The Sun is not an outlet high on The Peoples Person’s transfer rumour reliability list, but now and again Custis and company do break a plausible story that might be worth following. In this case, it is that United are lining up Real Madrid’s Federico Valverde as a replacement for Paul Pogba should he leave the club.
‘The Uruguay midfielder has been watched by the Red Devils on a number of occasions over the years, with scouts ramping up their efforts this season,’ reporter Daniel Cutts claims.
‘The 22-year-old has impressed again, despite Zinedine Zidane’s side trailing rivals Atletico in La Liga and injury issues in recent weeks.
‘United have already started drawing up their transfer plans for the summer, with a shortlist of names being prepared. And Valverde is one of those who the Premier League title chasers are interested in – with his versatility a huge plus.’
One reason that there may be some mileage in The Sun’s claim on this occasion is the presence at Old Trafford of Valverde’s countryman, Edinson Cavani. The United striker will know Valverde well, having played alongside him in many of his 22 appearances for Uruguay and could provide insight into his personality as well as help ease the transition to life in the Premier League.
Another interesting angle to this story is that it would pave the way for an exchange deal in which Pogba would finally land his dream move to the Bernabeu and the will-he-won’t-he Pogba circus would end while United land a super-talented younger player with bags of energy and a point to prove at Old Trafford.
This could be either a player-plus-cash deal or straight swap. Valverde’s market value, according to Transfermarkt is €70 million (£61m), Pogba’s is €65 million (around £57m).
It is a neat solution to a long-term dilemma, but whether Valverde would be up for it, whether it is just a theory put forward by The Sun or whether there are any legs to it all remain to be seen.
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