Tuesday 22 May 2018

Paul Pogba to Manchester United: Juventus want even more money for Frenchman

Paul Pogba celebrates a goal for Juventus
Paul Pogba celebrates a goal for Juventus

Jack de Menezes

Manchester United have launched a second offer for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, but the Italian champions will reject it once again in the hope of holding out for £100m, according to reports.

United’s pursuit of Pogba has evolved into the transfer saga of the summer, and with over a month remaining in the transfer market, it could yet roll on for some time before a resolution is reached. United saw an initial £85m offer for Pogba rejected by Juventus, and according to The Guardian, they have upped their bid to £92m in the hope of persuading the Serie A side to sell.

The offer also includes up to €10m in add-ons, but Juventus are said to want a further €10m before agreeing to sell the France international. United have also been informed that Juventus are not in a position where they need to sell despite signing Gonzalo Higuain from Italian rivals Napoli, with a £79m deal that should be announced in the coming days.

Juventus are interested in Nemanja Matic
Nemanja Matic

Should United and Juventus come to an agreement over Pogba’s transfer, the Italian champions are expected to target current Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic. The Serbia international is one of the players that Jose Mourinho has identified as a possible alternative to Pogba, but the Daily Mail reports that the midfielder will attract a bid from Juventus should Pogba leave.

Another Chelsea player that continues to be linked with a Stamford Bridge exit is Diego Costa. The London club have grown increasingly tired of Atletico Madrid’s public pursuit of their former striker, and have even gone to the lengths of warning the Spaniards that they will be reported to Fifa if they continued to publicly discuss the Brazil-born Spain striker.

However, The Mirror claims that the La Liga club remain determined to sign Costa and that the Blues have already sounded out Alvaro Morata as his potential replacement. Costa has been heavily linked with a return to Atletico after enduring an unhappy campaign last season, but new Chelsea manager Antonio Conte insists that Costa is going nowhere and remains an integral part of his plans for this season.

Morata has cast doubt on any chance of him heading to the Premier League though after speaking last week of his desire to remain at Real for “the next five years”.

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Another Spanish-based player unlikely to be heading to the Premier League any time soon is Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane, with the France international ruling out a move to United despite Jose Mourinho being heavily linked with the French centre-back.

United have kept an eye on Varane for some time as he struggles to break into the first team at Real, with the veteran pairing of Pepe and Sergio Ramos keeping Varane resigned to a place on the substitutes’ bench. However, he has spoken publicly to insist he is happy at Real and will not seek to leave the Santiago Bernabeu as he believes it is best for his development to remain in Spain for the time being.

"I want to stay here this year, I feel loved by the fans who want the best for me, and the best is yet to come," he said.

"I hope to be allowed to start afresh- I'd like to push on, to continue improving. After being at Real for five years, I want to make the next step."

(© Independent News Service)

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