Excellent news. Paul Pogba has deigned to attend Manchester United’s pre-season tour in Australia. That’s not especially good for United’s season, because having Pogba has only ever been a drag on the side when it matters, and selling him is still paramount. No, it is a benefit because it means that selling Pogba should not be a long, drawn-out affair. He is willing to at least show up, rather than cause a tedious hassle by going on strike. The sooner Real Madrid can conjure up the readies to get hold of the World Cup winner, the better.
That means that United will be able to replace him with anyone and improve their performances, assuming the player in his stead is someone who can be bothered to run to get the ball, doesn’t take 600 superfluous touches, and doesn’t act like he is brilliant because he occasionally does something brilliant in amongst the turds.
The Mirror think that one potential replacement could be Newcastle United midfielder Sean Longstaff.
The 21-year-old is disappointed at the departure of Rafael Benitez, who seems like a relatively decent man despite his continued affection for Liverpool. He has left the club to pursue management and riches in China for six months to a year before returning to whichever mid-table Premier League club will pay him a decent wedge to rescue their form.
That means that United will have to negotiate with a currently managerless club if they are to prise Longstaff from the club. The paper thinks that will cost them in excess of £35 million, which is their record transfer fee, received for the sale of Andy Carroll to Liverpool.