Manchester United transfer news and rumours: £100m Paul Pogba bid 'ready' with no offer made for Blaise Matuidi
Manchester United are growing concerned that competition from Real Madrid and Chelsea could cost them the chance of signing Paul Pogba, so much so that the club are considering a world record £100m offer to tempt Juventus into selling the midfielder.
According to the Daily Mail, United have contacted the Serie A club to open negotiations over a move for Pogba, with the Premier League side considering a genuine offer of £100m to not only smash the current transfer world record – the £86m it cost Real Madrid to sign Gareth Bale from Tottenham in 2013 – but become the first club to spend a nine-figure sum on one player.
On top of the huge transfer fee, United are also willing to offer the 23-year-old wages of £300,000-a-week, with the club eager to tie him down to a long-term contract similar to the one that Henrikh Mkhitaryan signed on Wednesday in a four-year deal with the option of an additional 12 months.
United’s increased interest comes after holding talks with Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, during negotiations for Mkhitaryan as well as Zlatan Ibrahimovic given that all three players are represented by the Dutch football agent.
It’s added that Pogba is open to a move back to United after leaving the club on a free transfer in 2012 in order to prove he can cut it in the Premier League.
Manchester United summer transfer targets
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Borussia Dortmund
Henrikh Mkhitaryan is believed to be on the verge of a £23m move to Old Trafford after Manchester United refused to give in despite a concerted effort by Borussia Dortmund to keep their highly-rated midfielder. The Armenian international almost joined Liverpool three years ago but Dortmund gazumped Brendan Rodgers’ men to secure one of the most combative midfielders in European football.
Paul Pogba, Juventus
Despite letting him go on Sir Alex Ferguson’s watch in 2012, United are desperate to land Juventus star Paul Pogba. It may yet take a world record fee of £100m to lure the 23-year-old away from Turin, however, but Jose Mourinho has made his intentions to sign world-class players known this summer. The Portuguese will hope Pogba can replicate the sort of form which has helped him scored 23 goals in 124 appearances in Serie A.
Alvaro Morata, Real Madrid
Having signed Zlatan Ibrahimovic in June, United remain on the lookout for cover in attacking positions with a move for Alvaro Morata seeming likely. The Spaniard was in fine form for his country at Euro 2016 this summer before it was announced that Real Madrid had utilised a buy-back clause in his Juventus contract. That isn’t the end of matters, though, with the Spanish giants planning to sell Morata on immediately for profit.
James Rodriguez, Real Madrid
After seeing little game time under Zinedine Zidane at Madrid, another name to be thrown into the Old Traffor mix is that of James Rodriguez. The Columbian superstar was even relegated to the La Liga B side on occasions as he fell quite spectacularly down the pecking order in the Spanish capital. While Paris Saint-Germain remains his most likely destination, with reports suggesting a fee has been agreed, don’t rule out a late counter offer from United.
Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal
In a surprise rumour, Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey was linked with a switch to the North West. The 25-year-old has been in scintillating form for Wales at Euro 2016 this summer but it remains to be seen if the Gunners would be willing to entertain an approach from one of their main titles for the Premier League throne. Ramsey is reportedly frustrated at the levels of competition in the centre at the Emirates but it is unlikely United would be able to offer a firmer guarantee of first-team football.
Hirving Lozano, Pachuca
Young Pachuca forward Hirving Lozano might not sell a mass of shirts immediately, if indeed he does sign, the 20-year-old is considered one of the most exciting talents in world football. Nicknamed ‘Chunky’, Lozano is capped seven times for Mexico despite his tender age, having scored 21 goals in 91 senior appearances for Pachuca.
N’Golo Kante, Leicester City
It seems everyone has been linked with Leicester City’s midfield maestro N’Golo Kante this summer. The Frenchman made a name for himself during the Foxes’ remarkable march to the Premier League title in 2016 following a low-key £5.6m transfer from Caen the previous summer. Kante is both combative and industrious, refusing to let up until possession is won back. While the champions may be keen to keep their little midfield star, the presence of a release clause in his contract at the King Power Stadium means a move away remains entirely possible.
Will Hughes, Derby County
Many thought Will Hughes may have missed his chance to make a big-money move away from the iPro Stadium when he rejected the chance to sign for Liverpool last summer. The young Englishman remains one of the most promising players outside the top flight despite being unable to inspire Derby to promotion from the Championship. The East Midlands outfit are likely to demand an inflated transfer fee for their midfield wizard too but United have shown in the past that money is usually no object.
Meanwhile, an alternative to Pogba is his international team-mate Blaise Matuidi, although reports in France suggest that the Paris Saint-Germain midfielder is yet to see any offers arrive for his services. Both United and Chelsea are believed to be interested in the 29-year-old, who was reportedly given permission to hold talks with United this week over a potential summer move, but French newspaper Le Parisien reports that PSG have not received an offer from a Premier League club for the midfielder.
One player who will not be moving to Old Trafford though is James Rodriguez, with the Real Madrid midfielder closing in on a move to PSG. Rodriguez has been linked with a move to United for the past year after he cropped up in talks between United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward and the Spanish club during the David De Gea saga last summer.
However, Spanish newspaper Sport claims that United manager Jose Mourinho has no intention of signing Rodriguez, leaving the door wide open for the Colombian to join PSG providing they meet Real’s valuation.