Pogba's first choice is Real, not Man United

LONDON • Paul Pogba will join Manchester United only if his first choice of Real Madrid proves impossible, with Jose Mourinho's hopes of securing the France midfielder resting on outbidding the Spanish club and meeting the player's wage demand of €300,000 (S$468,500) a week.

United and Real both want Pogba, although Juventus do not want to lose the Frenchman, who scored in his country's 5-2 Euro 2016 quarter-final defeat of Iceland on Sunday.

This means the clubs will have to match Juventus' minimum €100 million valuation in the first instance, and there would then be a bidding war.

If United were to offer a higher fee than Real and have it accepted, Mourinho would next have to mount the hurdle of Pogba preferring to play for the European champions rather than for United.

The Portuguese would hope agreeing to Pogba's salary expectations could do this and the influence of the player's agent, Mino Raiola, may also be a telling factor.

Raiola brokered the deal for Mourinho to sign Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who is also a client, on a free transfer. He is also set to seal the transfer of Borussia Dortmund's Henrikh Mkhitaryan, another player whom the Dutchman represents, to United.

THE GUARDIAN

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 06, 2016, with the headline 'Pogba's first choice is Real, not Man United'. Print Edition | Subscribe