Juventus coach Massimiliano Allegri has claimed that he is “counting on” Paul Pogba for the new Serie A season.
New Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is believed to have identified Pogba has his top midfield target and reports suggest United are trying to broker a £100million-plus deal for the 23-year-old.
But for the first time this summer the Juve boss has spoken about the France international and admitted he was hopeful he would stay in Turin.
“The France internationals will return on August 7. Both [Patrice] Evra and Pogba? They are both Juventus players and I hope they will stay. I am counting on Pogba,” Allegri told reporters.
Pogba is currently on holiday after helping France reach the Euro 2016 final, despite not showing his best form in his homeland – a factor which is believed to have swayed Real Madrid to cool their interest.
The La Liga giants were tracking Pogba and it has been reported the player’s preference was to move to Spain, but Zinedine Zidane is now believed to be keeping Alvaro Morata and has now decided against a move for Pogba.
That has left United in the box seat, but Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola on Friday reportedly told United to wrap up a deal for the midfielder by the end of July – or risk missing out on the player.
Spanish publication Marca wrote that Raiola wanted any possible transfer involving the Juventus star sorted before August. That however seems unlikely with Pogba not even returning to Turin until August 7.
“There is a lot of talk about Paul’s future, but maybe he will not leave Juventus,” Raoila told The Times earlier this month. “He is in no rush to leave, and Juventus do not want him to go. They want him to renew his contract.”
The Sun claim Juventus will look to sign £15m-rated Chelsea midfielder Nemanja Matic if Pogba, who has scored 34 goals and assisted 43 goals in 178 appearances for Juve, completes a move back to Old Trafford.