Zinedine Zidane reportedly wants Real Madrid to sign Juventus’ Paul Pogba, sparking a ‘war’ with long-term suitors Barcelona.
AS recall Barca having previously tried to get the France international from Turin but his price tag, starting at €100m, has been a stumbling block, as was Barca’s transfer embargo.
Their long-held interest gives the Catalans a head start on Madrid, it’s suggested, but Pogba’s admiration for compatriot Zidane could level the playing field.
Pogba, when attending Monday’s Ballon d’Or gala, signed both a Barca shirt and a Madrid shirt when they were presented to him by fans.
Barca, represented by Ariedo Braida and Albert Soler, at one point met with counterparts from Juventus, Beppe Marotta and Fabio Paratici, the pow-wow taking place in July.
Madrid and Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, haven’t always been on the best of terms, Raiola complaining when Carlo Ancelotti was the Coach that Madrid ‘use players like towels,’ and said he wouldn’t allow his client to join a club with that attitude.
Raiola is also close to former Barca President Joan Laporta, but AS say that relationship could work either way – Laporta wouldn’t want to see Josep Maria Bartomeu land a big-name signing such as Pogba, but likewise wouldn’t want to see Madrid land him either.
Zidane, a former Juventus player, wants Pogba to follow his career path and feels after Euro 2016 would be the time to make a move.
AS cite sources in Italy that put Pogba’s current price at between €90m and €110m, with a contract until 2019 that pays €4m-a-year.
Pogba would command three times his current salary if he was to move, a €12m pay packet that Madrid may be more willing than Barca to meet – only Lionel Messi and Neymar are on a comparable sum at Camp Nou.
AS note as well that Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken highly of Pogba, as has Zidane himself, and while Pogba has expressed a desire to one day play alongside Messi, the influence of the Portuguese, coupled with the Coach, could be a factor.