In-demand Pogba in no rush to leave

French midfielder Paul Pogba is wanted by new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, with the only stumbling block being Juventus's £100 million asking price for a player United released four years ago.
French midfielder Paul Pogba is wanted by new Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho, with the only stumbling block being Juventus's £100 million asking price for a player United released four years ago.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

LONDON • Juventus have offered Paul Pogba a new deal in a bid to prevent their star midfielder returning to Manchester United, according to his agent.

Jose Mourinho wants to make Pogba his fourth and final signing of the summer transfer window and the new United manager is free to make a move for the Frenchman now that Euro 2016 is over.

The English football club let the 23-year-old midfielder leave Old Trafford for free four years ago and his return is likely to cost them a world-record fee of up to £100 million (S$177 million).

Pogba, who is on holiday after France's 1-0 defeat by Portugal in Sunday's final, is drawing interest from Real Madrid but the Champions League winners are unlikely to match any bid from United.

Juventus, however, have not given up hope of keeping hold of their star player, according to Mino Raiola, the player's agent.

The Italian champions have offered Pogba a five-year deal that would take his salary to at least £130,000 per week.

  • £100m

  •  Juventus' asking price for Paul Pogba.

"There is a lot of talk about Paul's future, but maybe he will not leave Juventus," Raiola told The Times of London.

"He is in no rush to leave and Juventus do not want him to go. They want him to renew his contract.

"Paul is not desperate to move. We are very happy at Juventus and they are a club that want to keep their star players."

Raiola has already completed two deals with United this summer. He oversaw the transfer of Henrikh Mkhitaryan from Borussia Dortmund, and free agent Zlatan Ibrahimovic to Old Trafford.

Mourinho, who also signed Eric Bailly, the Ivory Coast defender, from Villarreal last month, has made it clear he wants all his signings to be completed before United get their Premier League season under way at Bournemouth on Aug 14.

Despite the riches at his disposal, Mourinho admits that bringing in expensive signings does not guarantee success.

"It's not just about the amazing economic situation that every club in the Premier League has now, which allows them to buy well and buy expensive and good players to compete for the biggest prizes," the Portuguese said.

"It's also about training methods, preparation and mental preparation, and also nobody is afraid of anybody.

"In the past you could smash opponents, if you were one of the best teams, 5-0 or 6-0 and win 10-15 matches in a row. I think these times are over and fewer points will win the title.

"Even with a handful of defeats you can be champions because the profile of the competition has changed."

THE TIMES, LONDON

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2016, with the headline 'In-demand Pogba in no rush to leave'. Print Edition | Subscribe