Galatasaray manager Roberto Mancini has revealed Manchester City turned down the chance to sign Paul Pogba on a free transfer from rivals Manchester United in the summer of 2012.
“He is a player I really like. Two years ago, before he went to Juventus, we could have signed him for Manchester City on a free transfer,” Mancini told Tuttosport.
“To be honest, I can’t really remember why we decided not to.”
Pogba, who went on to join Juventus for less than £1 million in compensation, has emerged as one of the best midfielders in Europe over the past two years.
The France international, 20, will face Mancini’s Galatasaray when Juve travel to the Türk Telekom Arena for Tuesday’s UEFA Champions League match.
Matchday 6 in Group B will ultimately determine whether the champions of Italy or Turkey will reach the Round of 16.
Juventus can book their place in the knockout stage of this competition with a draw, but the home side — having scored in each of their last five UCL matches against Juventus — must win to achieve the same result.
Despite their lacklustre form in Europe, the Bianconeri are backed by the bookmakers to win on Tuesday evening, and understandably so.
Argentine ace Carlos Tevez — who has failed to score in his last 13 Champions League appearances — is 5/1 to score first or last and 6/4 to score at anytime, while Didier Drogba is 15/2 to opening the scoring.
Tonny Sanabria set to leave Barca
FC Barcelona starlet Tonny Sanabria will not accept a new contract at the Camp Nou amid reports linking him with a January move to Arsenal and A.S. Roma, according to Mundo Deportivo.
Sanabria, 17, has a buy-out clause of £2.5 million, which could rise to £4.2 million, in his current contract and it is believed either Arsenal or Roma have already agreed a deal for the highly-rated teenager.
The Paraguay youth international, who impressed at the 2013 Sudamericano Under-17 tournament in Argentina, has scored two goals in eight appearances for Barcelona B in the Segunda Division this season.
Plattenhardt inks new deal
FC Nürnberg defender Marvin Plattenhardt has extended his contract at the Grundig-Stadion until the summer of 2017, according to the club’s official website.
Plattenhardt, 21, has made 14 first-team appearances — matching his total for all of last season — for Nürnberg in 2013/14.
“I am happy to be at Nurnberg,” said Plattenhardt, whose current deal at the club was set to expire at the end of the season.
“It’s the place where I have been handed the chance to make my very first steps in the Bundesliga and I am sure this is the best club to develop further.”