Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward is reported to have met Paul Pogba’s agent for talks – but a move to Old Trafford still remains very much in the balance.
Reports on Wednesday in The Guardian suggested that any deal for the France midfielder will only go through if a transfer to the player’s first choice, Real Madrid, proves impossible and if United are willing to meet the player’s reported €300,000 (£250,000) a week wage demands.
But with Jose Mourinho strongly hinting in his first press conference at Old Trafford that moves for Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pogba were very much on the agenda, United retain hopes of securing what could prove to be a world-record deal.
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, it is believed they are resigned to allowing the player to leave and will accept an offer from the highest bidder – though that would have to match Juventus’ minimum €100m (£84m) valuation in the first instance.
But with the funds available for his signing, and with Woodward having met with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola this week to discuss a potential move, Mourinho retains hopes that a deal could be done.
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 whom the Dutchman represents, to United. Mourinho and United hope this relationship can help make a return to the club for Pogba possible. Raiola, it is understood, believes Pogba may be better suited by a return to United rather than a move to Real.
So although United appear to have many things in their favour, the one thing they cannot yet guarantee is the player’s preference and it may take Real Madrid pulling out of the race for Mourinho to secure his man.