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Gossip: Real Madrid 'target Sterling', De Gea 'to sign new Man Utd deal', Pogba and Mourinho in new row

Transfer tussle: Could Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid make a play for Manchester City star Raheem Sterling?

If you have any recollection of July 2015, you will remember that the most outrageous, disgusting and hilarious occurrence of that summer was Manchester City paying Liverpool £49m for Raheem Sterling.

It was a transfer fee that sparked vicious abuse of the “money-grabbing” forward who only played when he wasn’t too tired, and furious condemnation of a decadent City board who were distorting the beautiful game with their filthy wonga.

Doesn’t look like such a bad deal now though, does it?

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Sterling has developed into one of the Premier League’s best attackers under the guidance of Pep Guardiola (the odd missed open goal aside) and is probably now worth double what City paid for him two and a half years ago.

And they might sell him to Real Madrid just to prove it.

The Mirror says the Spanish giants are “on red alert”, whatever that means exactly, over Sterling’s potential “availability” after the 23-year-old’s Etihad future was “plunged into doubt”.

This is perhaps a slight exaggeration from the Mirror, given that the only evidence for this so-called plunge is that City are yet to open talks with Sterling over a new contact.

He has more than two years left to run on his current deal, so it doesn’t sound like that much of a snub. But as the Mirror points out, so did Kevin de Bruyne and he still got a nice juicy pay rise.

In any case, situation has apparently piqued the interest of Zinedine Zidane, who is a known “admirer” of the England man.

Sterling is currently on £180,000 a week but would expect “a big increase”.

De Gea to snub Real Madrid and pen new United deal

Another player who is wanted by Real Madrid – as we have been reminded on a daily basis for the past three years – is David de Gea. However, this mind-numbing transfer saga could soon be over.

The Times reports that the Spanish goalkeeper is set to commit his future to Manchester United by extending his contract, finally putting a merciful end to Real’s pursuit of him.

Meanwhile, the hangbags between Old Trafford’s two biggest characters – Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba – continue to rumble on.

The Sun claims Mourinho told the French midfielder “I’m the boss!” in a “furious training-ground showdown”.

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He didn’t actually use the words, “I’m the boss!”. Instead, he apparently told Pogba to “have a look at the sign on the door on the way out” after heated talks in his Carrington office.

And on that door it presumably said “manager”. Or maybe it said, “The Special One” or “I hate you, Paul.”

Incidentally, if Pogba ever got a sign on his door, it should definitely say “Beware of the Pog”.

Elsewhere, senior figures at Real Madrid have privately admitted they are ready to let Gareth Bale leave the Bernabeu this summer (Independent), Chelsea are “monitoring” Newcastle centre-back Jamaal Lascelles and could try to sign the Magpies captain in the summer (Standard) and West Ham centre-back Jose Fonte is set to move to Chinese club Dalian Yifeng for £5m (Mail). Wonder if the Dalian Yifeng chairman’s kids are currently “begging” him not to sign the Portuguese defender, as David Sullivan’s apparently did.