The Paul Pogba saga appears to finally be coming to an end as reports in France suggested the Juventus midfielder has agreed personal terms with Manchester United ahead of a prospective world-record £100m return.
Jose Mourinho, the United manager, refused to be drawn on the topic this morning on the club’s pre-season tour of China but did divulge that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has completed deals for “75 per cent” of the targets he raised with him.
French newspaper L’Equipe report this morning that Pogba, who left Old Trafford for Turin on a free transfer in 2012, has asked to talk to United and has agreed personal terms amounting to a five-year contract on £220,000-a-week, almost double what Real Madrid were prepared to offer.
Juventus have already rejected two bids from United, the latter of which thought to be in the region of £92m, but Mourinho has instructed the hierarchy to do whatever it takes to lure Pogba back to the club he referred to recently as “his first family” in an interview with American television.
The Independent understands that Mourinho is willing to pursue other targets in the interim if talks with the Frenchman’s club take too long, although that is likely to be a negotiating tactic to force their hand rather than a genuine strategy.
“I don't confirm and I don't deny [that we have agreed to sign Pogba],” Mourinho said in Shanghai, ahead of the International Champions Cup match against Borussia Dortmund tomorrow.
“I cannot tell. First of all, because I don't think it’s correct to speak about players from other clubs. He's a Juventus player not a Manchester United player.
“We have three players to fill that profile. I am really confident that Mr Woodward and the owners will bring me that profile of player.”
Mino Raiola, the super-agent behind United’s successful acquisitions of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer, is overseeing the negotiations and is keen to get the deal over the line, largely because of the astronomical agent fee.
While United would be unable to offer Champions League football next season, something Italian champions Juventus can, they hope Pogba will look to N’Golo Kante’s switch to Chelsea for £30m.
The 23-year-old’s France team-mate left Leicester City, who will make their European Cup debut next season, last weekend despite the Blues finishing 10th in the Premier League last season.Reuse content