News ID: 254504
Published: 0222 GMT June 18, 2019

Juventus steps up interest in €140m Pogba

Juventus steps up interest in €140m Pogba
PA

Juventus is stepping up its efforts to sign Paul Pogba but accept that it will face stiff competition from Real Madrid for the Manchester United midfielder.

According to sources close to the Serie A champion, the club's sporting director Fabio Paratici met with United officials to discuss a potential deal for the France World Cup winner while he was in the UK finalizing a move for Maurizio Sarri, goal.com reported.

And Juve is now planning to put together an official offer for the 26-year-old, who left the Italian giant to rejoin United in 2016, expected to be in the region of €130 million to €140 million (£116m/$145m to £125m/$157m).

Juve does, however, accept that Madrid will also be at the front of the queue to sign Pogba.

He is considered a top target for head coach Zinedine Zidane and the Liga side would very much be interested in taking him to the Bernabeu.

The ABC newspaper in Spain goes as far as saying that Real is willing to bid €125 million (£112m/$140m) for Pogba and offer him a salary that would see him paid the equivalent of Eden Hazard, just short of the amount earned by club captain Sergio Ramos.

That said, Juve, which appointed former Chelsea manager Sarri as its new head coach on Sunday, is still ready to go toe-to-toe with Madrid in the race to sign the midfielder, with the deal to take Cristiano Ronaldo to Turin proving that nothing is impossible.

United, meanwhile, remains determined to keep Pogba and does not want to sell him in a move that would undermine manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who has always been adamant that he wants to build his team around the Frenchman.

That puts the Red Devils in a stronger position over negotiating a potential sale, whereby they would demand as much money as possible should talks progress, and interest from Juve and Madrid be followed up with concrete offers.

Juve has continued to dominate domestically in Italy, winning its eighth league title in a row under former boss Massimiliano Allegri, although Champions League progress has been more of a struggle.

There was hope that the signing of Ronaldo would help end Juve’s 23-year wait to win Europe's biggest prize, although it came unstuck against Ajax in the quarterfinals of the 2018-19 version of the competition.

A move for Pogba would further show Bianconeri’s ambition to finally conquer Europe, with Aaron Ramsey having joined on a free transfer from Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Adrien Rabiot having also been linked.

Mauro Icardi is another who interests the Serie A holder, although Juve is not keen on allowing Paulo Dybala to move to Inter as part of any deal for the Argentine striker.

Right-back Joao Cancelo, meanwhile, is all set to depart, with Manchester City close to finalizing what is likely to be a €50 million (£45m/$56m) move, plus bonuses, for the Portuguese.

 

   
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