Manchester United appear to have been dealt a blow in their pursuit of Paul Pogba, with Juventus' general manager Giuseppe Marotta having insisted that his club do not need to sell their best players moving forward.
French international Pogba, who began his professional career at Old Trafford before departing in 2012 in search of regular first-team football, has proven himself as one of European football's brightest young talents since moving to Italy and has been pivotal to Juventus' hopes of securing a fourth successive Serie A title.
A hamstring injury sustained during the emphatic Champions League last 16 second-leg victory over Borussia Dortmund has done little to cool the transfer speculation surrounding the 22-year-old, with fresh reports having linked Manchester United with a prospective £60 million summer bid for services.
However, while Louis van Gaal appears to retain a strong interest in a player who has scored nine goals in 30 appearances so far this season, Marotta insists that Juventus are not sounding out offers for Pogba and are under no pressure to offload their biggest stars.
"Pogba is a young player with lots of promise but he is realising his potential," Marotta was quoted as saying by Sky Sports after watching Juventus battle to a 1-0 victory over Genoa on March 22.
"We want to win and we don't necessarily have to sell our best players. It is clear that players of this quality attract interest from other clubs but we don't seek buyers and there has been no contact."
Such a resolve, although comforting for Juventus supporters anxious to see their team compete for honours in Europe as well as domestically, is likely to be sorely tested during the next transfer window.
Manchester United are certainly not the only club to have been credited with a serious interest in Pogba in recent months.
Premier League leaders Chelsea and French champions Paris Saint-Germain are two more wealthy clubs said to be tracking him, as well as La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid.