Four years after he left Old Trafford for just £800,000, Manchester United are determined to bring prodigal son, Paul Pogba, 23, home. But it will take a record-breaking bid to make that happen.
Jose Mourinho wants to make the French international the fulcrum of his reshaped midfield and has made Pogba his number one target. The Portuguese manager completed his first signing as Manchester United manager yesterday when central defender Eric Bailly, 22, joined in a £31m deal from Villarreal.
But it’s the prospect of Pogba – one of Europe’s most highly-rated midfielders – re-joining the fallen Premier League giants which is whetting supporters’ appetites.
There seemed little chance of this happening when he left United four years ago, frustrated at the lack of first-team opportunities. The fee paid by Juventus rankled with the Old Trafford hierarchy but they are pragmatic enough to know that a player of his calibre will not come cheap. Especially with the new broadcasting revenues that the Premier League has become accustom to.
It is not the first time that Pogba has been the subject of bids from England. Mourinho, then Chelsea manager, tried to sign him last summer, as did Manchester City but Juventus scared them both off with an asking price close to the British transfer record of £78m. The Italians recently suggested that they would be looking for a fee
This time, United have a free run at their prize target with City committed to signing Pierre Emerick Obameyang, 26, from Dortmund and Antonio Conte, the new Chelsea manager, keen on Roma’s Radja Nanggoilan, 28.
However, the player has previously expressed an interest in playing in Spain which is sure to alert Barcelona and Real Madrid. The Champions League winners face an international transfer ban after this window closes. Pogba is the type of signing which would sate their supporters appetites until they can re-join the transfer madness in January 2018.
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