Paul Pogba and Cristiano Ronaldo could be set for one of the most high profile player exchange deals in football history, according to reports from Italy.
Gazzetta dello Sport reports that Ronaldo is sending ‘mixed messages’ about whether he intends to stay in Turin for the last season of his contract.
However, the outlet believes that the Portuguese star would probably prefer to move and that United would be his destination of choice, with Pogba equally desperate to move the other way.
‘There is confusion, but the feeling is that CR7 is looking around. So much so that for weeks and weeks rumours have circulated that there is contact with Manchester United.
‘In the talks that led to the return of Massimiliano Allegri to Continassa, the CR7 topic was addressed on several occasions.
‘Nobody appears saddened by the possibility of an early farewell. Much less [Allegri] who already in 2019 (at the time he left) expressed all his doubts about the contribution of the champion from Funchal.
‘Of course, his pragmatic way of acting means he would not veto it: if Cristiano decides to stay he will certainly not raise the barricades.’
But Gazzetta can see an ideal solution.
‘Juventus need €29 million [£25m] to settle Ronaldo’s contract. The Red Devils might ask for an economic return in their favour.
‘First we need to see if an agreement can be reached with the Portugal captain: will 20 million euros net a year be enough for the next two seasons?’
20 million Euros is the equivalent to a weekly wage of around £325,000 per week. If United agreed to value Ronaldo at £25 million, and would agree to that salary, then the deal would boil down to the Pogba valuations.
First, how much would United ask for the Frenchman? It seems likely to be around or in excess of £60 million, leaving Juve an extra £35 million or so to fork out. This does not even consider agent Mino Raiola’s commission, which is likely to be substantial. His track record suggests that at least £10 million would need to be added for his services.
Finally, there is the issue of Pogba’s salary. Juve made an exception to their normal wage structure for Ronaldo but they will find it difficult to justify doing the same again for Pogba.
The Italian FA recently introduced club salary limits which, while not precluding a £300 per week or so salary for Pogba, would make such a deal very restrictive for the rest of their transfer activity.
‘When the white disappears and everything becomes black about CR7’s future in Turin, then Pogba’s name … must be kept in mind,’ Gazzetta concludes.
A romantic idea, but the logistics are challenging. The operation would be a very complicated one and the odds must certainly weigh against it. But stranger things have happened.