Jose Mourinho has given Manchester United a month to wrap up a potential world-record deal for Paul Pogba after the player reportedly told friends he wants to return to Old Trafford.
L’Equipe claim that Pogba has told friends and team-mates that he wants to return to Manchester, four years after leaving for Juventus, while the Daily Telegraph on Friday claims Mourinho has told United he does not want the pursuit to drag on beyond the Community Shield against Leicester City at Wembley on August 7.
The United manager has made it clear, publicly and privately, that he has no intention of allowing the club to be backed into a corner on a frantic transfer deadline day scramble, a scenario that happened in each of the past three summers under his predecessors, Louis van Gaal and David Moyes.
Having already completed deals for Zlatan Ibrahimovic, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Eric Bailly, Mourinho has now set his sights on bringing Pogba back to Old Trafford four years after the Frenchman’s acrimonious departure for Juventus.
Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola has already held talks with Manchester United over a potential deal, which could end up costing the club a world-record £90m-plus fee with Juventus.
Juventus will only sell Pogba for a new world-record fee and going beyond £90m is not expected to be a problem for United; they have effectively priced Real Madrid – reportedly Pogba’s own first choice – out of the market.
“We are not going to get the fourth [signing] on the 31st of August, no way, we will get the fourth before that and then we are stable but the market will be open,” Mourinho had insisted at his press conference on Tuesday.
If a deal cannot be agreed for Pogba within the set-out timeframe, Mourinho will switch attention to his back-up options, with the Portuguese eager to bring in a midfielder as soon as possible.
However, with both Pogba and club now seemingly wanting the move, all that is left is for United to settle on a fee with Juventus.