Any club interested in buying Paul Pogba will have to break the bank.
Although Juventus’ grip on the French midfielder is loosening, the Serie A champions are in the enviable position of knowing that when the time comes for Pogba to leave, they will make a ton of money.
As Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona continue to monitor the 23-year-old’s situation, it’ll be interesting to see how the race to sign Pogba pans out when the first bid is made.
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It’s hard to imagine a bidding war taking place considering Juventus are said to have placed a €140 million price tag on Pogba’s head.
More likely is the first club to meet Juve’s demands will sign the midfielder.
The problem for his suitors is that €140m is only the first part of signing Pogba. There’s also the matter of his wages to consider.
According to Spanish newspaper Sport - quoting radio station Cope - Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has been left shocked after finding out the true cost of signing the former United man.
Pogba is reportedly demanding €15m-per-season. Considering Gareth Bale earns €11m and Cristiano Ronaldo receives €18m, it puts into perspective just how highly Pogba - no doubt under the guidance of his agent, Mino Raiola - values himself.
On a five-year contract, that works out at €75m in addition to the €140m fee. That’s the price for a transcendent midfielder who is destined for the top.
Ferguson's big regret
Juventus paid just £800,000 for the Frenchman in 2012, and that was a compensation fee they paid to United after his exit from the club. The Red Devils certainly aren’t strapped for cash but seeing the figures involved in his potential exit from the Old Lady is enough to make Sir Alex Ferguson wince.
Should Pogba go on to fulfil his potential and become the first Frenchman since Zinedine Zidane in 1998 to win the Ballon d’Or, Ferguson’s decision to let him leave will count as his biggest managerial mistake.
Of course, they have the option to bring him back to Manchester. He would be a perfect fit in Jose Mourinho’s attempts to create a super force.
But, the way Pogba’s exit unravelled, you wonder if he would even be interested in returning to England.
Rafael over Pogba
Pogba made just seven first-team appearances under Ferguson despite United’s plans to integrate him into the first team. The final straw came in December 2011, when the Scot decided to play Rafael, a right-back, ahead of him in a game against Blackburn Rovers.
Wayne Rooney, Jonny Evans and Darron Gibson had been omitted after a night out and so it made sense for Pogba to play. Ferguson saw differently.
“Paul Scholes had retired, Darren Fletcher was injured. There was no one left to play in midfield. And I was training and I was beginning to get better bit by bit and the coach never stopped telling me, 'You're this far’,” Pogba said in 2014, per ESPN.
“And I didn't understand. This far away from what? Playing? From having some playing time? From getting on the field? Or what?
“And there was Rafael in midfield and I was disgusted. I was disgusted and I didn't get on either."