Real Madrid will welcome Paul Pogba to the fold if he accepts a reduction in salary.
Contrary to reports from Spanish outlet AS yesterday that los Blancos are no longer interested in signing the Frenchman, the more Real Madrid-focused paper Marca claims that his dream move to the Spanish capital is still a possibility.
The outlet claims that three men – Madrid’s head coach Zinedine Zidane, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola and the player himself – remain determined to make the move a reality.
‘Once Manchester United put a €114 million price tag on his signing, Real Madrid folded sails, but not their coach [Zidane], nor the player himself,’ Marca reports.
‘In the summer of 2019, [Real Madrid’s CEO] José Ángel Sánchez and Mino Raiola, the player’s agent, spoke on a couple of occasions, as did the coach and the player, but the operation was unfeasible.
‘There was no choice. Pogba understood it, but that did not mean that he dismissed the idea of one day playing for Real Madrid.’
Marca then goes on to say that United then had an opportunity to convince Pogba to stay at the club, but failed to deliver what they promised.
‘At Old Trafford they promised the Frenchman they would build a new team around him, but last weekend’s loss against Tottenham (1-6), was the first blow of reality about where Manchester United is still. And Pogba despairs of it.
‘Mino Raiola … wants to make a galactico signing as he himself has admitted. Everything indicates that it could be Haaland, but it does not rule out that one day Paul Pogba may play at the Santiago Bernabéu.’
The article then goes on to say that a free transfer at the end of Pogba’s United contract and a reduction in his salary would be the only conditions needed for a green light.
‘One of the factors, rather the main one, that has always stood in the way of the Frenchman’s possible arrival is his salary.
‘On June 30th, his contract ends and although it is already known that there is no such thing as a zero cost signing, the possibility of seeing Pogba at Real Madrid could increase.
‘But for this to happen he must lower his wages, an aspect that los Blancos are going to look at in detail … as they have to lower their budget by €200 million euros.’
Of course, the article fails to note that the Red Devils will be able to trigger a one-year extension to Pogba’s contract in June, which they would no doubt do rather than allow him to leave on a free.
A lot will depend on Pogba’s happiness and performances at Old Trafford between now and then, along with Zidane’s continued presence at the Bernabeu, but it would certainly seem to be the case that United’s dire lack of investment on the transfer market this summer has once again unsettled the Frenchman and rekindled his desire to leave the club.
This summer’s transfer window was one of the strangest in living memory. So cast your mind back to less stressful days and test your knowledge of past United arrivals and departures in our quiz below.