Zinedine Zidane hints that Real Madrid could hijack United's Paul Pogba deal
Zinedine Zidane has raised the prospect of Real Madrid gazumping Manchester United in their protracted pursuit of Paul Pogba.
United are in pole position to sign Pogba (above) for a world-record fee from Juventus this summer, despite the France midfielder harbouring some reservations about returning to the club he left in acrimonious circumstances four years ago.
Negotiations with Juventus and Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, over a potential £100m deal are continuing, but while Real appeared to have withdrawn from the running amid concerns about breaking their wage structure and the player's worth, Zidane has hinted at a change in stance.
"In this moment we are still working and I cannot say anything more," the Real coach said. "I don't know if Pogba will come, until August 31 anything can happen. Pogba is a great player and when you are Madrid you always want the best."
United manager Jose Mourinho will have a full complement of players to work with today when the whole squad train together for the first time. He was missing a number of players during United's pre-season tour of China after their involvement in the European Championship in France this summer.
New signing Zlatan Ibrahimovic, as well as the France pairing of Morgan Schneiderlin and Anthony Martial, Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger and Belgium's Marouane Fellaini will take part in training at Carrington this morning.
United face Galatasaray in Gothenburg on Saturday, when Ibrahimovic is expected to make his debut for his new club in his native Sweden, before playing Everton in Wayne Rooney's charity testimonial on Wednesday.
United then play Leicester City in the Community Shield a week on Sunday ahead of their opening Premier League match at Bournemouth.
Rooney is already relishing the prospect of partnering Ibrahimovic in attack. "I'm looking forward to it," the United and England captain said.
"I think he's been one of the best strikers in world football over the last 10 years and he's always won trophies everywhere he's been.
"He's a huge character so I am looking forward to training with him and hopefully forming a good partnership and being successful together." (© Daily Telegraph, London)