Juventus appear to be shortening the distance to get a return for Paul Pogba over the line after his time with Manchester United ends, per reports in Italy.
Pogba is in the final few months of his contract with Man Utd. His second spell with the club began when they bought him back from Juventus for what was then a world-record fee in 2016. Now, he could be set for a second stint in Turin.
Man Utd have faced a dilemma over Pogba’s future for a while. The Frenchman has not necessarily given them the consistency they would have expected, despite his obvious talent. Therefore, giving him a huge new deal could be concerning financially.
But on the flipside, losing a player of his talent for free for the second time in his career would also not be a good look.
As things stand, the World Cup winner can speak to foreign clubs about a deal for the summer. With that in mind, reports have been cropping up about a return to Juventus, whom he represented for four seasons last time he was in Italy.
According to SportItalia journalist Rudy Galetti, Juventus have now tabled a contract offer to the midfielder. If he agrees, he would receive €9m per season plus up to €3m in bonuses.
His basic salary would roughly equate to just under £150,000 per week, which is well short of what he currently earns with United. His wage packet is estimated to be between £240,000 and £300,000 per week in Manchester.
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However, Juventus’ offer has increased from the £112,500-per-week total that was recently reported as being their plan.
What’s more, there has been a building feeling that Pogba would welcome a return to the Serie A side. According to Galetti, “the negotiation is moving swiftly”.
Matter of time for Pogba decision
The journalist predicts it “may not be that far” until the 28-year-old is back in Turin. He has previously claimed the contract would run for four seasons.
Should Pogba leave, it could be the first domino to fall in a busy summer rebuild at Old Trafford. He is not the only player with an expiring contract; Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata could also quit.
Some other under-contract stars could also make way as United aim to raise funds. Their transfer budget for signings has been predicted to be lower than usual this summer.
If they miss out on Champions League qualification, as is possible, it would only further weaken their hand. They will have to be creative and use their stature as a big club to convince any new arrivals.
Replacing Pogba in particular will be a tricky task, so it remains to be seen if they can convince him to stay on better terms than what Juventus would offer.