A new development has now emerged on the speculated interest of Spanish giants Barcelona in French midfielder Paul Pogba.
This season has been a controversial one for the World Cup winner with his unconvincing performance as well as the rift he has with manager Jose Mourinho at the club.
The duo were reported to have exchanged hot words in training which forced the former Chelsea boss into stripping him off the team’s captain ban.
The decision of the Portuguese had touched the former Juventus star and he was reportedly forcing a move away from the team by telling the club’s executive vice-chairman that he wants to leave the club but that was not accepted by the management who were interested in his stay.
However, Italian Serie A side Juventus and Spanish side Barcelona were reported to be interested in having his signature with the Catalans reported to be preparing a bid for him in the winter transfer window.
If the latest report is anything to go by, the interest coming from the Spanish side is already cooling off as they might not have a bid for Pogba submitted again in the coming winter transfer window.
Meanwhile, Pogba is reported to be secretly seeking for a move away from the Old Trafford as he claims he can no longer work with the former Chelsea boss.
Big boost for United ahead of Barcelona clash
Man United were able to secure a magical qualification to the quarterfinals of the UEFA Champion League after a stunning defeat of French Ligue 1 outfit Paris Saint German.
The Red Devils had lost the first leg of the round of 16 at the Old Trafford by 2-0, yet they secured qualification to the next round with a 3-1 win at the French capital.
They have therefore been drawn against Spanish La Liga outfit Barcelona which promises to be a big test for interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with suggestions that he might not be able to fly past owing to his recent form.
However, an emerging report claims that the Barcelona attack might be lacking the usual force as Uruguay international Luis Suarez is doubted for the first leg of the quarterfinals encounter.
It is claimed that Luis Suarez will undergo tests on a sprained ankle on Monday, weeks before the first leg which makes him a major doubt for the game.
The Red Devils will host Barcelona in the first leg at the Old Trafford on April 10 before travelling to Spain for the second leg.
Meanwhile, the Red Devils still have Argentina international Lionel Messi to contend with as he is currently in fine form.
Chelsea Target Booed In Rayo Vallecano Win
Barcelona midfielder Philippe Coutinho was booed by his own fans following his performance during the win over Rayo Vallecano on Saturday night.
Coutinho largely struggled against Rayo Vallecano before he was replaced by Ivan Rakitic in the dying moments of the game.
The Brazilian international has not been able to justify his hefty price tags at Barcelona and that has left many fans frustrated.
Coutinho moved to Barcelona in January 2018 after the Catalan giants paid €160m to secure his transfer from Premier League giants Liverpool.
The transfer made him the third most expensive player in world football behind the Paris Saint Germain (PSG) duo of Kylian Mbappe and Neymar.
His struggles at Barcelona have led to intense transfer rumours linking the player back to the Premier League with clubs like Manchester United and Chelsea.
The 26-year-old has scored just four league goals since the start of the season.
Coutinho played 80 minutes against Rayo Vallecano and he was largely anonymous before being replaced by Ivan Rakitic.
Croatian international Rakitic provided the assist for the third Barcelona goal scored by Luis Suarez.
Rayo Vallecano had earlier taken a shock lead through Raul De Tomas in the first half before Gerard Pique equalised for the Catalans on 38 minutes.
Lionel Messi scored a second goal for Barcelona from the penalty spot very early in the second half before the aforementioned Suarez wrapped up the win with nine minutes left on the clock.
The victory was enough to restore the Catalan giants’ seven-point lead at the top of the table.
Barcelona Confirm Interest In 19-Year-Old Liverpool Target
Spanish La Liga champions Barcelona have confirmed their interest in highly rated Ajax Amsterdam defender Matthijs De Ligt.
Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu revealed the club’s interest in the Ajax Amsterdam skipper in a chat with radio station SER Catalunya.
Matthijs De Ligt became the youngest captain in the history of Dutch Eredivisie giants Ajax Amsterdam after he was named the club’s skipper last year at the age of 18.
His impressive performances for Ajax have not gone unnoticed with the best teams on the European continent including Liverpool.
The Reds have been strongly linked with a move for him and defender Virgil Van Dijk has already talked up the possibility of the young Dutch defender joining Liverpool in the future.
Matthijs De Ligt and Virgil Van Dijk have formed a potent centre back partnership for the Dutch national senior team.
The 19-year-old helped the Netherlands qualify for the semifinals of the UEFA Nations League alongside Virgil Van Dijk.
Netherlands will face England for a spot in the UEFA Nations League final with both countries scheduled to meet this summer.
De Ligt’s stock rose further on Tuesday night when he led Ajax Amsterdam to one of the most surprising results in the Champions League in recent times.
Ajax stunned Real Madrid via a 4-1 win to overturn a 2-1 first leg deficit.
The Dutch giants are through to the quarters via a 5-3 aggregate win over the holders.
Liverpool Star On Three-man Barcelona Transfer Shortlist
Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno has been named on a three-man transfer shortlist at Barcelona according to reports emanating from the Spanish media.
The Spanish champions are said to be keen to sign a backup for first choice left-back Jordi Alba and they have drawn up a list of three players to that effect.
Spanish media outlet Sport claim that the three-man shortlist includes Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno, Arsenal star Nacho Monreal and Atletico Madrid defender Filipe Luis.
Jordi Alba is the undisputed first choice at left-back and the Spaniard recently signed a new five-year contract at the club to further highlight his importance in the Barcelona setup.
Jordi Alba could face the threat of Liverpool defender Alberto Moreno for a spot at left-back next season.
Spanish international left-back Moreno has been heavily linked with Barcelona in the past.
His Liverpool contract will run out this summer and the player is not willing to extend his stay at Anfield.
Alberto Moreno joined Liverpool in the summer of 2014 in a deal worth £12m after helping Spanish La Liga club Sevilla to the Europa League title under manager Unai Emery.
He has not been able to secure a spot in Liverpool team in recent seasons due to the emergence of first choice left-back Andy Robertson.
Liverpool Face Barcelona Threat For 16-Goal Ligue 1 Attacker
Premier League title contenders Liverpool will do well to fend off the threat of Spanish champions Barcelona in the wake of the news that the Nou Camp giants have joined the race to sign Lille attacker Nicolas Pepe.
France Football claim that the Blaugrana sent scouts to watch the Ivorian international star in action for his Lille side in their last league game.
Barcelona scouts were in attendance as Lille played out a goalless draw at home to Montpellier on Sunday.
Barcelona are not the only club keen on a move for the 23-year-old.
Major European clubs like Arsenal, Bayern Munich and Liverpool have all been linked with a move for the exciting winger in recent weeks.
Recent reports claim that Lille have already slapped a £60m asking price on him.
Lille manager Christopher Galtier had earlier revealed that Pepe is just a step below French Ligue 1 stars like Kylian Mbappe and Neymar who both play for Paris Saint Germain (PSG).
The Lille boss believes that Nicolas Pepe is ready to make the transition to a major European club.
Pepe has been in devastating form for Lille in the league this season with a return of 16 goals and eight assists in 25 league games.
Barcelona, PSG To Battle For £72m Liverpool Target
Spanish La Liga Champions Barcelona and French Ligue 1 side Paris Saint Germain (PSG) will battle it out for in-form Lille winger Nicolas Pepe according to reports coming out of the French media.
France Football claim that both Barcelona and PSG want to sign the Ivorian international player.
Nicolas Pepe has previously been linked with a move to Premier League title contenders Liverpool but it seems like other major European clubs like Barcelona and PSG are ahead in the race to sign the young winger.
The 23-year-old has been in devastating form for Lille in the league this season with 16 goals and 10 assists in 25 appearances.
His output has propelled Lille to the top two spots on the French Ligue 1 table.
Pepe and his Lille side are the nearest challengers to league leaders Paris Saint Germain (PSG).
Lille officials have already slapped a £72m asking price on him.
Nicolas Pepe has been one of the most in-form players on the European football stage since the start of this season.
His Lille form has attracted a lot of requests from clubs like Barcelona, PSG and Liverpool.
Apart from the aforementioned trio, the 23-year-old has been touted as a possible signing for others like Manchester United and Bayern Munich.
Barcelona Front-runners For 19-Goal Liverpool Target
Five-time European champions Barcelona are reportedly at the front of the queue for Benfica loanee Luka Jovic just a few months before the transfer window resumes.
This is according to the report from popular media outlet Goal.
It was revealed that the Catalan giants are the favourites to sign Luka Jovic who has been in devastating form this term.
Three-cap Serbian international Jovic plays his club football for German Bundesliga outfit Eintracht Frankfurt having joined the Europa League campaigners on loan from Portuguese giants Benfica.
The 21-year-old has scored 19 goals in 29 appearances for Eintracht Frankfurt in all competitions.
The Bosnian-born player is one of the leading marksmen in the German Bundesliga this season with 14 league goals.
Premier League giants Liverpool were initially at the front of the queue but it seems like they have been usurped by Catalan giants Barcelona.
The Reds wanted to add a new dimension to their attack famed for the trio of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
Another Bundesliga-based player Timo Werner has been linked with the Reds as a potential striker addition just like Luka Jovic.
Other major European clubs like Real Madrid and Chelsea have also registered their interest in the player with reports claiming that both clubs have made separate bids for Luka Jovic.
Betting Preview: Lyon vs Barcelona: Draw Likely
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Lyon vs Barcelona betting
Spanish La Liga leaders Barcelona would be hoping to right the wrongs of last season when they travel to France to take on in-form Lyon in the Champions League in what’s the first leg of their last 16 ties on Tuesday night.
Barcelona crashed out of last season’s competition in a disappointing manner to Italian Serie A giants AS Roma at the quarterfinal stage despite winning their first leg 4-1.
The Spaniards collapsed to a 3-0 defeat in the second leg played at the Stadio Olimpico to exit the competition on away goals.
Barcelona is unbeaten in this year’s competition alongside their opponents Lyon who won one and drew five of their six group stage games.
Bet365 is offering odds of 4.00 for the game to end in a stalemate.
Barcelona have won four and drawn two of the six games played before the Lyon game and they have been given the odds of 1.75 to emerge as winners by Bet365.
French Ligue 1 giants Lyon are also on a very good run after winning six of their last seven games in all competitions including a 2-1 comeback victory over Paris Saint Germain (PSG) in the league.
Lyon are at the odds of 4.20 to win the game against Barcelona according to Bet365.
Chelsea Join Bayern, Barcelona In De Ligt Race
Premier League giants Chelsea have joined the keenly contested race to sign highly rated Ajax Amsterdam defender Matthijs De Ligt, according to widespread reports coming out of the media in Spain.
Mundo Deportivo claim that the Blues are the latest team to show strong interest in Matthijs De Ligt.
It was revealed that German Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich and Spanish La Liga giants Barcelona are at the forefront of the queue to sign the Ajax skipper.
Matthijs De Ligt became the youngest skipper in the rich history of Ajax Amsterdam at the age of 18 when he was named the club’s skipper last year.
The young Dutch international centre back has been turning heads with his performances in the colours of Ajax Amsterdam this season.
Other clubs like Arsenal, Liverpool, Paris Saint Germain (PSG) and Juventus have all been strongly linked with De Ligt.
The player is expected to command a transfer fee of around £75m in the summer.
Apart from establishing himself as a key player for Ajax Amsterdam, Matthijs De Ligt is also an important player for the Dutch national team after forming a potent centre back partnership with Liverpool defender Virgil Van Dijk.
He was a part of the team that qualified for the UEFA Nations League semifinals.
No Chelsea Exit For Barcelona Target
Chelsea defender Andreas Christensen has revealed that he won’t leave the club despite intense transfer rumours linking him with a Stamford Bridge exit this summer.
The 22-year-old talked about his Chelsea future in a chat with Danish Bold before adding that he won’t leave the club anymore.
Andreas Christensen had earlier talked about leaving the club in the recently concluded winter transfer window but Chelsea managed to keep him at Stamford Bridge despite the interest of European sides like Barcelona.
The Spanish champions were touted as a possible transfer destination for the Danish international player before Barcelona signed Colombian international Jeison Murillo from Valencia to solve their centre back need.
Andreas Christensen was also linked with a return to German Bundesliga club Borussia Moenchengladbach where he spent two seasons on loan.
The Danish centre back impressed a great deal at Borussia Moenchengladbach during his time there between 2015 and 2017.
He returned to Chelsea from his loan spell at Gladbach at the start of last season.
Christensen was a regular fixture in the Chelsea team under Antonio Conte in the last campaign but he has played second fiddle at the club since Maurizio Sarri took the Blues manager’s job at the start of the current campaign.
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