Real Madrid appear to be in pole position to sign Paul Pogba after his agent confirmed that the Spanish club have entered talks to sign the midfielder from Juventus. "We are in the initial phase of negotiations," Mino Raiola was quoted as saying by Football Italia on 19 June.
The news is a blow for new Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho, who has reportedly identified the France midfielder as a priority summer signing.
Spanish daily Marca has claimed that it would take a world-record transfer fee to convince Juventus to sell Pogba, who is contracted to the Turin club until 2019.
"Pogba admires Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane and that will be very important when making the decision," Raiola said. "Paul is worth what a club is prepared to pay for him."
Marca reported that Juventus will not stand in the way of Pogba's wish to move if a club meets its valuation of the midfielder.
A deal is not expected to be concluded at least until the end of Euro 2016, as Pogba is focused on helping France win the tournament on home soil.
Pogba, 23, is one of the most coveted young players in Europe, and has consistently impressed with his dominant performances in midfield for Juventus and the France national team. He spent three years in the youth team at United between 2009 and 2012, before leaving Old Trafford to join Juve as a free agent.
The biggest ever transfer fee paid by a club is the £85m Real shelled out to Tottenham Hotspur for Gareth Bale in 2013.
Juve boss Massimiliano Allegri admitted last week that he would be powerless to stop Pogba from leaving the club, despite his "great desire" to see him stay in Turin beyond the summer. "I'm not afraid of losing Pogba because both I and the club want to keep hold of him," he was quoted as saying by ESPN.
"At this moment in time, Paul is our player, but nobody knows what will happen tomorrow, even if we have a great desire to keep him here.
"He's grown a lot and his second half of the season was extraordinary," he added.
The Old Lady have a ready-made midfield replacement in Miralem Pjanic, who was signed from Roma last week, should Pogba leave in the summer.