After months of speculation regarding Manchester United’s pursuit of Paul Pogba, it seems as though they’ve finally made their opening move in their attempts to sign the Frenchman.
On Tuesday, Sky Italy reported that United will make an opening offer of around £87 million for the Juventus star. However, almost immediately, the Old Lady have rejected an offer from Jose Mourinho’s side for the 23-year-old.
That’s according to The Guardian who claim that the Italian giants have turned down United’s first offer, which was worth a total of £100 million with £13 million of that being performance-related add-ons.
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The same report claims that the Serie A champions want Jose Mourinho’s side to offer £100 million plus an extra £8 million in add-ons making Pogba the most expensive player in history.
The absence of United’s executive vice-chairman, Ed Woodward, from their tour to China sparked reports that he had stayed in Manchester to conduct negotiations with Pogba’s representatives. The Guardian claims that, while the players and staff were jetting off to the far East on Tuesday, Woodward met with Juventus’ directors Giuseppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici as well as the player’s agent, Mino Raiola.
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It was during this meeting that Woodward was told that the opening offer fell short of the Juventus' valuation for Pogba.
While a fee is still to be agreed, Raiola has already sorted personal terms between Pogba and the club with the midfielder ready to accept a deal worth £250,000-per-week for five years.
However, it’s believed that Pogba is relaxed about the current situation and would be equally happy to return to Old Trafford than he would be to remain at Juventus.
More talks are expected between Woodward and the Italian club with the Red Devils needing to decide whether Pogba is worth a total of £108 million.
While there’s no doubting that it would command a ridiculous fee to secure his services, it would be great to see a player of Pogba’s quality in the Premier League. That’s the view of Frenchman Thierry Henry who hopes that United can convince Juventus to let the world-class player re-join them.
Henry on Pogba
"We all know about the quality, how good he is on the ball," Henry said. "He's an all-round player but he understood his role at the tournament [Euro 2016].
"Hopefully he can come back to the Premier League - it would be great for us and for whoever got him but he's still a Juve player and they're not going to let him go [easily]."