Sunday 18 February 2018

Man Utd close in on €120m man Paul Pogba but there is one stumbling block

Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Manchester United appear to be edging closer to making a world record offer to sign France midfielder Paul Pogba, but they will face a battle to prise the 23-year-old away from Juventus.

Sky Sports are reporting that United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is already in talks with Juventus over a deal to bring Pogba back to Old Trafford, just four years after he left the club on a free transfer following a contract dispute.

A fee of around €120m has been mentioned as a figure Juventus would struggle to turn down, yet the Turin club have made it clear for several weeks that they have no intention of selling Pogba.

The Italian giants' unwillingness to do business on Pogba could be a major stumbling block for the deal, although the Red Devils will be hoping that their monstrous offer might finally be enough to reverse their thinking.

Juventus general director Giuseppe Marotta has stated persistently that his club will not sell Pogba, with these comments offered up last month.

"It's true, Manchester City asked us for Pogba last year. We politely replied that he was not for sale and the matter ended there," stated Marotta.

"I won't deny he has many offers, as does Paulo Dybala, because they are both talented and very young.

"However, we want to hold on tight, as they are not on the market - Pogba is 23 years old and can continue with us for a long time."

It remains to be seen how resilient Juve will be to a mega-offer from United or Real Madrid in the coming days with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola clearly encouraging the Old Trafford club to push for a deal.

Raiola has already succeeded in bringing Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan to United in recent weeks, with Pogba now evidently the latest player Mourinho has targeted in his ambitious summer transfer spending.

Real Madrid were believed to be Pogba's favoured destination amid suggestions that he was reluctant to return to Manchester United, but the huge money being mentioned in this possible deal could see one of the more remarkable re-signings in recent football history.

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