Man Utd, Liverpool target ‘in good hands’ in Germany, insists club chief

Date published: Sunday 17th October 2021 12:41 - James Holland

Florian Wirtz Leverkusen

The sporting director of a top German club has insisted that one of their star players will not join Man Utd or Liverpool next summer.

Premier League teams continue to view the Bundesliga as a hunting ground for excellent talent. It is clear that Germany has some of the best academies in world football.

Timo Werner and Kai Havertz both joined Chelsea last year. They have struggled at Stamford Bridge, although Havertz did score the winning goal in last season’s Champions League final. The Blues also utilise the much-improved Antonio Rudiger in defence.

Ilkay Gundogan has become a vital part of Pep Guardiola’s Man City side in the last few campaigns. He managed 13 league goals in 2020-21 as City stormed to the title.

Elsewhere, Leeds United benefit from having Robin Koch in defence and Brighton often use Pascal Gross in midfield.

The latest young talent to emerge out of Germany in Bayer Leverkusen’s Florian Wirtz. The teenager has already registered six goals and five assists this term.

He looks set to go right to the top of the game, following in Havertz’s footsteps.

It’s no surprise that Wirtz has been scouted by Europe’s biggest clubs. Man Utd, Liverpool, Man City, Bayern Munich and Arsenal are all interested.

But they face a fight to prize the attacking midfielder away from the Bay Arena. Leverkusen sporting director Rudi Voller has issued a defiant statement over Wirtz’s future.

During an interview with Bild, the chief was asked about selling Wirtz. He said: “Nobody has to ask. Florian is in very good hands with us.

Liverpool and Sunderland among best picks as top four English leagues take shape

“With the exception of Bayern, there will always be a pain threshold at all Bundesliga clubs. With Florian Wirtz, however, the question doesn’t even arise.

“The boy is only 18 years old. Even in three years, he will only be 21. I’m very sure he will play for us in the 2022/2023 season.”

Voller’s comments mean the likes of Man Utd, Liverpool and City may have to wait for two years before they can sign Wirtz.

Pogba reacts to Man Utd defeat

French midfielder Paul Pogba has spoken to the media after Man Utd’s 4-2 defeat to Leicester. It was an eventful clash at the King Power as Mason Greenwood gave United the lead with a great strike.

Youri Tielemans then dragged Leicester level before Caglar Soyuncu gave them the lead. Marcus Rashford made it 2-2, but late goals from Jamie Vardy and Patson Daka ensured all three points stayed in the East Midlands.

Reacting to the loss, Pogba told BBC Sport: “We deserved to lose. To be honest, we have been having these kind of games for a long time.

“We have not found the problem, conceding easy goals, stupid goals. The players need to be more mature, play with more experience and arrogance in a good way. We need to find something, we need to change.

“We need to find the right mentality and the right tactic. Stick with it and resolve the problem.”

READ MORE: Seven-figure sum in mind as Barcelona prepare surprise Man Utd swoop

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