Real Madrid will make a final decision on whether or not to pursue the signing of Paul Pogba when top officials meet for their annual transfer summit this week, reports Marca.
President Florentino Perez has made the club's interest clear to his counterparts at Juventus but has been left surprised by their demand of €140million, which would be enough to make Pogba the most expensive footballer ever. The fee will go up to €160m when Pogba's agent Mina Raiola gets his cut.
While Real Madrid have never shied away from breaking the transfer record, they are wary of spending such a huge amount on a single player, especially if he cannot prove his quality whilst playing with France at Euro 2016.
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One man pushing for the deal to happen is head coach Zinedine Zidane. Once the world's most expensive player himself, Zidane believes Pogba is worth the money because he provides something completely different to his current crop of midfielders; Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro.
And it is because of Zidane that relations between the two teams remain strong. His transfer to the Bernabeu in 2001 signalled the start of a number of deals struck between the two teams, most recently that of Alvaro Morata in 2014. While Juventus won't be giving Real Madrid mate's rates, they will be more open to selling to them than, say, Manchester United.
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Manchester United interest
The Red Devils are believed to be the only team in the Premier League actively pursuing the signing of Pogba after Jose Mourinho convinced executive Ed Woodward to renew the club's interest in their former midfielder.
Prior to that, Manchester United officials had been too proud to make a bid for the 23-year-old, who infamously left Old Trafford four seasons ago on a free transfer. He ruffled the feathers of Sir Alex Ferguson amongst others, in an argument that remains a sore point.
However, Mourinho already swings enough power at the club to have forced a U-turn, but he could yet find his former club jumping to the front of the queue.
Should Real Madrid decide to make a move for Pogba, it could signal the end for several stars in the first-team, most notably James Rodriguez and Isco. Both have been struggling for game time under Zidane and have come in for criticism from the Spanish press for their perceived lack of application.
Selling both could quite easily generate around €100m, which would go a long way to paying for Pogba, but would leave Real Madrid with a thinner squad. Considering they are expected to serve a two-window ban as of January, it is a risk they must think carefully about.
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