Paul Pogba Top Real Madrid Target Over Eriksen
The Spanish giant are enthused about getting the Manchester United midfielder however they won’t be raced into finishing an arrangement
Real Madrid have made Paul Pogba their essential focus for the rest of the late summer exchange window, in front of Christian Eriksen.
Los Blancos had shown significant interest in the Tottenham star but have decided to forego a move for the Dane in favour of trying to snap up Pogba, of whom Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is a huge fan.
They will, however, bide their time in pursuit of the World Cup winner as they look to make room in their squad, and on their balance sheet, for the Manchester United midfielder.
Pogba admitted on Sunday that he is ready to end his three-year second stint at Old Trafford, telling reporters at a sponsor’s event in Tokyo: “After this season and everything that happened, with my season being my best season, it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else.”
That statement by the former Juventus midfielder caught the attention not just of Madrid but also of the Bianconeri.
The Serie A champions are keen on taking the 26-year-old back to Turin and are planning to put together an official offer, expected to be in the region of €130 million to €140m (£116m/$145m to £125m/$157m).
Sporting director Fabio Paratici also confirmed that Juve still admire the player as he spoke at Maurizio Sarri’s unveiling as the club’s new head coach on Thursday: “Pogba is a top player and we love him, for sure.“
It is the Spanish giants, though, who remain the huge favourites to sign Pogba and the player is now waiting on the 33-time Liga champions to make their move.
However, having already spent around £300 million ($380m) on Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Rodrygo Gomes, Eder Militao and Ferland Mendy, Madrid are now set to focus their attention on sales before stepping up their bid to bring Pogba to the Bernabeu.
Indeed, as reported by Goal, Zidane is looking to offload as many as 13 first-team players before the start of pre-season on July 9.
Gareth Bale is the one Madrid are thought to be most keen to offload, and they would welcome interest from Old Trafford in a man who United have been keen on signing for around a decade.
But with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer aiming to build a young, fresh, future-proof squad it is unlikely at this stage that the Red Devils would accept the Welshman in any sort of part-exchange deal for Pogba.
For the moment, United remain insistent that they expect the Frenchman to be in their squad for the 2019-20 season and are thought to be preparing a big-money new contract in a bid to hold on to their record £89.5m ($114m) signing or, at the very least, move the situation along.
Solskjaer was hoping the club would have all transfer business completed by the start of pre-season training on July 1 and continued uncertainty over their star player is not a scenario they’re comfortable with.
As such the ball is in Madrid’s court, but United may well have to wait for the Spaniards to sell players before the Pogba saga plays out further.