Manchester United will face a battle with Chelsea for the signature of Juventus star Paul Pogba next summer, reports The Express.
Both Premier League clubs are keen to sign the midfielder but must agree to meet the £70 million asking price placed on his head. That is a significant increase on the £55 million quoted to interested parties by Juventus last summer.
But that increase has been justified by Pogba's continued development into one of the world's finest midfielders. The France international won the award for the best young player at the World Cup in Brazil before landing a place on the 23-man Ballon d'Or shortlist.
Destined to return
The 21-year-old has been heavily linked with a return to Old Trafford since his controversial departure in 2012. Pogba turned down the chance to extend his contract under Sir Alex Ferguson owing to a lack of first team opportunities.
A return to the Premier League now seems likely with Chelsea, Manchester United, Manchester City and Arsenal all interested in signing him once the summer window opens. However, only the Blues and the Red Devils seem capable of matching Juventus's evaluation.
Plenty of interest
Arsenal continue to rely on self-generated cash while Manchester City have been forced to clamp down on their spending because of Uefa's financial fair play regulations. Meanwhile, Manchester United officials have told Louis van Gaal he can sign virtually any player in the world.
While a world-class defender seems top of Van Gaal's list, the addition of Pogba would be a marquee addition, sending Old Trafford into a state of pandemonium. However, Jose Mourinho is unlikely to make things easy for his adversary.
Chelsea seem better placed to challenge for the Premier League and Champions League titles over the next five years. While Manchester United are building an impressive dynasty with their mountains of cash, they are still considered a work in progress.
It is also not known whether Pogba would entertain a return to Manchester United after parting on such acrimonious terms. There is also the small matter of continued interest from Real Madrid to worry about.