Manchester United transfer: Mourinho in talks to sign Paul Pogba - but must break world record fee



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Jul 29, 2006


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Manchester United and Real Madrid will need to smash the world transfer record to sign Paul Pogba if Juventus agree to sell the France midfielder this summer.

United are understood to be in talks with Juventus and Pogba’s representative, Mino Raiola, about bringing the player back to Old Trafford four years after his acrimonious departure, with Jose Mourinho eager to make the 23-year-old the centre-piece of a new-look side.

But any deal would have to surpass the £85.3 million Real paid Tottenham Hotspur for Gareth Bale in 2013 and could even see Pogba become the world’s first £100 million footballer, once add-ons and agent fees are factored in.


United’s interest pre-dates Mourinho’s appointment as manager but the Manchester club believe the Portuguese’s arrival has given them a much stronger chance of persuading Pogba to return to the city. They are also locked in talks with Raiola about signing two of his other high-profile clients, Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Borussia Dortmund midfielder Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and hope that situation could also work in their favour. Mourinho’s only signing to date is Ivory Coast centre-half Eric Bailly, from Villarreal.

The prospect of working with Mourinho appeals to Pogba but he still harbours reservations about returning to United, where he fell out with former manager Sir Alex Ferguson before going on to win four successive Serie A titles with Juventus, but money is expected to talk. A deal could cost end up costing anywhere between £90 million and £110 million in transfer and agent payments, and other assorted fees, with Pogba thought to be looking for an after-tax salary of about £9.75 million a year. Manchester City balked at the eye-watering fees involved and pulled out of the running months ago.


The expectation was that Pogba would move to either Real or Barcelona in Spain, but Barcelona’s interest has cooled if not entirely ended, and Real are aware of United’s financial muscle and determination to deliver Mourinho’s principal target and know Juventus would seek to exploit any potential bidding war, pushing the price to exorbitant levels. Chelsea and Paris St-Germain also have a long-standing interest in Pogba.

Argentina forward Paulo Dybala believes his Juventus team-mate will shun the advances of Europe’s elite to stay in Turin. “Pogba will remain here, I spoke with him and I believe he will stay,” Dybala said. “We didn’t talk about football but I believe that will be the case.”

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