Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has told his advisers that he wants to join either Barcelona or Real Madrid this summer, despite interest from the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City and his former employers Manchester United.
This is according to respected French publication L’Equipe - and brought to our attention by AFP journalist Tom Williams - who understand Barcelona would loan Pogba out for the first half of the 2015-16 campaign if they win the race for his signature.
Barça are unable to register new players until January 2016 due to their existing transfer ban, but are permitted to make new signings when the transfer window re-opens this summer.
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it was reported earlier this year that Pogba’s preference was to join the newly-crowned La Liga champions, but the fact he would have to be loaned out for the first few months of his Barcelona career complicates matters.
After such a turbulent season, culminating in the dismissal of manager Carlo Ancelotti on Monday, Real Madrid will look to strengthen in the upcoming transfer window and should regard Pogba as the perfect acquisition.
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Real Madrid could lure Pogba to the Bernabeu
Real president Florentino Perez - and Rafael Benitez, the coach expected to be confirmed as Ancelotti’s successor - may feel confident they can lure Pogba to the Bernabeu instead of the Camp Nou due to the complexities of a potential deal between the player and Barcelona.
That Pogba wants to join a Spanish club will come as a major blow to the aforementioned English sides.
Pogba not interested in Premier League move
The France international has expressed his love for Manchester United on a couple of occasions since leaving Old Trafford for Juventus in 2012, but does not appear to be interested by the offer to return to his former stomping ground.
It also seems that the 22-year-old is unmoved by the chance to join City, Chelsea or Arsenal, who have also been linked with the world-class central midfielder this season.
But, due to the sheer amount of competition for places at both clubs, Pogba would face a challenge staying in the starting line-ups of either Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Barça’s midfield trio comprised of Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic have worked tremendously well as a unit this season, and Enrique could be forgiven if he felt reluctant to drop any of them next season in order to accommodate Pogba - especially if his current team wins the treble this term.
As for Real Madrid, Benitez - the odds-on favourite to replace Ancelotti - would need to find room in his midfield for Luka Modric, James Rodriguez, Toni Kroos, Isco and Pogba.
And, even with Sami Khedira set to leave the Bernabeu, there are the likes of Marin Odegaard, Lucas Silva and Asier Illarramendi also vying for a place in Real Madrid’s midfield.
However, Pogba possesses the talent to cement his status as an important first-team player at both the Camp Nou or the Bernabeu, and it now seems likely that a deal will be completed after next month’s Champions League final.
Where will Paul Pogba be playing his football next season? Tell us by leaving a comment in the box below!