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Man United's Pogba dreams of playing with Neymar

Pogba last faced Neymar in a pre-season friendly in 2017. Credit: PA

Paul Pogba has said he would love to play alongside Neymar later in his career.

Midfielder Pogba received praise from the Brazilian striker two years ago, when Neymar said the Frenchman had the necessary qualities to fit into Barcelona's team.

As it turned out, there was no Nou Camp union for the pair. Pogba left Juventus in August 2016 to embark on a second spell at Manchester United, while last summer Neymar left Barcelona for Paris St Germain.

But Pogba still hopes their career paths one day meet, saying of Neymar's praise: "I remember what he said, I'd love to play with him. He is the definition of joy on the pitch.

"In Brazil, football is everything. It's life, everyone there plays. When I watch him on the pitch enjoying himself, with his technique and his agility ... I love watching him."

In an interview with Argentinian broadcaster TyC Sports, widely reported in the French press, Pogba emphasised his long-term wish to play together with the £200.6million striker.

"He has a different style, he has his own style. And when you talk about Neymar, everyone knows him," Pogba said. "Everyone knows who Neymar is and what he does. For me, it would be a pleasure to be able to play with him one day."

Pogba has struggled for game time at United in recent weeks, with manager Jose Mourinho frequently preferring 21-year-old Scott McTominay.

Pogba is currently on duty with the France national team, with Les Bleus facing Colombia on Friday and World Cup hosts Russia next Tuesday.

Burnley's Pope admits surprise at senior England call-up

Nick Pope has been hugely impressive in goal for Burnley this season. Credit: PA

Nick Pope admits he had to pinch himself after earning his first England call-up but the Burnley goalkeeper is eyeing a starting place at this summer's World Cup.

The 25-year-old will be vying for his first Three Lions cap in the upcoming friendlies against Holland and Italy after being named in Gareth Southgate's 27-man squad.

The former Welling, Cambridge and Charlton keeper has impressed for the Clarets this season and Pope intends to take his chance at international level.

"It's obviously a day I never thought I'd see come and, now it has, it's massive elation for me and everyone close to me," Pope said at a press conference.

"I've played in some cold, dark leagues. It's a level, this national team, that you think is too far away almost.

"I feel like I've put in some hard yards and proven myself at them levels to try and get to this level. I don't think it's a fluke to get called up to the England squad."

North 'disciplined internally' by Saints after missing training

Credit: PA

Northampton wing George North has been "disciplined internally" after missing a training session ahead of the March 3 clash with Sale.

Saints boss Alan Gaffney suggested after the Aviva Premiership home defeat to the Sharks that the 25-year-old Wales international, whose contract expires at the end of the season, had not wanted to play for the club.

Northampton said in a statement on Tuesday afternoon: "Following a meeting with the club on Monday, George North accepted responsibility for missing a training session ahead of Saints' Aviva Premiership clash with Sale Sharks earlier this month, and has been disciplined internally.

"North, who returned to training on Monday, will be available for selection for Saints' five remaining matches this season, starting with this weekend's clash against Newcastle Falcons."

Northampton chief executive Mark Darbon said: "George, Alan Gaffney, (attack coach) Alan Dickens and myself had a set of constructive meetings on his return to the club on Monday.

"George accepts the disciplinary action we have taken.

"George has enormous affection for this club and its supporters, and is fully committed to helping the club finish the Aviva Premiership season as strongly as possible.

"We now consider this matter resolved and won't be commenting further."


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