Manchester United are preparing an incredible £100million transfer bid for Juventus star Paul Pogba as Jose Mourinho seeks the fourth signing he pointed to in his opening press conference on Tuesday.
As the Special One suggested, Henrikh Mkhitaryan became his third addition of the summer on Wednesday, completing a £26m deal from Borussia Dortmund. He joins Eric Bailly and Zlatan Ibrahimovic but, unsurprisingly, Mourinho has saved the very best to last.
The Daily Mail report that executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has outlined the world-record sum to Pogba's agent Mino Raiola and is believed to have been given encouragement that such a bid would be accepted.
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Raiola has basically lived at Old Trafford this summer after brokering deals for Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan, during which time there are believed to have been informal talks regarding a deal for the French midfielder.
While no official offer has been made, United suggested that they would be prepared to pay Pogba the same £300,000-a-week deal that captain Wayne Rooney earns. Over five years, that will be worth £78m, bring the total cost of the deal to a staggering £178m.
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Pogba ready to join
One significant problem, however, has been doubts over whether the 23-year-old would entertain a bid from his former club. Pogba infamously left Manchester United in 2012 after falling out with Sir Alex Ferguson. The Red Devils received just £800,000 in compensation.
It had been reported that Pogba was not keen on returning to Manchester but would instead like to sample a different culture in Spain. Real Madrid are interested but it is believed they won't be able to match the financial package that United are offering.
Pogba is also interested in working with Mourinho, who is ready to give him a focal point in his team.
The fourth one
Mourinho told Manchester United fans to prepare for at least one more major signing before the end of the transfer window and it is believed he was referring to Pogba when he talked about a fourth deal.
Speaking at his press conference earlier this week, Mourinho said: "We have made four positions a priority. Positions that we need for a certain balance.
"We want four players and we almost have three now. When the fourth target is in, we will breathe easily. We will get the fourth player well before the transfer deadline. But the market is still open then. You never know what happens.
"It is important for me that all my players are happy. Maybe someone might want to leave and we agree to it. Then someone else might have to come in. So we could sign some additional players. We are doing well and are getting the players we want. We hope to sign a fourth player soon."
There are reports that Blaise Matuidi could also be on United's radar but it appears as though the PSG midfielder may be a backup option should Pogba fall through.
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