Manchester United have been urged to forget about signing Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, as the France international threatens to become the centrepiece of the summer transfer window. The 23-year-old has been subject of intense speculation regarding his future, with a series of Europe's biggest clubs all reportedly interested in luring him from the Serie A champions.
The latest club to join the race are Real Madrid, who financial expert Esteve Calzada believes will have to sell Alvaro Morata to finance a move for Pogba, currently playing at the European Championship for hosts France. Those comments have followed suggestions from Spanish publication AS that Pogba's agent Mino Raiola has entered into discussions with officials from Old Trafford.
Raiola is understood to be key to United's summer transfer plans, as he represents fellow targets Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan – yet Pogba would be the most lucrative deal of the trio should it be completed. Despite winning the scudetto in each of the last four seasons and playing in a Champions League final, there is a perception Pogba could thrive away from the Bianconeri.
But any hopes United had of luring Pogba to the Premier League have been thrown into doubt by his new teammate Dani Alves, who believes the midfielder will remain with Juve. Alves has moved to Juventus from Barcelona and expects to be playing alongside Pogba from the start of next term despite current speculation.
"I think he is an important element of the team and a really great player," said Alves, according to the Manchester Evening News. "I expect to play alongside him, which is going to be a great honour. There are other incredible players in this team as well, who also have a lot to say for themselves. I'm truly delighted to share this experience with them. A team is formed of individuals, and it's when they come together that you can achieve results."
Any deal that takes Pogba away from Juventus, to either United or elsewhere in Europe, is expected to smash the current transfer record set when Gareth Bale moved to Real for £85m (€103.4m), according to BBC Sport. Gazzetta Dello Sport (via Sky Sports) has previous reported that Jose Mourinho's side have lodged a bid of £100m for Pogba, yet the saga is seemingly no closer to reaching a climax.