Manchester United expect Paul Pogba to stay at the club this summer, but accept a situation may arise where they choose to sell their record signing, Sky Sports News understands.
Pogba is keen to leave and United are aware his value is diminishing with the midfielder unlikely to sign a new deal.
The 26-year France international, who asked to leave last summer amid interest from Barcelona, has two years to run on his current contract, with the club holding an option to extend by a further year.
In what is seen as a pre-meditated move to force United’s hand, Pogba on Sunday publicly confirmed his desire to leave the club, saying “it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else”.
It is understood there have been concerns at Old Trafford about his behaviour and the influence he has on the younger players in the squad.
Real Madrid and Juventus are interested in signing the World Cup winner, who United value at £150m.
Sky Sports News reported in April Real were confident of signing Pogba – and Eden Hazard – this summer. Hazard completed a £130m move from Chelsea to the Bernabeu last week.
Real, who have already spent over £250m on five arrivals this summer, have concerns about breaching UEFA’s Financial Fair Play rules, but if they really want him it is thought they will find a solution.
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Meanwhile, Juventus’ sporting director Fabio Paratici travelled to United’s London offices last week to hold talks over bringing Pogba back to Turin, three years after he left for the Premier League club for a then world-record £93.25m fee.
Pogba is one of three midfielders on Juventus’ shortlist of midfield targets – along with Adrien Rabiot and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic – but the Italian champions will not match United’s valuation of the player.
Sky in Italy understand negotiations are at an early stage, with Juventus right-back Joao Cancelo thought to be part of discussions.
In March, Pogba said it would be “a dream for anyone” to play for Real Madrid under Zinedine Zidane.
Later that month, Zidane said “if one day he wanted to leave United…why shouldn’t he come to Real Madrid?”
‘Pogba will join Real Madrid, for sure’
Spanish football expert Alvaro Montero believes Manchester United face a losing battle as they bid to hang onto Pogba, and feels it is only a matter of time before the 26-year-old becomes a Real Madrid player.
“There are two important deadlines,” he told Sky Sports News.
“The first is July 1 when Manchester United return to work and Paul Pogba returns to Manchester United training. August 8 [is the second date] when the Premier League transfer window closes.
“Real Madrid know that if they don’t sign Pogba before July 1 it will be tricky but they will try.
“If he keeps on playing as well as he has in the last two years, I think – maybe not this year – but next year he will be a Real Madrid player, for sure.”
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