Chelsea and Manchester United have received a huge boost in the race to sign Paul Pogba after Juventus CEO Giuseppe Marotta seemingly aimed a dig at the French midfielder.
Pogba was left out of the 1-0 win over Genoa yesterday, which came thanks to a superb effort from Carlos Tevez.
The speculation over his future has been intense in recent weeks, and while Juventus say he's not for sale his agent Mino Raiola has hinted that he could be on the move in the summer. Chelsea, Manchester United, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are just a few of the suitors in the race for his signature.
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Now Marotta has added fuel to the fire by hailing the fact that Juventus were able to move one step closer to a fourth straight Serie A title without the former Manchester United midfielder.
"We are here celebrating a victory achieved by a team, a team that played without Pogba,’ said CEO Giuseppe Marotta. 'This means football is a team sport and not just about individuals.’
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The comments are unlikely to go down well with the Pogba camp - although Marotta also added that Juventus are in no rush to cash in on their star.
"Pogba is a young player with lots of promise but he is realising his potential," he insisted.
"We want to win and we don't necessarily have to sell our best players. It is clear that players of this quality attract interest from other clubs but we don't seek buyers and there has been no contact."
Pogba left Manchester United in 2012 for nothing when his contract expired, but according to reports over the weekend boss Louis van Gaal has made him his top target for the summer, and allocated £60 million to get the deal done.
However the fact that Pogba walked away from Old Trafford under a cloud could mean that Chelsea are in the driving seat.
"It’s difficult because Pogba felt disrespected by Sir Alex Ferguson and he left," Sunday Times football correspondent Jonathan Northcroft told Sky Sports' Sunday Supplement yesterday.
"I think he needs to be persuaded. Chelsea are in for him as well as too are PSG, but United are trying to throw money and wages at him."
The race for Pogba will be the biggest of the summer, and will dominate the headlines. This is just the start.
Juventus are playing hard ball with their constant public denials about Pogba's future but it seems inevitable that he will go. In return they will receive a huge sum of money which they can reinvest to tighten their grip on Serie A even further.