Jose Mourinho has lavished praise on Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, singling him out as his young player of the World Cup amidst increasing speculation that he could be on his way to Chelsea.
Pogba featured for France at the World Cup in Brazil, helping them reach the quarter-final stage where they were eliminated by Germany. He also got on the scoresheet, bagging the key goal in his country's 2-0 win over Nigeria in the last 16.
Now, with France out of the competition speculation that he could be on his way out of Juventus has increased. Chelsea are said to be at the front of the queue for his services with Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain also in the hunt.
Juventus are believed to be holding out for £60 million for the 21-year-old who joined for free from Manchester United two years ago. That has done little to dispel the rumours over Pogba's future, indeed the player himself sent the rumour mill into overdrive when he was spotted hanging around in west London yesterday, near Chelsea's Stamford Bridge home.
Now Mourinho has added further fuel to the fire by heaping praise on the talented youngster, describing him as the best young player at the World Cup.
When asked which young player stood out for him, he told Yahoo: "I would say Pogba, because he had a good World Cup despite the fact his team didn’t reach the last four, I think he showed that he is a big player for the next World Cup.”
Mourinho's comments are likely to be interpreted as part of a master plan to get Pogba to Chelsea, and add to his already impressive squad. So far this summer the Special One has captured Cesc Fabregas and will complete a deal for Diego Costa shortly, with plenty more expected to follow suit. A deal for Filipe Luis should be wrapped up soon, while Tiago could also follow from Atletico Madrid.
Manchester United competition
Whether a deal for Pogba could then happen remains to be seen, especially given that Chelsea are likely to face some stiff competition from the likes of Manchester United and PSG.
Interestingly, when spotted in west London yesterday he was asked by a fan if he would be joining Chelsea, he refused to answer and merely chuckled. The Express report today that the Blues are indeed preparing a £60 million bid for the former Le Havre ace, which in turn could mean Manchester United miss out on one of their main targets, his Juventus team-mate Arturo Vidal.