Pogba boost as Barcelona talk cools

Juventus star has not held talks with Barcelona says agent so City move could still be on – all the latest Man City transfer news and gossip

Oli Scarff/Getty

Contrary to popular belief, Paul Pogba has not opened talks with Barcelona and that, says the Daily Express, will “boost” Manchester City’s chances of signing the French midfielder next year.

Chelsea were also linked with the former Manchester United star but with their season imploding, it’s considered unlikely Pogba would be willing to listen to their offer, leaving City to fight it out with the European champions for the player’s signature.

The Spanish press had claimed in the summer that there was “an agreement in place” between Pogba and Barcelona, but when asked by a French broadcaster about such a deal, super-agent Mino Raiola retorted: “An agreement with FC Barcelona? Absolutely not. Those who want him should sit with Juventus and then we’ll see.”

Raiola added that there were “three or four” clubs interested in Pogba but that a deal would not be rushed into.

Man City transfer news: battle to lure Coutinho from Liverpool

09 October

With Jurgen Klopp installed at Liverpool’s new manager, speculation continues to mount over the future of Philippe Coutinho. According to the Daily Mirror the South American midfielder is being monitored by Barcelona but now a new suitor has emerged on the scene – Manchester City.

The Mirror claims that the Citizens are going to make the Reds a mouth-watering offer in the new year, although Liverpool will do their utmost to keep the “Samba star”. And the player’s agent, Kia Joorabchian, had some reassuring words for the Kop when asked about Coutinho’s future. “Philippe is extremely happy at Liverpool,” he replied. “He signed a long-term contract towards the end of last season that represents his ambition and his feeling for Liverpool. Reports that I have been talking to clubs about Philippe are not true.”

Joorabchian added that his client is determined to help Liverpool qualify for next season’s Champions League and is “focused on nothing else”.

Meanwhile the Daily Mail says that City are “watching” Vitesse Arnhem teenager Thomas Buitink. Only 15, the teenage striker is rated as one of the best hitmen in Holland and has already bagged more than 100 goals at youth level for Vitesse. Chelsea, Manchester United and Arsenal are “expected to watch him in coming weeks” but the Mail says that City have stolen a march on their rivals and hope to tie him to the Etihad with a youth contract before long.

Man City transfer news: Chelsea battle over Andrade

5 October

Fresh from hitting Newcastle for six on Saturday, Manchester City are now said to be “leading the chase” for Benfica midfielder Victor Andrade. TheDaily Mirror claims that the 20-year-old Brazilian playmaker is one of the most highly regarded prospects in Portugal and to that end Benfica have already slapped a £25m price tag on him.

Chelsea are also circling Andrade but apparently the Citizens are “the favourites to land” the South American sorcerer in January, perhaps because of a family connection – Andrade is the godson of Robinho, the Brazilian who failed to make much of a mark at City after a £33m move from Real Madrid in 2008.

Andrade is said to be interested in a move to the Premier League and City boss Manuel Pellegrini – who saw his side thrash Newcastle 6-1 at the weekend – believes he would complement the likes of Raheem Sterling and Kevin de Bruyne. The fact he has a Portuguese passport is an added boon for the Sky Blues as it means there will be no work permit issues.

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