Manchester United chief executive is reported to have set a £120m price tag on the head of Paul Pogba, whose exit from the club this summer seems more likely by the day, amid interest from Juventus and Real Madrid.
The midfielder returned to the club from the Old Lady back in 2016, but his second spell at Old Trafford has stuttered due to a combination of form and controversy – most notably his public falling out with Jose Mourinho at the beginning of last season.
In total, he has scored or assisted 60 goals in 135 appearances since making his comeback, but if the multitude of reports that have arisen in recent weeks are to be believed, then there is a strong possibility he has played his last game for the Red Devils. The Sun are the latest, leading with a headline about how Pogba will ‘beg’ manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to let him leave, despite Woodward’s reluctance to sell.
While perhaps a tad dramatic with the word choice, it seems to corroborate previous reports that the 26-year-old is set for crunch talks with Solskjaer over his future, during which he would ‘reiterate his desire’ to leave the club.
The most interesting detail of the Sun’s report, however, is buried towards the end, as it notes that Woodward wants £120m for his signature – a price tag seemingly designed to ward off any potential suitors.
It is believed that Real Madrid won’t go higher than £90m, though could use a player to bridge the gap, while it is difficult to see Juventus going that high given their current financial situation, and the money they still have tied up in the Cristiano Ronaldo deal from a year ago.
If someone was to come in with that sort of fee, it would represent a sizeable profit on the £95m United paid for him three years ago, and give Solskjaer a major financial boost to aid in his squad overhaul.
Having just secured their second signing in the summer in the form of Aaron Wan-Bissaka, United are reported to be chasing deals for Bruno Fernandes, Harry Maguire and Declan Rice among others, so the extra cash to fund further additions would be welcome.