France World Cup star Paul Pogba is determined to end his fractious relationship with Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and move to Barcelona, according to British media reports on Wednesday.
The 25-year-old — who scored in the 4-2 World Cup final win over Croatia — has agreed terms with Barcelona for a deal worth £89.5 million ($115 million, 100 million euros) over five years, according to the Daily Mail.
The reported agreement would see him pick up £346,000 a week, almost double what he earns at United.
The Sun claims the former Juventus star — who joined United for a then world-record fee of £89 million in 2016 — has demanded the Premier League side increase his wages from £180,000 to £380,000 a week so he is paid almost on a par with Chilean star Alexis Sanchez, otherwise he will leave.
United, though, would be most reluctant to sell him, with the Daily Mail reporting they have already rejected a bid by Barcelona of £44.5 million plus Colombian central defender Yerry Mina and Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes.
Mourinho has expressed his frustration over the club’s transfer policy, and Pogba’s departure would leave little time for executive chairman Ed Woodward to find a suitable replacement with the Premier League transfer window due to close on Thursday.
The club has had to deny the claim that Pogba sent a text message to Woodward demanding he be allowed to leave.
The Frenchman is keen to move to Barcelona — the Spanish transfer window does not shut till the end of the month — to play with Argentina superstar Lionel Messi, while his close friend and former Juventus team-mate Arturo Vidal also recently moved to the Catalan giants.
‘Pogba needs to play his part’
Essentially, though, Pogba’s unhappiness stems from the deterioration in his relationship with Mourinho, who not only does he blame for his muted performances for United since his move but also for his qualified praise of his performances for France at the World Cup.
“Paul was like the (France) team. He started average and ended top,” Mourinho told beIN Sports on United’s unhappy tour of the United States last week.
Pogba, though, is believed to have been more upset by what followed in the interview as Mourinho implied being in an enclosed environment over six weeks ensured he focused just on football and not on outside matters such as commercial contracts.
Pogba’s super agent Mino Raiola — who was also instrumental in bringing Romelu Lukaku to United last summer — has remained out of the fray, refusing to comment on links with Barcelona.
“I will never make declarations about Paul,” said the Dutch-Italian agent, who is reported to have earned just over £40 million when Pogba moved to United.
“You have to speak to Manchester United,” added Raiola.
Former United star Rio Ferdinand told Wednesday’s edition of the Daily Mail that Mourinho needed to fit the team around Pogba’s sublime talent, but accepted the player needed to adapt too.
“It’s down to the manager to get the best out of him, setting the team up and setting Pogba up in the right way to achieve the best,” said the former England central defender.
“But Pogba needs to play his part in that.
“It’s a case of the player and manager getting an understanding for each other and getting the best out of the player.”
Slovenian Club Sacks Nigerian Player For Impregnating President’s Daughter
One of four Nigerian players plying their trade in the Slovenia second division has been sacked for impregnating the daughter of his club president.
Bede Osuji, Temitope Nelson, Gerald Chijioke and Sulaiman Adedoja are the four Nigerian playing in the second division league in Slovenia.
With the particular player yet to be identified and name of club withheld, one can only guess who among the four is the victim.
The player has since returned to Nigeria after just six months of his three-year contract with the club.
While narrating his Story , the player said “I signed a three year deal with the option of another year but last month I ran into trouble when my girlfriend who happens to be the daughter of the president said she was pregnant for me”, he said.
“The club got to know about it and summoned me for a meeting. I got there and admitted that I am responsible for the pregnancy and I was told to stay at home and not to be seen around the club premises until I am instructed to return.
“A week later I was called to the office and told that my agent has been informed about their plans to terminate my contract for gross misconduct and indiscipline.
The news came to me as a surprise because I have not been found wanting in any area since I arrived at the club six months ago.” The Nigerian player says he is considering legal action at FIFA over the claims of the club that he went beyond the boundary set for players of the club.
“My agent called me up and said we should file a case with FIFA that he has a recording of the president saying my contract was terminated for having an affair with his daughter. She’s an adult for God sake, we both love each other and decided to have a child.
“Now I don’t know what will happen to her and the child since I’m back in Nigeria. They have forced her to block me on all social media platforms so we have not been communicating. The few friends I made at the club are also scared of speaking to me about her apparently they don’t want to run into trouble with the team. I’m confused right now,” he concluded.
Deontay Wilder And Tyson Fury Are The Best In The World, But I’d Beat Them — Anthony Joshua
IBF, WBA, IBO and WBO boxing champion of the world, Anthony Joshua has stated that he will like to fight Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury and he has the necessary style and technique to beat them both.
Tyson Fury and Wilder are the only undefeated heavyweight boxers in the division, and fans are hoping for a mega fight that will involve Joshua and either Fury or Wilder after Joshua defeated Andy Ruiz unanimously in Saudi Arabia on Saturday night to take back his heavyweight belts.
Fury will face Wilder on February 22 in Las Vegas in a rematch that is sure to spin heads with the Lineal heavyweight belt and WBC belts on the link, after their last fight in 2018 was adjudged a draw despite Fury being the more technical and clinical of the pair.
Fury and Wilder have both been critical of Joshua with both fighters accusing Joshua of avoiding them for the last two years but Joshua has now come out to say he will beat both fighters if and when they ever fight.
Speaking to Good Morning Britain programme live from Saudi Arabia on Monday morning, Joshua was asked whether he was going to fight them next and said: “I would love to make that my next fight.
“I’m taking it one step at a time. Whenever they are ready they know where to find us.
I’m not a running champion, I’m someone who will fight the best in the world.
“Deontay Wilder and Tyson Fury are those guys. I’d love the opportunity to beat Wilder or Fury.
“You can see I’d beat them.
“I’ve displayed different styles of fighting. Sometimes inside fighting, sometimes knockout fighting and sometimes a boxing man’s fight.
“So I feel like I have their number because I can display a variety of skills when it comes to boxing.”
There’s also the possibility of Joshua defending his IBF belt against mandatory challenger Kubrat Pulev, and Joshua says he’ll relish it.
Asked about the prospect of fighting the Bulgarian bruiser in London, AJ said: “It would be mega. Looking at how many people came out here shows there’s still a big interest in the heavyweight division, especially now we are taking the belts back.
“To defend them back on home soil would be big news.
It would be better against another Brit but, if not, I will follow my mandatory and crack on that way.
“London’s calling, I think. We’ve been away for the whole year but it’s nice to have a breather.
“It’s nice to have a bit of controversy, a bit of doubt.
It just shows that British supporters do play a big part in my career. Any time I’m on home soil I can’t lose.
“The work begins again because around March I’ll be defending those titles again. I’m already focusing on my next fight.”
Deontay Wilder Slams Joshua For Tactics Used In Defeating Ruiz
Deontay Wilder, the man who may likely be heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua’s opponent very soon, has slammed him for the tactics he used in his victory over Andy Ruiz Jr on Saturday.
Joshua reclaimed the WBA, WBO, IBF and IBO world heavyweight titles following a comprehensive win via unanimous decision in Saudi Arabia. Following his shock defeat at Madison Square Garden in June, Joshua used clever movement and worked behind a stiff jab to keep Ruiz at bay in their rematch. Two ringside judges scored the contest 118-110, while the other delivered a more comprehensive verdict of 119-109, all in Joshua’s favour.
But Wilder, the WBC heavyweight champion and who remains unbeaten after his win over Luis Ortiz last month, has criticised Joshua for adopting a similar style to Wladimir Klitschko to get over the line against Ruiz.
‘Joshua did what he had to do to get the win. He ran around the ring and was on his bike all day,’ Wilder told The Athletic.
‘Basically, he had Klitschko in the camp and he was a lot like Klitschko: that jab-grab-hold method. That’s all he did tonight.
Joshua had many times he could’ve gone for the finish after he landed the right hand.When you land the right hand, you’ve tackled the distance. When you land that punch, you know you’re in exact position for the second time around.
But he was so hesitant… Joshua’s mentality was to survive. The Klitschko method.–Deontay Wilder
“You want to dominate guys, man. Maybe I’m just too rough, too hardcore and too much of a dream for this time and era, maybe the world wants that nice shit… my mentality is so different from these other fighters.
‘But when I think of myself as a champion… you want to come out there and whoop his ass.
‘I’m not coming in, after losing to this guy, to just dance and grab and jab and hold. ‘I’m going to show the world and convince them I am the very best and that no one is close to me, especially with what’s going on in the division right now. It’s a time of proving who is the best.
‘Joshua had many times he could’ve gone for the finish after he landed the right hand.
‘When you land the right hand, you’ve tackled the distance. When you land that punch, you know you’re in exact position for the second time around.
‘But he was so hesitant… Joshua’s mentality was to survive. The Klitschko method.
‘The difference is my mentality is that of a beast, a warrior, a king, an emperor – all those things. If he calls himself a king, he’s just on the nicer side of it. This is a brutal sport and that’s how I treat it. I ain’t showing no love for anybody in that ring.’