Italian transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio has this evening discussed the futures of 3 Manchester United stars, including midfield standout Paul Pogba.
Sanchez & Smalling to return
The summer transfer market is expected to see Ole Gunnar Solskjaer continue to clear players considered deadwood from his squad.
The last couple of windows have seen the likes of Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian, Antonio Valencia and even Romelu Lukaku depart Old Trafford on a permanent basis.
Alexis Sanchez and Chris Smalling, meanwhile, were both farmed out on loan to Italy.
And Gianluca Di Marzio has today provided an insight into the futures of both United outcasts.
First up is Sanchez.
Chilean attacker Sanchez joined Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan for the 2019/20 campaign, with hopes of resurrecting his faltering career.
However, the 31-year-old’s struggles have largely continued at the San Siro, with a combination of injury troubles and competition for places having restricted Sanchez to a paltry 2 Serie A starts thus far.
As a result, Di Marzio’s confirmation that Inter have no intention of making the former Arsenal star’s signature permanent has come as little surprise:
‘The only certain thing is that Inter Milan does not want Alexis Sanchez to stay again, so they will not buy him permanently.’
‘At the end of the loan, Sanchez will go back to Manchester United and I don’t know whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to have him in the team or will allow him to speak to other clubs.’
‘Roma wanted to sign Sanchez last summer, so they may go back in for him.’
The situation of Chris Smalling, on the other hand, appears more complicated.
English international Smalling was allowed to join AS Roma on loan last summer, following Harry Maguire’s big-money Manchester United switch.
The experienced stopper has since gone on to impress in Serie A, cementing himself as a vital cog in the Giallorossi’s backline.
This kind of form resulted in widespread confirmation late last year that those in charge at the Stadio Olimpico had come to the decision to attempt to make Smalling’s signing permanent ahead of next season.
However, as revealed by Di Marzio, negotiations between Roma and United did not produce a definitive agreement, with the COVID-19 crisis having since thrown a deal into further doubt.
As such, as things stand, Smalling is also set for a return to Manchester this summer:
‘On Chris Smalling, his situation is on standby. Roma wanted to buy him and they had an option, but they did not find a total agreement with United.’
‘So, in this moment, Roma do not know how much budget they will have to work with. It is a problem with many clubs in Italy.’
‘As it stands, Smalling will go back to United and then we will see whether Roma will make an important offer to buy him or not.’
Pogba on the move?
Finally, in the key update from Di Marzio’s Q&A session with Sky Sports, an insight has been provided into the situation surrounding Paul Pogba.
Red Devils record signing Pogba has of course endured a difficult campaign in 2019/20, which has seen the Frenchman largely restricted to the sidelines.
As a result, speculation has continued to swirl that this season could prove Pogba’s last at Old Trafford.
And, as per Di Marzio, such a transfer could well come to fruition over the coming months, with United yet to activate the option to extend their midfield standout’s contract:
‘I think he could leave because he only has one year on his contract. When you only have one year, it is very difficult to renew the contract now.’
‘United consider him the most important player, not only on the field, but for marketing, merchandising and for everything. But this situation with his contract it makes it very difficult for him to stay.’
Real Madrid and Juventus, long touted as potential landing spots, are unsurprisingly named as Pogba’s main suitors.
However, interestingly, it is added that discussions over a potential swap between United and the latter have already taken place, with Juve keen on a deal of this format.
Miralem Pjanic and Douglas Costa, meanwhile, are both named as potential Bianconeri makeweights:
‘Real Madrid are going forward for him. Zinedine Zidane wanted him last summer. Juventus would like to have him back, but they will only do swap deals.’
‘So it depends on whether United need or wants some Juventus players that they can put in the deal, like Miralem Pjanic and Douglas Costa.’
‘I know Juventus and Manchester United have had contact even in the last days because Juventus would like to do this type of deal.’
We’ve got @DiMarzio joining us for tonight’s Transfer Takeover Q&A! 🤝🇮🇹
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) April 28, 2020