Florentin Pogba beat brother Paul last time out… at table tennis

The pair are set to go head-to-head when Manchester United take on Saint-Etienne in the last 32 of the Europa League at Old Trafford on Thursday

Florentin Pogba beat younger brother Paul Pogba when they last went head to head… in a table tennis match.

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The pair will be on opposite sides when Manchester United entertain Saint-Etienne in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday.

Florentin, who has his sibling’s shirt number six shaved and bleached on the right side of his head and his own, 19, on the left, is looking forward to the renewal of their rivalry.

“I beat him at table tennis. After that we did not play other sports together,” said the left-back at a pre-match news conference.

“[We have joked together] right from the draw, but since then we have remained focused on what we should do with our teams.

“After tomorrow evening [Thursday], we will swap shirts and it will be a wonderful moment, magical.

“There is only excitement, not anxiety. In a legendary stadium and against my little brother, there is nothing more beautiful for me.”

Jose Mourinho said he has no doubt it will be a difficult occasion for the pair’s mother, Yeo Moriba, but Florentin assured she will be present for both legs.

“Of course, it will not be easy for her. My mother will be present at both matches,” he said.

“She does not want a loser in this match, but there will be one – except for my mother, she will have no victor.”

Man Utd made €100m bid for Muller, Bayern confirm

The German club’s finance chief has admitted a huge offer for the Germany international from Old Trafford was turned down out of hand last summer

Bayern Munich have confirmed they rejected a bid in excess of €100 million from Manchester United for Thomas Muller last summer.

The Red Devils are long-term admirers of the Germany international and renewed their interest in bringing him to Old Trafford last year despite the departure of Louis van Gaal, who previously coached him at the Allianz Arena.

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But though Bayern admit that they received a world-record offer for Muller, the Bundesliga champions insist that they will not be persuaded to sell.

United eventually broke the transfer record by signing Paul Pogba from Juventus, with Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Eric Bailly also joining in an expensive window.

When asked about the existence of an €100m bid from United, Bayern executive vice-chairman Jan-Christian Dreesen told Sport Bild: “There really was such a thing.

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“A fax came from England. For us, however, the sale of Thomas Muller was never discussed.

“If a player fits us, we would be stupid to take the short-term prospect of a record profit while weakening the team.”

Muller is chasing a fifth consecutive Bundesliga title with Bayern this season but has struggled to find his best form under Carlo Ancelotti.

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The 27-year-old has netted four goals in 26 appearances across all competitions – and just one in Germany’s top flight – after putting up a career-best 32 strikes last season.

Bayern take on Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League on Wednesday, hosting the first leg of the tie in Munich.

'Ibrahimovic my dream signing' – Napoli president

The striker’s agent, Mino Raiola, has recently linked the Swede with a move to the Serie A outfit, and Aurelio De Laurentiis feels he would be perfect

Napoli president Aurelio De Laurentiis has spoken of his affection for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and claims that the Manchester United striker would be his dream signing.

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Ibrahimovic’s agent, Mino Raiola, spoke recently about the 35-year-old’s “love” for Napoli and admitted that he could be tempted to move to the San Paolo.

The Swedish striker has reportedly hit the targets necessary to earn a one-year contract extension with United but has refused to confirm whether he will take up the option to remain at Old Trafford for another season.

And the saga has now taken another twist, with De Laurentiis suggesting that the former Paris Saint-Germain star would be a perfect acquisition.

“My dream signing? I always try to go forward with what I have,” he said in an interview with writer and former mayor of Rome, Walter Veltroni.

“One that I would like, though, is that giant who is at Manchester United now. I had him as a dinner guest in Los Angeles and he’s incredibly nice, even though he always seems angry.

“You know the one I’m talking about, right?”

Ibrahimovic’s representative said last September that the forward has expressed an interest in finishing his career with Napoli.

“All I can say is at Ciro Ferrara’s farewell game at the San Paolo, Zlatan called me and told me: ‘Mino, I want to end my career in Naples’,” Raiola told CRC.

“That’s because the mentality of the Neapolitans is the one closest to his, and if [Serie A] remained as it was back then, he might have done just that.”

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Ibrahimovic himself has said he is yet to make a decision on whether or not to sign an extension with United, despite manager Jose Mourinho stressing in November that he was keen to keep hold of the player.

“The option is already fulfilled. But there’s nothing done yet, from my side,” Ibrahimovic said. “We’ll wait and see. Let’s see what happens.”

'Pogba's mum wants a draw!' – Mourinho on United v Saint-Etienne family affair

As two siblings prepare to do battle on the pitch, their mother understandably cannot choose a favourite for the UEL clash

Jose Mourinho hopes to upset one of his star midfielder’s guiding influences when Manchester United host Saint-Etienne in the Europa League on Thursday.

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The Portuguese’s famous will to win will be undimmed at Old Trafford, but Paul Pogba’s mother Yeo Moriba is angling for a draw.

This is due to the presence of Pogba’s older brother Florentin in the Saint-Etienne squad, with the prospect of a sibling rivalry unfolding at one of European football’s most celebrated stadiums capturing the imagination during the pre-match build-up.

Mourinho did not confirm the younger Pogba would start the match, with United’s hectic schedule taking in an FA Cup assignment at Blackburn Rovers and the EFL Cup final against Southampton before the month is out, but he was visibly charmed by a feel-good narrative.

“We [Mourinho and Paul Pogba] spoke but we spoke in a good way, a funny way,” he told a pre-match news conference.

“I know their mother wants a draw!”

Jose Mourinho on the prospect of @PaulPogba v brother Florentin… pic.twitter.com/mfZF0pRj3r

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) February 15, 2017

“I think it’s a good, nice destiny. I think only Mum Pogba is in a little bit of trouble, which is normal.

“It is difficult for the lady to choose… not difficult, impossible.

“I know from Paul that the mum wants a draw but next week one son will be happy and another one will be sad.

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“Only for the mum is it a little bit of problem, for them I think they will enjoy playing against each other.

“Paul is excited, Florentin for sure the same. So it is a good thing.”

Mourinho confirms Shaw won't play against Saint-Etienne

The left-back hasn’t featured for Manchester United since January although will not be brought back into the team for Thursday’s Europa League tie

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has confirmed that Luke Shaw won’t feature in his starting XI for the meeting with Saint-Etienne.

The left-back has not featured for the United first team since the 4-0 FA Cup over Wigan Athletic back in January, while he his last league start came all the way back in October.

Pogba’s mum wants a draw

Mourinho does not appear ready to bring him back in any time soon, though, insisting that he will stay with the same back four that started the 2-0 triumph over Watford on Saturday.

He told reporters: “He’s not playing tomorrow because my team is playing well and I am happy with my back four, and I’m going to repeat Valencia, Bailly, Smalling and Daley Blind.”

United host the Ligue 1 side in the Europa League last 32 first leg and, despite the potential for fixture congestion, Mourinho is adamant they will not “throw away” the competition.

He continued: “If you ask me if I want to beat Saint-Etienne and progress I say ‘yes’. We don’t throw away competitions. It’s harder that the match against Manchester City is postponed.

“If we win against Blackburn, the match against Southampton will be also postponed. In case it happens, it’s going to create many, many, many, many problems.

“Playing Thursday, we have never got a Monday fixture to have an extra day of rest. I know for example that Middlesbrough will be played at Sunday 12:00 so if we progress and get a difficult match we then have to play Middlesbrough on Sunday at 12.

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“It’s difficult also in the Premier League because others don’t have games. Liverpool only play Premier League, Chelsea play Premier League and FA Cup.

“We want to progress, tomorrow we go seriously and Sunday against Blackburn we go seriously too.”