Paul Pogba set for Manchester United summer exit - Paper Round
Manchester United expect Paul Pogba to depart Old Trafford at the end of the season. Elsewhere, Erling Haaland's father refuses to rule out a summer transfer for his son, Olivier Giroud searches for first-team football ahead of the European Championships and England enter a tug-of-war with the United States over talented youngster Yunus Musah. It's Friday's Paper Round...
Paul Pogba of Manchester United walks off after the Premier League match between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford on November 01, 2020 in Manchester, England.
The Manchester Evening News believe that Manchester United's relationship with midfield star Paul Pogba is "at an all-time low" and that it is "inevitable" that the World Cup winner will depart Old Trafford this coming summer. The 27-year-old has been struggling to break into Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's starting eleven this season and his current contract expires in 2022. However, Pogba recently admitted that he has not even entered discussions over a contract extension at United, meaning the club will have to sell him next summer or risk losing him for free the following year. The report names Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid as possible destinations for the Frenchman.
Paper Round's view: Pogba's move back to Manchester United really hasn't worked out. Is too much expected of him or is he just overhyped? Maybe it's a bit of both. His £89-million return to Old Trafford back in 2016 raised expectation and buzz around the club but realistically, United were (and still are) going through a tough rebuild. Pogba coming in was never going to fix things over night but people still acted like he should have. The Frenchman could really use a fresh start and it wouldn't be surprising to see him move to one of Europe's elite clubs and rediscover his form. Whichever club picks him up will surely get a decent deal due to his contract situation.
Erling Haaland's father Alf-Inge has refused to rule out a summer transfer away from Borussia Dortmund for the 20-year-old. The Norwegian striker only joined the Bundesliga club in January 2019, but he has taken the footballing world by storm with his relentless goalscoring, notching 27 goals in just 29 appearances at Dortmund. Haaland Sr. admitted it was just "speculation" but stated that "you never know what will happen" in football, before backtracking and saying that his son's current aims are to win trophies with Dortmund. Premier League duo Manchester United and Manchester City are both interested in signing Haaland.
Paper Round's view: On the face of it, it seems like Haaland senior is inviting some of Europe's finest to approach his son, but he does admit that success at Dortmund is a short-term goal. Alf-Inge is simply setting up Erling's future - even though there really is no need. The 20-year-old is one of the most-wanted footballers in the world. Dortmund is probably the best place for his development at the moment, but who knows how long it will be until he outgrows the German side? Bayern Munich are too strong to topple in the Bundesliga and Haaland is good enough to lead the line for any club in football. It would be surprising to see the youngster move this summer... but not in 2022.
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Giroud set for Chelsea exit ahead of Euros
Olivier Giroud is prepared to leave Chelsea in January after France national team manager Didier Deschamps sent him a warning about his lack of playing time ahead of next summer's European Championships. The World Cup winner has dropped down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge and is now Frank Lampard's third-choice striker behind Timo Werner and Tammy Abraham. The Guardian report that Giroud - who has made more appearances for France this season than Chelsea - would prefer either a move to another Premier League club or a team in Italy. Inter Milan, managed by former Blues boss Antonio Conte, are interested in signing the 34-year-old.
Paper Round's view: Giroud is in a tough situation at Chelsea. The Frenchman played deputy to Abraham for much of last season, but really rediscovered his form in 2020. He signed a one-year contract extension in May, then the Blues announced the signing of Werner in June. The veteran forward has been limited to just one start (in the Carabao Cup) and six total appearances for Chelsea this season - which is not going to be enough to stay match-fit ahead of the Euros. Giroud needs to choose his next club very carefully as he has been labelled as a 'Plan B' option the past few years. Would he really start at Inter ahead of Romelu Lukaku and Lautaro Martinez? Probably not.
Valencia youngster Yunus Musah is at the centre of an international tug-of-war between England and the United States, according to the Mirror. The 17-year-old has played for England's youth sides from under-15 to under-18, but was recently called up to the United States senior side for the November international break. Musah is eligible to play for the United States (place of birth), Ghana (parental heritage), Italy (lived in the country for ten years) and England (joined Arsenal's academy for seven years). The teen winger is still able to decide on his national side as he only featured for USA in friendly matches and Three Lions boss Gareth Southgate has admitted he is "hopeful" that Musah will choose to represent England.
Paper Round's view: Having a mixed heritage and a multinational upbringing will definitely make your decision more complicated. Plenty of footballers have difficulties making their decisions when it's just between two options (see Declan Rice or Jack Grealish) - let alone four nations! Musah has started to make a name for himself this season in La Liga with some impressive performances for Valencia. Obviously the United States were keen to get him on board and there's no harm in him going over to see what it's like. You'd like to think that England still have a chance as he has risen up through their youth ranks. Whichever nation he chooses to represent, it's his decision and nobody else's.