It must be fun to date Jose Mourinho at first. He’s got charisma, money, power – even charm when he wants to turn it on. He’s handsome, he’s passionate and he wears excellent coats. How could you not fall for a guy like that? Paul Pogba certainly did.
But once you’re in a proper relationship with the Special One, things would start to get trickier. The grumps, the paranoia, the refusal to shave when he’s in a bad mood – they would all wear you down after a while. But worst of all, it’s his capacity for meanness.
And that’s what has reportedly pushed Pogba over the edge. The Frenchman is going to officially end it.
According to the Sun on Sunday, the French midfielder has decided he will quit Manchester United if Mourinho remains as manager.
The pair’s relationship has apparently reached an “all-time low”, with a so-called “United source” (Ronny Johnsen?) telling the tabloid, “Paul has made it clear he doesn’t want to be there if Mourinho is.”
Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is allegedly “in talks” with Real Madrid about a “summer escape”, which sounds like the kind of thing Mourinho and Pogba would have booked with Thomas Cook when they were still in love.
More worryingly still for United, Pogba’s former club Juventus apparently have the option of buying him back for a measly £53m – a full £36m less than United paid for him.
Chelsea turn to Van Gaal
Maybe United should have just kept Louis van Gaal as manager – at least he was nice. But it’s too late to get the Dutchman back now, because he’s going to Chelsea.
Don’t laugh, it’s true. At least, it’s true if you believe the Sunday Mirror, which reports that LVG is a “shock name in the frame” to replace Antonio Conte at Stamford Bridge.
The Blues are tipped to turn to the 66-year-old as a “safe pair of hands” if Conte leaves before the end of the season. Although they might keep him on longer if he wins the Champions League – just ask Roberto Di Matteo.
Meanwhile, David de Gea has asked for his salary to be doubled to £350,000 a week to stay at Man Utd (Sun on Sunday). The goalkeeper is prepared to snub interest from Real Madrid to stay at Old Trafford, but having seen Alexis Sanchez arrive on a £505,000-a-week deal, he wants to paid handsomely for his loyalty.
Not as handsomely, however, as Neymar. The Sunday Express reports that the Brazilian forward has agreed to quit Paris Saint-Germain for Real Madrid, but only if the European champions pay him more money than they pay Cristiano Ronaldo. Sure CR7 will be totally OK with that.
Elsewhere, Man Utd are among the top clubs considering a move for Lazio’s £80m-rated Serbian midfielder Sergej Milinkovic-Savic (Sunday Mirror), in-demand Watford midfielder Abdoulaye Doucoure has “welcomed” interest from Arsenal and Liverpool (Metro) and Robert Pires says Arsenal’s 2003-04 “Invincibles” team had more “talent and spirit” than the current Manchester City side (BT Sport). Funny that.