Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea have been given a boost in their reported interest in Paul Pogba, because legendary italian coach and former Juventus manager Marcelo Lippi has told his former club to cash and used the example of Zinedine Zidane as a template.
According to the Daily Express, all three of Arsene Wenger, Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal have an interested in signing Pogba for their respective clubs, but Juventus are not keen on selling a player who has become a crucial member of their starting XI.
"He was the best player in the world, but Madrid were paying €75 million"
Reports from last week suggested that Pogba was set to become the subject of a £78million bid from Real Madrid. But this report claims that the Santiago Bernabeu club have said they have no interest in signing the 21-year-old at the moment.
Madrid pulling out of the race would, according to the Express report, leave Manchester United, Arsenal and Chelsea free to fight it out for the France international. The Premier League trio's pursuit has also been boosted by Lippi's recent comments to Sky Italia.
Lippi, who led Italy to World Cup glory at Germany 2006, believes the Bianconeri should look to what they did with France legend Zidane when he returned to take charge of the club for a second time in 2001. They sold Zidane to Real Madrid that year and Lippi explained how it actually helped the club grow.
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"Of course, it would be a big sacrifice to lose Pogba, but selling him would generate enough money to buy three or four great players to help improve the team," said the 66-year-old, who has now retired from coaching.
"When I returned to Juventus in 2001, I got a call that the club were going to sell Zidane. He was the best player of the world, but Madrid were paying €75 million.
"The club told me to remain calm and that they would reinvest all the money in the squad. We eventually signed Gianluigi Buffon, Lilian Thuram and Pavel Nedved and continued to win silverware."
Juventus have won three Serie A titles in a row and look on course to claim a fourth this season, for which Pogba is likely to be crucial. They are unlikely to agree a sale in the January transfer window, but a summer departure could be on the cards - especially after his agent Mino Raiola's recent comments.
Manchester United will be looking over at Turin with envy at Pogba's performances since he moved there for a nominal fee in 2012 after failing to agree a new deal with the Old Trafford club. This is seen by many as one of Sir Alex Ferguson's greatest mistakes in the transfer market.
Arsenal and Chelsea are ask credited with an interest and both teams would be happy to make space for Pogba in their midfields, but the mooted £78million price tag would make things difficult for them to compete with mega-rich Manchester United.