Former Real Madrid president Ramos Calderon expects Manchester United to beat the La Liga giants for the signing of Paul Pogba, despite the midfielder being a top target for manager Zinedine Zidane. Calderon believes that Los Blancos officials have not fulfilled the wishes of their boss because they cannot afford Pogba or the Frenchman wants to move to Old Trafford.
The 23-year-old midfielder had been linked with a move to the Champions League winners since last season's appointment of his compatriot Zidane. However, reports in Spain have claimed that president Florentino Perez was not as convinced about signing the United target because of Juventus's high demands for the player.
Now United have emerged as the frontrunner to secure Pogba's services, amid recurrent reports claiming that the player had agreed personal terms to return to Old Trafford weeks ago. However, on 27 July Zidane refused to give up on the battle after suggesting that Real Madrid were still working on a deal to sign Manchester United target.
"In this moment we are working [on a move for Pogba], and I cannot say anything more," Zidane was quoted as saying by Goal. "Until 31 August anything can happen, but today he is not a Real Madrid player and I cannot talk about what will happen."
But reports this week claim that Pogba is ready to join United. The Telegraph reported on 3 August that the Premier League has agreed terms with the Italians for a deal worth around £100m ($130.7m, €117.9m), comfortably beating the world record £85.3m that Real Madrid paid Tottenham Hotspur for Gareth Bale in the summer of 2013.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez also paid a similar fee to sign Cristiano Ronaldo from United in 2009. Calderon believes that Los Blancos has refused to pay that for Pogba because they do not have not enough money.
"I think he is an extraordinary player, very young, a box-to-box midfielder, very strong with a good dribbling and great pass. (But) it looks like he is going to Manchester United," Calderon said during an interview released by AS.
"Knowing the policy of the Real Madrid current president, who is always willing to pay any amount of money to sign players, and knowing that Zidane also wanted him there are two reasons if he finally does not come. Or the club have no money enough to sign him or that the player does not want to come here, as prefers to go to Manchester united."