Juventus have rejected Manchester United’s first offer for Paul Pogba worth a total of £100m with £13m of that in performance-related add-ons. The Serie A club want United to pay £100m with a further £8m in add-ons, which would make the Frenchman the most expensive player ever.
Manchester United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward met the Juventus directors Giuseppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici as well as the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, on Tuesday to discuss a possible transfer but was told that the opening bid fell short of what Juventus wanted for the player.
It was not all bad news for Manchester United, however, as Raiola told the Juventus officials that he now wants to bring Pogba to the Premier League. Raiola has already overseen the transfers of two of his players, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, to United this summer.
Furthermore Raiola has already agreed a fee with United for bringing back the 23-year-old to the club he left in 2012 and the player is ready to accept United’s contract offer of £250,000 a week for five years. Pogba himself is understood to be relaxed about his position as he would accept a move to United but would also be happy to stay at his current club.
More talks are scheduled between the parties and United now have to decide whether they want to spend a world record fee for the midfielder, who has won four Serie A titles in four years with Juventus and reached the 2015 Champions League final with the club.
Real Madrid are the only other club the player could join, although the Spanish club’s manager, Zinedine Zidane, admitted earlier this week that he is happy with his current squad. “Do I like Pogba? Of course, he’s a very good player and every club wants the best players but right now he’s at Juve and we have a large squad already,” he said.
“There are still lots of players yet to join up with the squad and with the Euros going on we couldn’t do anything. We have three games coming up and that’s the focus at the moment.”
The United manager, José Mourinho, is desperate for the club to seal the deal to add to the summer signings of Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly. The Portuguese manager flew out to China with the rest of the team on Tuesday for the club’s pre-season tour, where they will take on Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City.
United’s domestic season starts with the Community Shield game against Leicester City on Sunday, 7 August, before their Premier League campaign begins a week later at Bournemouth.