Paul Pogba quells speculation about Manchester United future

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has said that “there will always be talk” amid ongoing speculation about his future at the club. (AFP/File Photo)
Updated 07 September 2018
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Paul Pogba quells speculation about Manchester United future

MANCHESTER: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has said that “there will always be talk” amid ongoing speculation about his future at the club.
The France international fell out of favor at Old Trafford last season and was linked with a return to his former club Juventus, and even a big-money move to Barcelona during the summer.
On Wednesday, Pogba further fueled rumors of his leaving when he said: “Who knows what will happen in the next few months.”
However, on Thursday, he said: “It’s not me who’s talking. I’m trying to do my job and work on myself physically.”
The World Cup winner was speaking either side of France’s 0-0 draw with Germany in their opening Uefa Nations League match on Thursday.
When asked if he was “fed up” with all the speculation, Pogba said: “I got back late (from the World Cup), so I’m trying to perform as well as possible.”
When asked if his relationship with United manager Jose Mourinho had soured, he added: “We have a pure coach-player relationship, that’s right.
“One thing I can assure you, I will always give 100% — no matter which coach I always give everything for United. I cannot say more.”
The former United youth player returned to the club after four years with Juventus, signing for a then world record £89m fee in 2016.
He was made captain for the opening two games of this year’s Premier League season in the absence of Antonio Valencia and has scored two goals so far.


Man City humbled in 2-1 loss to Lyon in Champions League

City were humbled by French side Lyon in Manchester. (Reuters)
Updated 17 min 49 sec ago
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Man City humbled in 2-1 loss to Lyon in Champions League

  • City’s players were humbled 2-1 by Lyon in a sloppy and apathetic display at the start of their European campaign

MANCHESTER, England: If Manchester City wants to finally win a first Champions League title, it will have to start taking the competition a bit more seriously — on and off the field.
Surrounded by swathes of empty seats in the Etihad Stadium, City’s players were humbled 2-1 by Lyon in a sloppy and apathetic display at the start of their European campaign on Wednesday.
Banned from the touchline and unable to communicate with the bench, City manager Pep Guardiola did fill one seat in the stands and he saw his Premier League champions easily picked apart by the French visitors.
“We felt under threat every time we lost the ball and sometimes that brings the confidence a little bit lower,” said City assistant manager Mikel Arteta, who was in charge on the bench in Guardiola’s absence.
Errors by midfielder Fernandinho led to both Lyon goals, typifying how careless City was against a team that finished third in the French league last season and was even held to a draw at the weekend by 10-man Caen.
When a pass by the Brazilian midfielder was intercepted around the halfway line, Lyon charged forward. Nabil Fekir sent in a cross from the left that evaded Fabian Delph’s swinging legs, allowing Maxwel Cornet to slot it home in the 26th minute. Delph held his head in his hands as the consequences of his mistake became clear.
City’s troubles deepened when Fernandinho was caught in possession again. Memphis Depay set Fekir on a run and the forward doubled Lyon’s lead in the 43rd by striking through the legs of John Stones.
“It was a difficult game,” said Depay, who struggled to make an impact at Manchester United before leaving after two seasons in 2017. “But when we had the ball we tried to play and when we won the ball we tried to counterattack.”
Perhaps the only reason for City to feel aggrieved in the first half was Gabriel Jesus being denied a penalty when he was tripped by former Manchester United defender Rafael da Silva just before Depay scored.
“To concede two goals like we did is very frustrating,” Stones said. “We came in at halftime a bit deflated I think. But we picked ourselves up and we came out second half fighting and played a better second half.”
But the improvement wasn’t sufficient.
City pulled one back in the 67th when Bernardo Silva scored from substitute Leroy Sane’s cutback. But the attacking threat was too patchy from a City side that won the Premier League with a record 100 points only four months ago, and are widely seen as one of the big favorites in this season’s Champions League.
“I suffered as I was scared they’d score a second goal,” Lyon coach Bruno Genesio said. “We would have taken 2-2 before the match but given the way the game went we’d have been disappointed not to leave with the three points.”
With Hoffenheim and Shakhtar Donetsk also in Group F, City appeared to have one of the kinder draws but is now playing catch-up.
Celebrating a decade under Abu Dhabi ownership, which allowed City to assemble a squad for more than $1 billion, the Champions League is the one big prize the club has yet to win.
But City fans still have a fraught relationship with Europe’s premier competition.