Manchester United face competition in their pursuit of Paul Pogba after his agent revealed: “I don’t have a special relationship with United.”
The Juventus midfield enforcer has been heavily linked with a move to Old Trafford with United believed to be ready to spend in excess of £100million on the France international.
Real Madrid reportedly dropped out of the race to sign Pogba, with Sky Sports citing that ‘financial reasons’ and that ‘United’s superior financial strength’ had proved overwhelming.
But the 23-year-old’s agent Mino Raiola, who has not closed the door on any outcome all summer, has hinted that United are not the only suitor remaining for the player they allowed to leave for for free to join Juventus four years ago.
“Juve don’t want to get rid of Pogba – they want him to stay for a long time and they want to renew his contract, and only if he wants to leave will we sit down and talk about it,” Raiola told Sky Italia. “I can’t exclude anything, though, not even that he will be sold to another club.
“The transfer market is open for a long time – it closes in September. Between Raiola and all the clubs in the world there is a line open, not only with Manchester United.”
Raiola also represents Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, who both moved to Old Trafford this summer, but the agent said: “I don’t have a special relationship with United.
“Last year there was a big approach from Chelsea, but he [Pogba] decided to stay. For this year, we don’t know yet.”
The basic transfer fee for Pogba is understood to be £85m, with add-ons raising the eventual price to anything over £105m.
Reports in England had suggested that the 23-year-old’s head had been turned by the promise of an extremely lucrative contract offer from the Red Devils, however, the Italian super-agent has poured scorn on the suggestion that it is a done deal.
According to Raiola, Juventus are loathe to lose their prized asset and will themselves propose a contract extension in a bid to convince the gifted midfielder to stay in Turin.