MILAN (AFP) - Paris Saint-Germain are set to up the ante in a bid to sign Paul Pogba by offering the Serie A champions 70 million euros (S$121.5 million) for the sought-after Juventus midfielder, according to a report on Thursday.
The France international joined the Italian giants at the start of last season on a free transfer from Manchester United and has blossomed into one of the league's most creative and effective midfielders both in attack and defence.
Now PSG, according to a report in Thursday's La Gazzetta dello Sport, have offered Juve 70 million euros in a bid to stave off interest from Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid.
The report did not cite club officials but claims Juve president Beppe Marotta has recently held preliminary talks with Bayern Munich. It said Chelsea and Real had also "expressed interest" in the 20-year-old.
The report also said Juventus were "determined to hold on to Pogba amid what is an unprecedented auction".
Pogba has a contract with Juventus until the summer of 2017, although Italian media reports regularly speculate that he could be lured elsewhere - especially if the price is right.
Juve coach Antonio Conte has often complained that cash-strapped Italian clubs have no chance of rising to the top of the Champions League because they simply cannot compete financially with the likes of Real, Chelsea and Bayern.
And, with Pogba's stock rising - he was valued at around 45 million euros in October, according to the Gazzetta report - the Italian club would be in line to reap rich dividends from any sale of the Frenchman.
Pogba's agent Mino Raiola recently compared him to a painting by Claude Monet and said if Real forward Gareth Bale was worth 100 million euros, Pogba was worth double.
"Pogba is the best player of his age in the world, and he's only going to get better," said Raiola.
"He's like a Monet. The value is there, wherever he plays it doesn't matter. If Bale is worth 100 million Paul is worth 200."
Pogba's eventual departure would spark memories of another world-class French player who left the Bianconeri.
In 2001 Zinedine Zidane, who joined Juventus from Bordeaux in 1996, joined Real Madrid for a then world record fee of 150 billion Italian lire (about 75 million euros).