The battle to tempt Paul Pogba away from Juventus is gathering momentum, if Thursday’s news reports are anything to go by.
The 23-year-old is the subject of interest from Manchester City, Manchester United and, if emerging reports are to be believed, Real Madrid – amongst others.
Italian newspaper Gazzetta dello Sport has now hit the stands with a stunning headline – suggesting the Champions League winners could make an eye-watering bid of €120 million for the Frenchman.
— 101 Great Goals (@101greatgoals) June 9, 2016
Pogba was one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s last signings when he ruled at Old Trafford but, having failed to break into the first team, he chose to leave for Juventus in 2012 on a free transfer. In the subsequent four years, the midfielder has become a formidable talent and is now one of Europe’s most sought after youngsters.
While Manchester City led the charge for Pogba’s signature initially, United are now tipped to be in pole position to recruit the Juve man by the Independent. However, the club has no buy-back clause to aid their chase, according to Sky Sports sources. In contrast, sources in Italy believe Real have entered the race – with wage demands being touted as significantly important to any deal.
With Ferguson now a United director, it will be interesting to see if the Scottish legend will have anything to say about José Mourinho’s interest in the player. It was the ex-United boss, after all, who would not sanction a big money contract for the then 19-year-old in 2012, a decision that saw him depart for Italy.
Since his arrival in Turin, Juventus has won four consecutive Serie A titles and Pogba has seen his worth go from ‘free transfer’ to being values at about £78 million by the Italian champions.
Sky in Italy: Real Madrid want Paul Pogba and there has been contact between Real and Pogba’s entourage (but not with Juventus yet)
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) June 9, 2016
Mourinho has reportedly been given a war chest of some £200 million so will likely not be put off by such a fee. Besides, negotiations and staggered payments would likely see that fee either drop or be spread over multiple seasons.
As for United fans, many were sorry to see Pogba leave in the first place and though they may feel stung by the fact that he may now cost United far more than a pretty penny, they will likely be pleased to see their beloved United strengthen with some real talent, giving them cause for future hope ahead of the new campaign.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena