Rumour Has It: Paul Pogba considering shock Manchester City switch

By Sports Desk May 07, 2022

Manchester City have become a shock suitor for disgruntled Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, with his contract set to expire at the end of this season.

Pogba, 29, has previously spoken about regretting his move to Old Trafford, and had been expected to leave the Premier League in the upcoming transfer window, being strongly linked with Barcelona and Real Madrid.

While the Frenchman has highlighted his desire to compete for trophies, he may not have to leave the city to get his wish, with a chance to insert himself into Manchester football folklore if he ditches the red for sky blue.

 

TOP STORY – CITY TO OFFER POGBA FOUR-YEAR DEAL WITH FREE TRANSFER

The Daily Mail is reporting City have interest in bringing in Pogba on a free transfer, while the Guardian claims the French midfielder would like to work with Pep Guardiola, and that the club are willing to offer a four-year deal.

If he makes the move, Pogba would be arguably the biggest name to ever make the switch, rivalling Carlos Tevez, but the Guardian report notes he would be taking a pay cut in doing so.

It is not known if offers coming from Spain would be more lucrative financially, but arguably no team can offer a better chance at European and domestic success than City.

In 154 Premier League appearances since his arrival in 2016, Pogba has scored 29 goals and laid on 41 assists.

 

ROUND-UP

– The Telegraph is reporting Brighton and Hove Albion manager Graham Potter is considered the favourite to replace Antonio Conte at Tottenham if he is to leave at the end of the season. Brighton are said to be seeking compensation of £10million from Spurs in the agreement.

Manchester United are interested in 19-year-old French striker Hugo Ekitike from Reims, according to the Daily Mail.

– Football London is reporting Chelsea are considering a move for Torino defender Gleison Bremer.

– According to Fabrizio Romano, Monaco will not accept less than €70m for Liverpool defender Aurelien Tchouameni.

– The Liverpool Echo is reporting Liverpool have agreed to a £7m deal for Fulham's 19-year-old Portuguese forward Marco Silva.

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    Liberta Sports Club could be facing expulsion from Antigua and Barbuda’s Premier Division after failing to turn up for its first two matches this season in protest over concerns about the administration of that country’s football association.

    The league resumed two weeks ago after a Covid-19 enforced two-and-a-half-year hiatus but the Rowan Benjamin-managed club has yet to show up for any of their two games against All Stars United and Ottos Rangers FC, respectively, which leaves it at the mercy of the ABFA Disciplinary Committee that will meet in the coming days.

    According to Rohan Hector, the ABFA General Secretary, the teams that Liberta was scheduled to play will likely be awarded points and the club could face expulsion from the competition.

    “Rule 5.11; if a team does not report for a match except in the case of force majeure recognized by the executive committee or if it refused to continue to play or leave the ground before the end of the match the team will be considered having lost the match and three points awarded to the opponent 3-0,” he said.

    He added that the guilty team shall, as a general rule, be subjected to disciplinary action as recommended by the disciplinary committee, which may include exclusion from further participation in the competition.

    Liberta, meanwhile, is sticking to its guns while expressing concern over issues which they say the administration has not addressed leading up to the start of the competition.

    Among those issues of concern is the appointment of an interim president after the incumbent Everton Gonzales fell ill shortly after he was elected in April 2022. In a letter dated, November 6, 2022, obtained by Sportsmax.TV, President of Liberta Sports Club Kenny Benjamin raised the issue regarding Gonzales’ absence.

    “On April 25th 2022 the Antigua and Barbuda FA held its elections where Mr Everton Gonzales was elected as president,” Benjamin stated in the letter.

    “Within the same week it was learnt via a radio talk show host that the president had left the country to seek medical assistance. Even at this time of penning this letter there has not been any communique’ from the ABFA to member clubs as to the president’s illness or his whereabouts, the person deputizing for the president as stipulated in the constitution.

    “This can be seen as gross disrespect to the clubs and largely, the general public.”

    According to the former West Indies bowler, seeing that President Gonzales has been out of office for the last six months, the constitution dictates that if the president is absent or unavailable, the longest serving vice-president available shall deputize.

    He continued stating that according to the constitution, if the president is permanently or temporarily prevented from performing his official functions, the longest serving vice-president shall represent him/her until the next Congress.

    According to the Benjamin brothers, up to early last week, this matter has not been addressed and there has been no communication informing the clubs of the situation.

    However, Hector explained that while President Gonzales is ailing, he is still functioning  in that capacity.

    “The president, upon on recognizing his illness and was going away for treatment, issued instruction to his executive on how they were to proceed in his absence,” Hector said.

    “So, the president was not incapacitated to the point where he is not aware or has not been involved or been in touch or nor kept apprised of things going on. He is constantly in contact.

    “Secondly, there was an update that was sent out to the membership yesterday (Sunday, December 4), that completely deals with that issue has been addressed.”

    Player insurance was another issue raised by the Liberta manager.

    In a letter dated November 22, Liberta President Kenny Benjamin fired off a letter to the FA inquiring about insurance for players for the coming season.

    “Liberta Sports Club is concerned about its members participating in the ABFA’s Premier Division and not been clear about insurance of the players,” the letter stated.

    “We are therefore requesting all information and details about the insurance be available to the team manager Mrs. Diane Anthony before our team PIC Black Hawks participation.”

    The club manager cited an incident from 2019 when a Liberta player lost a tooth during a match and the club was forced to spend approximately EC$12,000 or about USD$4000 in medical expenses, funds that took the FA some time to refund.

    Hector debunked those assertions, stating that the FA paid directly for the cost of getting the player’s tooth repaired. In fact, the general secretary said, the invoice for the player’s dental care was generated on February 26, 2019 and the cheque for said amount was paid on March 3, 2019, less than a week later.

    “The ABFA paid the dental surgeon directly to repair the young man’s injuries so this notion there was a reimbursement was completely untrue,” Hector said.

    Regarding the wider issue of insurance for the players for the season, Hector explained that the FA has engaged a new insurance company that will provide even more robust coverage for players, coaches and team personnel for the 2022/2023 season.

    In response, the FA sent out a form requesting individual  player contact information in a bid to speed up the process of getting everyone insured, Hector explained.

    He said what would usually happen is that each club would forward each player’s name using their club’s contact information. However, with the new insurer, the coverage required contact information for each individual player. As such, the FA sent out forms to the clubs requesting said information for each individual player.

    “We did not want to slow down the process,” said Hector, who noted that of 43 club teams playing football in Antigua, Liberta was the only club holding out at the start of the new season.

    “I want to take this opportunity to thank the other 42 teams for returning Antigua and Barbuda football after a lay-off of two and a half years, to not wonderful support from not only the clubs but also the fans who have turned out in massive numbers to support football in 2022/2023.”

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    Vinicius Junior sent "a strong hug" to Pele and says Brazil can keep "dancing until the final" after helping the Selecao beat South Korea 4-1 to reach the World Cup quarter-finals.

    Three-time World Cup winner Pele has been receiving treatment in Sao Paulo, though his family have denied reports that he is receiving palliative care.

    On social media, the Selecao legend confirmed he would be watching Brazil's knockout clash with South Korea and will have enjoyed the performance as Vinicius opened the scoring before a Neymar penalty put him one short of Pele's all-time scoring record for his nation.

    Richarlison and Lucas Paqueta rounded off the scoring to give Brazil a four-goal advantage at the break, with Paik Seung-ho's effort in the second half merely being a consolation.

    Asked what message the victory sends, Vinicius told Globo Esporte: "That we can keep dancing until the final.

    "And send a strong hug to Pele, who is in need of strength. This victory goes to him, so that he can get out of this situation.

    "[It says that] we can be champion for him."

    Brazil's performance against Croatia was their stand-out display of the competition so far, having shown flashes of their brilliance during the group stages, and Vinicius feels there is more to come.

    "As time went by, we were growing up in the competition. Every game that passes we are more confident and intertwined," he added.

    "Today we play against a team that gives space, and when it gives space to us it is very complicated for the opponent. We have a lot of moves and personality to make a great game."

    Brazil will clash with Croatia in the quarter-final, who defeated Japan on penalties earlier on Monday after a 1-1 draw.

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    Bierhoff, who was a Euro 1996 winner and a runner-up at the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea as a player, first assumed his role with the German Football Association (DFB) in 2004.

    The former Milan forward oversaw Germany's fourth World Cup triumph in Brazil eight years ago, but the team have since suffered consecutive group-stage exits at the tournament, finishing behind Japan and Spain in Group E at this year's competition.

    The likes of Philipp Lahm and Dietmar Hamann reacted to the team's elimination in Qatar by calling for significant changes in German football, and the first of those will see Bierhoff depart. 

    DFB president Bernd Neuendorf said: "Oliver Bierhoff has rendered great services to the DFB. Even if the last tournaments fell short of the sporting goals, he stands for great moments. 

    "His work will always be linked to the World Cup success in Brazil. Even in turbulent times, he always pursued his goals and visions and left a lasting mark on the DFB. 

    "On behalf of the DFB employees, I would like to thank Oliver Bierhoff for everything he has done for us and for football in Germany."

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