There isn’t a team in the world that wouldn’t want Paul Pogba in their ranks. Unfortunately for most, he is well out of their price range. Barcelona are the latest to shift their attention elsewhere, leaving two clubs to vie for Pogba’s services this summer – Real Madrid and Manchester City.
This is the claim of Marca, the propaganda arm of Real Madrid. Real Madrid were the likely destination for 22-year-old Pogba, Marca say – until, that is, Manchester City came storming back into the room.
Now we could have a classic two-way battle between the financial powerhouses. City vs. Real Madrid would have been a no contest not so long ago, but with FFP no longer the concern it was and Pep Guardiola’s arrival – Pogba’s thoughts on him are clear – City are now in a strong position to compete for the world’s best footballers.
Of particular interest is Marca’s claim that Pogba wants to leave. Juventus do not wish to sell him, as they didn’t last summer, but the difference now could be the Frenchman’s wish for a new challenge. He was more than happy to stay last year. It would also explain Pogba’s open flirtation with Pep Guardiola, which almost sounded like a come-and-get-me plea.
Real Madrid believe, possibly because the player wants out now, that Pogba could be acquired for a smaller fee than what Juve demanded last summer. They have had no recent contact with the Turin club, but understand a deal could be struck at around €80m (£63m). Juventus have been asking €100m~€120m (£80m~£95m), eye-watering figures that scared everyone off last summer, and that is before his huge salary demands that would make him one of the highest paid players in world football.
Marca add that an obstacle for both Madrid and City could be Mino Raiola, Pogba’s agent. Raiola is not on good terms with Real Madrid and while he has dealt with City, being the representative of Mario Balotelli, and had nice things to say about the club, the Spanish daily believe there are some issues between he and Pep Guardiola.
Of interest, Marca also claim that City, along with Barcelona, have a keen interest in another young Juventus sensation – Paulo Dybala. One to keep an eye on perhaps.
Paul Pogba is a prototype Premier League midfielder and would almost certainly have a huge impact if he returned to England. He is a big fan of Pep Guardiola and City are long-term admirers of him. This could be a match made in heaven, but only if Zinedine Zidane doesn’t pull a repeat of the Isco saga and lure him to Real Madrid.