United in hot water over Pogba transfer, and Rooney wants to play football

Afternoon Bulletin

POSSIBLE PUNISHMENT

Manchester United will face a maximum fine of £11,750 if found guilty to have botched paperwork with regards to the transfer of Paul Pogba. FIFA have asked for clarification as to who was involved and how much each individual was paid. However, if third-party ownership is found, a larger punishment could be in place. FIFA banned third-part ownership of players’ economic rights in 2015.

JOSE’S PRIORITIES

Jose Mourinho has insisted that the decision to prioritise the top four was a well thought of decision. Speaking ahead of tonight’s match, Mourinho said: “The situation is simple. Seventeen matches in seven weeks with 16 players is impossible. It was not a gamble. It was a simple decision, based on common sense. Seventeen matches in seven weeks, April and May. It’s completely impossible. Since the moment we lost players Smalling and Jones with the international team and Rojo and Zlatan against Anderlecht, and after that we lost good alternatives, Shaw, Young, Fosu-Mensah, when we lost those it was an impossible job. It was not a gamble, it was just a consequence of our situation. We are in this situation and we have to fight for it. Let’s see if we can do it.”

CLOSING IN ON THE MANN

Reports in Spain have emerged suggesting that Manchester United and Antoine Griezmann’s camp have reached an agreement with regards to a transfer in the summer. United will still have to trigger Griezmann’s £86m release clause. With the sales of Depay and Schneiderlin and the possible exit of David de Gea, Mourinho could have a £300m war chest ahead of the next season.

WAYNE WANTS TO STAY

Manchester United captain Wayne Rooney has revealed that he wants to stay at Manchester United despite rumours of a summer exit. When asked about his future, a visibly uncomfortable Rooney said: “My focus is on trying to help us win this final. That is my sole focus. I think it is a massive opportunity for us to win a European title and that is my focus.”

Pressed if he wants to stay, he added: “Would I like to stay? I have been at this club 13 years, but of course I want to play football.”

And asked if that meant with United, he added, almost sheepishly: “Of course.”

SQUAD FOR CELTA REVEALED

The Manchester United squad meet at their pre-match rendezvous at the Lowry Hotel yet again. And TEN photographers were on hand to spot the players arriving at the location. The following were spotted.

SQUAD: David de Gea, Sergio Romero, Antonio Valencia, Matteo Darmian, Chris Smalling, Axel Tuanzebe, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Daley Blind, Michael Carrick, Marouane Fellaini, Paul Pogba, Ander Herrera, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata, Wayne Rooney, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford.