On Friday, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola made global news when he revealed publicly that Paul Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, contacted City in January trying to persuade the club to make a transfer offer to buy Pogba from Manchester United.
Guardiola’s revelation confirmed an SI.com report from February that Raiola had been contacting other top clubs offering Pogba, effectively saying Pogba wanted out from Man United. Well, one of the other clubs that Raiola contacted was Real Madrid. The Spanish giants weren’t interested, partly because they feel like they dodged a bullet by not getting Pogba two years ago, and partly because they thought signing him now would throw the club’s salary structure out of whack.
Pogba wound up being the catalyst for Man United's comeback win over Man City on Saturday, with his two quick goals helping United prevent City from celebrating the Premier League title at their rival's expense.
Elsewhere in the soccer world:
D.C. United valued at $500M in stake sale; Eyeing Balotelli?
Bloomberg reported Monday night that D.C. United is nearing a sale in which majority owner Erick Thohir is selling his stake to a small group that includes current managing partner Jason Levien and Los Angeles billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong.
A source with direct knowledge of the deal confirmed that it will indeed value D.C. United at $500 million, which includes the new $400 million stadium and land around it, as well as the $50 million training facility that’s being built in Virginia's Loudoun County. The deal is set to close in June, pending approval by MLS owners. Audi Field is slated to open a month later.
A club source added that D.C. United plans to go from one to three Designated Players this summer, and the club has been in contact recently with Raiola regarding one of his star clients–Mario Balotelli.
Balotelli is out of contract at OGC Nice this summer, and he's putting the finishing touches on a Ligue 1 season during which he has scored 14 goals so far.