Manchester United have been approached by Juventus with their first concrete proposal to sign Paul Pogba – and have offered two stars in part exchange.
The Italian champions are having to get creative this summer with finances badly impacted as a result of football’s current inactivity and it was reported earlier this month that they will try and offer a number of swap deals to help bring in their prime targets.
It’s claimed that Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici strongly views this format for transfer deals as the way forward this summer and, when discussing deals for specific targets, will offer swap deals to rivals clubs as opposed to straight cash deals.
As per Calciomercato, Paratici and Juventus are likely to make Douglas Costa, Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic and Adrien Rabiot all available for potential swap deals this summer.
The quartet are said to have already received approaches from a number of overseas suitors and it’s believed they don’t form an intrinsic part of head coach Maurizio Sarri’s immediate first-team plans.
As such, Italian transfer expert Gianluca Di Marzio claims Juve have already been in touch with United to tentatively make their opening gambit for Pogba, with both Bosnia midfielder Pjanic and Brazil winger Douglas Costa offered in a straight, three-way swap deal.
Juve are said to value the pair at £50m and £30m respectively and hope that would equate to the same valuation United have of Pogba, whom, after just just eight appearances for United this season – and none since Boxing Day – has seen his price tumble.
Furthermore, Pogba will have just a year left on his existing deal come the summer and, while United do have the option to extend that arrangement, it’s thought they could look to cut their losses on the star.
As per Di Marzio, United are yet to get back to Juve about the proposal but it is thought the two players from Juventus they would most like to sign have been taken off the table and are not up for any swap deal negotiations.
As such, Calciomercato claims Juventus have also informed suitors, including United, that both Paulo Dybala and Matthijs De Ligt will be deemed ‘untouchable’ and off the agenda for proposed swaps; much to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s frustrations.
United have been tentatively linked with both Douglas Costa and Pjanic in the past but it is not known whether Solskjaer and United remain keen. However, given the pair, aged 29 and 30 respectively, don’t quite fall within Solskjaer’s remit of buying young, hungry stars with a certain X-factor, it looks unlikely they will accept Juve’s first proposal.
United are reported to have a total of nine players on their transfer wish-list, and will, according to widespread reports, prioritise deals for a No. 10, a right-sided attacker and a striker in the summer window.
Pogba names two biggest career influences
Pogba, of course, made his way in the game through United’s academy and he said he learned first from Paul Scholes and then Andrea Pirlo at Juventus on what was necessary to become a top level midfielder.
“You learn a lot and you look at them,” Pogba told the United Podcast. “I really learned and have been learning. It was unbelievable for me, seeing them training like that, and it pushed me.
“Okay, I have to work hard and have a lot more to do. Pirlo and Scholes, those are midfielders who control the game, the players to look at, and I learned from them, a lot.
“I started as a striker and then a number 10 and then a number six. Thank God, I didn’t go to centre-back! It was because I wanted to touch the ball too much.
“I was the striker and dropping too much, so one coach told me: ‘Okay, play the number 10 and touch the ball more.’ I still loved the ball too much and had too many touches, so he put me at number six.”