Saturday 1 October 2016

Paul Pogba 'expresses desire' to leave Juventus for Manchester United

Jack de Menezes

Published 09/07/2016 | 08:26

Paul Pogba could be set for a move to Manchester United
Paul Pogba could be set for a move to Manchester United

Paul Pogba has ‘expressed his desire’ to leave Juventus once he returns to Italy after this weekend’s Euro 2016 final, with France set to play Portugal for the right to be crowned European champions.

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But while France has mounted a spirited run to the final – which saw them conquer Germany in Thursday’s semi-final clash – Pogba’s future has remained in constant limbo. The 23-year-old is wanted by a number of clubs across Europe, but Manchester United appear to be leading the race for his signature after giving the green light to press on with an offer of up to £100m.

Having left United in 2012 on a free transfer, the move for Pogba would represent a stunning loss for the Premier League club, but as revealed by The Independent on Thursday, United manager Jose Mourinho has told the club that he wants Pogba signed by the time the club play in next month’s Community Shield.

Furthermore, French newspaper L’Equipe claim that Pogba has told close friends and family that he wants to leave Juventus after spending the past four seasons with the Serie A club, winning the league title in every year as well as reaching the 2014/15 Champions League final.

According to Sport Witness, the report can be deemed as reliable due to an assumption that French journalist Damien Degorre contributed to the article due to the mention of ‘D.D’ in the byline, with Degorre interviewing Pogba one-on-one earlier in the week.

After United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward took the first steps to negotiate a move for Pogba in discussing the transfer with his agent, Mino Raiola, the latest reports further strengthen the prospect of Pogba being seen in a United shirt once more, and The Guardian adds that Raiola will meet with Juventus upon the completion of Euro 2016 to discuss his future and any possible return to Old Trafford.

Despite being contract to Juventus until 2019, the Italian champions cannot financially compete with the likes of United, whose global fan base, lucrative sponsorship deals and extravagant spending means they can offer Pogba the £300,000-a-week that has been put on the table for Raiola and Pogba to consider.

It’s added that Juventus have offered Pogba another contract extension that would secure his services through to 2021, but the deal will not be considered until Pogba returns from Euro 2016 duties.

However, one recent development is United’s interest in Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi. Reports at the start of the week suggested that the France international had been afforded time away from the Euro 2016 camp to discuss a move to United, and L’Equipe has now followed that up with a claim that the Premier League side have been given the green light to star official talks with the 29-year-old.

It’s been suggested that with PSG allowed United to talk to the player, a move for Matuidi could signal the end for Bastian Schweinsteiger after just one season at United. The Germany international missed the final five months of the season with a knee injury, and the 31-year-old has been linked with a move in the opposite direction in what could prove to be a player exchange-plus-cash deal that takes the World Cup winner to Paris and sees Matuidi arrive in Manchester.

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