Jose Mourinho is hoping for the chance to hold talks with Paul Pogba in a bid to persuade the midfielder that a return to Manchester United is the best option for his career.
United and Mourinho have reportedly made the Juventus star their ‘top priority this summer’ and it was reported on Monday how the club were prepared to make an opening bid of £80million for their former Academy player.
However, United expect Juventus to reject their offer, but with several of the morning papers claiming United are “prepared to pay whatever it takes” to re-sign the France midfielder, the Red Devils could expect to spend a world-record fee on the player, with figures of £100million being bandied about by some.
Mourinho spent a portion of his first day as United manager discussing transfer targets with chief executive Ed Woodward and stressed that Pogba is the player he is desperate to land.
United know they will have to do something special to beat Barcelona and Real Madrid, as well as Manchester City, in the race to sign the 23-year-old, who left United back in 2012, and hope the size of their bid will deter their rivals from competing for his signature.
Pogba’s return to Old Trafford will be seen as a coup, albeit a hugely expensive one given they allowed the player to leave, rather than meet his wage demands for a new contract, four years ago when Sir Alex Ferguson was manager.
There is a growing confidence that Pogba will return to United, although officials are wary of being used in an attempt to drive up the asking price.
United were played during Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos’ contract negotiations at Real Madrid and their interest has also been used by Neymar’s representatives over the last 12 months to get a new deal at Barcelona.
However, Pogba is set to leave Juventus this summer following a strong transfer hint from his father and United know the size of the bid – as well as a Mourinho charm offensive – are the two most important factors if they are going to win the race to sign him.