Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba may not get his move to Real Madrid, despite reports that he is keen to get a move to Spain.
There has been speculation that Pogba’s injury is merely a smokescreen orchestrated between club and player in order to maintain a civil relationship before the start of the winter transfer window, when a rumoured bid from Real would be anticipated.
United’s asking price is thought to be in excess of £100 million, but Mundo Deportivo have run a story that suggests that they will only be prepared to offer half that. It is believed that United’s executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward would not be willing to sell for such a low figure.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez is concerned that because of Mino Raiola’s involvement, that Pogba’s signing-on fee coupled with agent fees, would still put the end figure well above £100 million, and that the 26-year-old midfielder’s wage demands would also provide an obstacle.
Such a bid would likely upset Zinedine Zidane, who made Pogba one of his priorities when he was re-appointed as the Spanish club’s manager, but Perez instead spent £300 million on alternative targets. There could be players sold in the winter in order to trim the squad and raise funds for future transfers, including a summer move for Pogba when a more substantial offer could be forthcoming.
A £50 million offer would serve some purpose for Real, because it would begin a process of unsettling the World Cup winner. That might ultimately dent and reduce Woodward’s resolve in keeping hold of the player at the end of the season. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is rumoured to be content to sell Pogba if he is given the funds to buy a replacement. Fred and Scott McTominay are, at best, in need of another midfielder to play alongside them after Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic and Andreas Pereira have disappointed.