Manchester United have reluctantly accepted that they're highly unlikely to sign Real Madrid superstar Gareth Bale this summer, with Red Devils boss Louis van Gaal now ready to focus his attention on a stunning £77 million move for Paul Pogba.
The fantastic Frenchman is a sore subject for United fans, who still rue the way in which he was allowed to leave Old Trafford for Juventus on a free transfer back in 2012.
Van Gaal is ready to right those wrongs though and has the transfer budget to make it happen, with The Express reporting that Pogba is now United's number one target to make a blockbuster return to the Theatre of Dreams.
Bale stance forces rethink
Van Gaal has effectively been forced to look for an alternative to Bale because the Welsh wizard has no interest in being the marquee summer signing United crave, stating adamantly that he's happy in Madrid and looking at a long-term future in the Spanish capital.
With a £100m move for Bale out of the question United will test Juve's resolve to keep Pogba, deciding that arguably Europe's most accomplished midfielder represents a far more worthwhile long-term investment that a long-rumoured move for team-mate Arturo Vidal.
Article continues below
Interest strong from elsewhere
United may fancy their chances of ending their search for an imposing central midfielder in some style, but they're unsurprisingly far from the only club looking to persuade Juve it's time to cash in on Pogba this summer.
Premier League rivals Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City are also monitoring his situation very closely, while Real Madrid have also been strongly linked with a move for the Les Blues linchpin in recent times.
Van Gaal will hope that deep down Pogba feels he has unfinished business at United, but must meet Juve's eye-watering valuation of £77m before this dream deal for Red Devils can become a reality in 2015.