Juventus are frantically saving their pennies to sign Paul Pogba in the summer, according to Italian outlet Calciomercato.
The Bianconeri have made no secret of their desire to bring Pogba back to the club – he is their ‘one great goal’ according to the outlet – but Manchester United are believed to want an eye-watering £150 million for the Frenchman.
Juve have a history of breaking the bank to land a player they really want. In 2016 Gonzalo Higuain became the most expensive player in Italian history when he joined the club for €90 million (£75 million).
And now they are believed to be saving for a summer raid for Pogba by offloading players such as Emre Can and Mario Mandzukic in the January transfer window.
The loan of Can to Borussia Dortmund and free transfer of Mandzukic to Qatar side Al-Duhail will allow the Turin club to save €11 million (£9.25 million) by the end of the season and double that amount next season, Calciomercato notes.
The outlet further believes that Bruno Fernandes’ arrival at Old Trafford will pave the way for Pogba to leave and even that Cristiano Ronaldo encouraged Fernandes to join the Reds to facilitate Pogba’s move to the Allianz stadium.
It all smacks of a desperate conspiracy theory on the part of Calciomercato, but with Pogba coming into the final year of his contract and Real Madrid seemingly having cooled their interest in the 26-year-old, it is certainly true that Juve are one of the few remaining clubs with the wherewithal to make a deal happen.
Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola has again recently fanned the flames of this ongoing transfer saga, telling Sky Sports (cited by Football-Italia.net) ‘Everybody knows the ambition from both parts is not being met the last years. Let’s be honest, let’s talk about the elephant in the room … So we need to see in the summer if Paul is still in the plans of Manchester United and if Manchester United is still in the plans of Paul.’
United cannot afford to allow an asset worth over £100 million to leave on a free transfer in June 2021, so in all likelihood they will have to lower their asking price in June unless they are able to spark a bidding war between Juventus and another club.
Anything over £116 million would result in Pogba becoming the second most expensive player in history, with Neymar being the first.