Here We Go: Where will Manchester United’s Paul Pogba land, plans for Liverpool-van Dijk renewal and more
CBS Sports soccer insider Fabrizio Romano is back bringing you the latest news and notes from the world of soccer transfers, coaching moves and more. This week he looks at uncertainty at the Paul Pogba transfer saga, a managerial change at Borussia Dortmund, RB Leipzig closing in on Dominik Szoboszlai and more. Here we go!
Where will Pogba land?
The story of the week is the future of Paul Pogba. After Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola announced his client’s intention to leave Manchester United, several possible scenarios are in play for the Frenchman. It’s worth noting that Raiola and Pogba have a strong relationship and the midfielder is happy with his agent. As for United, he will respect the club and give his all as long as he is in the team. But how long will that be? A sale in January won’t be easy, which means the saga could likely go on until the summer if the right offer does not come through next month.
As for where Pogba might go: Back in April, Juventus offered Miralem Pjanic and Douglas Costa as part of a swap deal for Pogba, but Manchester United refused. It will not be easy to find agreements for possible swaps. From Paris Saint-Germain, there has been no offer so far for Pogba, nor from Real Madrid which remains Pogba’s dream scenario. Juventus are certainly interested, but they cannot spend more than €100 million and satisfy Pogba on his salary until after a large sale. We’ll see where things stand in a couple of weeks
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Leipzig on the cusp of signing Szoboszlai
This week, Dominik Szoboszlai will decide his future. “I’ll make my decision soon,” he confirmed Sunday after Red Bull Salzburg’s 3-1 win over LASK in the Austrian league. Szoboszlai’s choice has been clear for days. Despite the attempts of Arsenal and AC Milan, over the weekend RB Leipzig worked to close the agreement with the Hungarian midfielder who will leave Salzburg in January. The deal is incredibly close to being completed for a five-year contract and the feeling is that this week the Szoboszlai saga will finish definitively.
What’s next for Borussia Dortmund?
These are turbulent times at Borussia Dortmund. Lucien Favre has been sacked after a 5-1 loss to a recently-promoted Stuttgart side over the weekend and now assistant Edin Terzic is in charge until the end of the season. After that, there is a list of candidates which includes Marco Rose after his excellent work at Borussia Monchengladbach. Meanwhile, rumors about Erling Haaland keep swirling and Mino Raiola has confirmed that “Real Madrid’s interest is not new” for the striker. For now there is no real negotiation because Haaland is happy at Borussia Dortmund and has not asked to be sold. He will think about it eventually next summer, but certainly not in January.
Liverpool plan new van Dijk contract
Liverpool management intend to start talks with Virgil van Dijk for a contract renewal once the new year begins. The current agreement runs until 2023, and Liverpool want to renew it for five years because van Dijk is respected by everyone in the club and Klopp wants the Dutchman to be protected, so work is being done to make a proposal in the coming months. Of course, van Dijk is happy in Liverpool and wants to stay put at Anfield.
Zidane and Conte safe at Madrid and Inter
Finally, two coaches keep their seats on the bench. Zinedine Zidane’s job is no longer at risk at Real Madrid after three victories in a week, including a win that qualified the team to the knockout stages in the Champions League and a decisive derby win over Atletico Madrid in La Liga. Zidane will speak personally with Sergio Ramos also about his contract status in the coming weeks. It’s worth noting that Ramos wishes to stay in Madrid and become the first captain in the new Bernabeu stadium.
Meanwhile in Italy, Antonio Conte’s job is not at risk at Inter despite the poor performance and elimination in the Champions League. The club is convinced that the coach can win the Scudetto in Italy and they have not contacted any other coach, so it goes on with Conte as manager from now to the end of the season.