City) – 40 Mistakes / Mistake every 4 minutes 30 seconds
10. Mario Lemina (Fulham) – 57 Mistakes / Mistake every 4 minutes 31 seconds

With expectations yet to be met by the French ace at the club, speculations have it the Manchester United board is eager to sell off the star with clubs giants like Juventus and Real Madrid seemingly interested in acquiring him.

‘Unhappy’ Pogba Wants To Leave Manchester United- Raiola

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba warms up ahead of the English Premier League football match between West Ham United and Manchester United at The London Stadium, in east London on December 5, 2020.
Justin Setterfield / POOL / AFP

 

Paul Pogba is “unhappy” at Manchester United and should leave in the next transfer window, his agent Mino Raiola said, in comments that may signal the exit of the one-time world’s most expensive player.

Raiola said the World Cup-winning France midfielder, 27, needs a “change of scene” after struggling to establish himself under United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

“Paul’s unhappy at Manchester United, he can’t express himself anymore as he would like to and as we expect of him,” Raiola told Italian newspaper Tuttosport.

“He has to change teams, he needs a change of scene. His contract is up in a year-and-a-half, in the summer of 2022, but I think the best solution for all sides is a transfer in the next window.”

He added that Pogba, who returned from a spell at Juventus for a then world-record fee of £89 million ($118 million) in 2016, has no plans to extend his contract.

“The club… knows it risks losing him for nothing, as at the moment the player has no intention of extending his contract,” Raiola said.

“If anyone doesn’t understand, they don’t understand anything about football.”

Pogba eclipsed since the arrival of fellow attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes, has repeatedly spoken of his frustrations at club level while on international duty.

“He is in a situation with his club where he cannot be happy, neither with his playing time nor with his positioning,” France coach Didier Deschamps said last month.

Pogba has also expressed his desire to play for Real Madrid one day, particularly if that means playing under the orders of Zinedine Zidane.

The midfielder’s superb strike in Saturday’s 3-1 win over West Ham was his first goal in eight Premier League appearances this season.

-AFP

Pogba Plans Legal Action After ‘Fake News’ France Retirement Rumours

(FILES) This file photo taken on March 25, 2019 shows France’s midfielder Paul Pogba celebrating after France’s win of the UEFA Euro 2020 Group H qualification football match between France and Iceland at the Stade de France stadium in Saint-Denis, north of Paris.
FRANCK FIFE / AFP

 

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba said on Monday he will be “taking legal action” after reports claimed he had retired from international duty in protest against French President Emmanuel Macron’s comments about radical Islam.

According to reports in the Middle East picked up by British tabloid The Sun, World Cup winner Pogba wanted to end his international career after Macron vowed to take the fight to Islamic radicals after the October 16 beheading of history teacher Samuel Paty.

“I am appalled, angry, shocked and frustrated some ‘media’ sources use me to make total fake headlines in the sensible subject of French current events and adding my religion and the French National Team to the pot,” Pogba posted on Instagram.

“I am taking legal action against the publishers and spreaders of these 100% Fake News,” he added.

Paty had shown cartoons of the Prophet Mohamed to pupils in a class discussion on free speech in a school near Paris.

Macron’s comments triggered protests in Muslim-majority countries at the weekend, with people burning pictures of Macron in Syria and setting fire to French flags in the Libyan capital Tripoli.

Pogba won the World Cup in Russia in 2018, with Les Bleus’ next fixture a friendly with Finland on November 11 ahead of Nations League meetings with Portugal and Sweden.

United’s next match is Wednesday’s Champions League group game against RB Leipzig at Old Trafford.

-AFP

Pogba Tests Positive For COVID-19, Left Out Of France Squad

Manchester United’s French midfielder Paul Pogba reacts after losing the UEFA Champions league first leg quarter-final football match between Manchester United and Barcelona/ AFP

 

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was omitted from the France squad announced Thursday for next month’s Nations League matches against Sweden and Croatia after testing positive for Covid-19, coach Didier Deschamps said.

World Cup winner Pogba has been replaced by teenager Eduardo Camavinga, who was called up for the first time alongside Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.

“Unfortunately he underwent a test yesterday (Wednesday) which was revealed to be positive this morning,” Deschamps said of Pogba’s absence from the group.

Juventus midfielder Adrien Rabiot was also recalled for the first time in over two years after he refused to go on the standby list for the 2018 World Cup.

“He’s found a very good level again. We can’t go back, I’m not someone who likes to take radical decisions. He remained selectable,” explained Deschamps.

Blaise Matuidi, 33, was overlooked following his recent move to David Beckham’s Inter Miami in Major League Soccer as Deschamps decided to give a chance to some younger players in midfield.

Kylian Mbappe was one of two Paris Saint-Germain players included alongside defender Presnel Kimpembe, both starters in last weekend’s Champions League final defeat by Bayern Munich in Lisbon.

France will travel to Sweden for their opening Nations League game on September 5 before returning home to play Croatia three days later. Their last international was the 2-0 victory over Albania on November 17.

The French Squad

Goalkeepers: Hugo Lloris (Tottenham/ENG), Mike Maignan (Lille), Steve Mandanda (Marseille)

Defenders: Lucas Digne (Everton/ENG), Leo Dubois (Lyon), Lucas Hernandez (Bayern/GER), Presnel Kimpembe (PSG), Clement Lenglet (Barcelona/ESP), Ferland Mendy (Real Madrid/ESP), Dayot Upamecano (RB Leipzig/GER), Raphael Varane (Real Madrid/ESP)

Midfielders: Eduardo Camavinga (Rennes), N’Golo Kante (Chelsea/ENG), Steven Nzonzi (Rennes), Adrien Rabiot (Juventus/ITA), Moussa Sissoko (Tottenham/ENG)

Forwards: Houssem Aouar (Lyon), Wissam Ben Yedder (Monaco), Olivier Giroud (Chelsea/ENG), Antoine Griezmann (Barcelona/ESP), Jonathan Ikone (Lille), Anthony Martial (Manchester United/ENG), Kylian Mbappe (PSG).

 

AFP

Solskjaer Realistic On Transfers But Keen To Keep Pogba

Manchester United’s Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer gestures from the touchline during the English Premier League football match between Liverpool and Manchester United at Anfield stadium in Liverpool, north west England on January 19, 2020.
Paul ELLIS / AFP

 

 

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will not seek huge funds for transfers this summer due to the economic realities of the coronavirus crisis, but is keen for the club to tie down Paul Pogba to a long-term contract.

United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has warned it will not be “business as usual” in the transfer market and said during football’s shutdown from COVID-19 that “speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport”.

The form of Solskjaer’s men since returning to action last month has also suggested United do not need to spend tens of millions in the upcoming window.

The emergence of teenager Mason Greenwood – who has scored three times in his last two games – has helped quieten speculation over a move for Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho.

“There’s got to be realism,” Solskjaer said. “I think the whole world has changed, both financially and the perception that we’ve got on values.

“So every time I put the case in front of Ed, I think it’s a sensible one and it’s a realistic one.

“I think I’ve proven to the club that I’ve always got the club in the front of my mind and the best for the club. I’ll always think long term and try to be making good deals. I’m always quite careful with money, my own personal money as well.”

Pogba’s return to fitness has been a key factor to a run of four wins and a draw from five games since the restart.

The French World Cup winner looked destined to leave Old Trafford for the second time in his career prior to the pandemic.

However, interest from Real Madrid is now unlikely to materialise this summer and Pogba has formed a formidable partnership with Bruno Fernandes in midfield.

Pogba’s contract expires next summer, although United have the option to extend that deal by a further year.

Midfielders Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic have recently penned new deals with the club and Solskjaer is hopeful Pogba will follow suit.

“Of course we want to keep the best players around the club. We want to build a squad for the future.

“Scott and Nemanja, they’re in a similar position but at different stages in their careers. One at the start, one really experienced. We also need players in that mid-range group, so hopefully we can do something.

“I know that since Paul’s come back now he’s looking better and better. He’s just enjoying his football and let’s see where it takes us.”

 

 

-AFP