A Man Utd talisman has moved into the crosshairs of Juventus who are reportedly aiming to pull off a blockbuster deal to give Massimiliano Allegri an immediate boost.
The managerial merry-go-round went into overdrive this week when several major names were moved on on the European front. Zinedine Zidane left his post at Real Madrid, while Antonio Conte departed from Inter despite the Nerazzurri breaking Juventus’ nine-year stranglehold on the Serie A crown.
The once-dominant Turin club averted financial disaster when securing Champions League qualification on the final day at Napoli’s expense. Nevertheless, Andrea Pirlo was relieved of his duties after overseeing a thoroughly disappointing campaign.
Allegri has significant work to do to transform an aging squad, but the latest reports indicate how the club are looking to ensure he gets off to a headline-grabbing start.
The Frenchman developed into a world class operator in Turin between 2012-16. His outstanding performances in Italy ultimately paved the way for his mega-money return to Old Trafford.
Since arriving back in Manchester, however, Pogba has been a divisive figure among fans and pundits alike.
His maverick talents are unquestionable, though concerns have been raised over his displays in the big games. His latest opportunity to impress in the Europa League final slipped away after producing a subdued performance against Villarreal.
Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola has persistently talked up a move away from Man Utd. In December, he told Italian publication Tuttosport (via the Mirror): “I can say that it’s over for Paul Pogba at Manchester United.
“Paul is unhappy with Man Utd as he is no longer able to express himself in the way that he would like and as he is expected to. Paul needs a new team, a change of air.
“He is under contract for the next 18 months and it will expire in the summer of 2022.”
With just 12 months remaining on Pogba’s current deal, Man Utd could be faced with a difficult decision this summer.
If progress over a new contract cannot be made, selling Pogba now to avoid losing him for free next summer would become an increasingly viable option.
CalcioMercato note that Juventus have several targets in mind, but stress that acquiring Pogba would be their ‘real dream.’
Exiting Man City star delivers parting shot at Man Utd
Meanwhile, outgoing Man City star Eric Garcia launched a parting shot at Man Utd after referencing his impending teammate Gerarad Pique’s affiliation with the Red Devils.
Garcia previously came through the youth ranks at Barcelona, before switching to City’s academy. He has taken his first steps in senior football in Manchester but is now ready to return home.
“Going back to Barcelona is a brave bet,” he told L’Esportiu (via Football Espana). “I’ve thought about my future, what I think is the best [thing to do] and I’m convinced it’s the step I’ve taken.”
Garcia will follow in the footsteps of Gerard Pique, who was a Barca youth player before moving to Manchester to play for City’s rivals United early in his career, and then returning to the Catalan club.
The 20-year-old played down comparisons between himself and Pique. But he couldn’t resist taking aim at United in the process.
“Gerard has achieved everything. He’s one of the best centre-backs in the world,” he said. “The only possible comparison is this: we’re both from La Masia and we lived in Manchester. But he went to a not-so-good team.
“I’ve had more luck and have been able to play for the best team in Manchester, a pity for him.”