An end to the summer’s longest running transfer saga appears to be in sight, with the news that Manchester United have cleared a major obstacle in their pursuit of Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba.
United have submitted a fresh offer of around €110m with €10m in add-ons (equivalent to £100m in total). With a world record fee agreed, United are in talks with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola over his commission which Juventus have insisted United must pay in full before the transfer is signed off. Raiola’s cut of the deal is reported to be worth €20m and will lift the total cost of the deal to an eye watering €130m fee
As soon as the finances are arranged, Pogba will undergo a medical before returning to the club he left four years ago. At the time, then United boss Sir Alex Ferguson blamed his departure on Raiola. United received a paltry £800,000 in compensation for a player regarded as one of the best young prospects in world football.
“There are one or two football agents I simply do not like, and Mino Raiola, Paul Pogba’s agent is one of them,” Ferguson said.
“We had Paul under a three-year contract, and it had a one-year renewal option which we were eager to sign. But Raiola suddenly appeared on the scene and our first meeting was a fiasco.
“He and I were like oil and water. From then on, our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to ingratiate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus.”
Pogba, currently on holiday in Miami, posted an Instagram picture of himself with the colours mirroring the club’s red, white and black – a sign, perhaps that he is Old Trafford-bound.
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) July 27, 2016
A further sign of an imminent move came when Chevrolet, United’s global partner and shirt sponsor, followed the 23-year-old midfielder on Instagram.
It is also understood that Pogba has informed friends and Juve team-mates that he’s due to re-sign for his former club imminently.
Earlier in the day, Real Madrid coach, Zinedine Zidane, hinted that he may be interested in signing the France midfielder.
Zidane said: “I don’t know if he will come. Until 31 August anything can happen. Everyone is interested in Pogba. He is a great footballer and when you are Madrid you always want the best.
“But now he is not a Real Madrid player, he is a Juventus player. I can’t say anything more.”
Nevertheless, in the absence of a bid from Madrid, Pogba is expected to move to Old Trafford in a deal that would become the most expensive transfer in history, beating Real’s signig of Gareth Bale.
It would complete a busy summer for Jose Mourinho after moves for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Eric Bailly and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.