Real Madrid have reportedly ended their interest in signing Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba. The 23-year-old Frenchman was rumoured to have attracted the interest of Real coach Zinedine Zidane, but the eye-watering terms reportedly being offered by Manchester United have convinced the Spanish giants to walk away from the deal.
The decision leaves the path clear for United to sign Pogba for a world-record fee that could rise to more than £105m ($135.9m), making it the most expensive transfer in history. What's more, Pogba's prospective United contract could comfortably be worth more than £65m, assuming United pay the midfielder a basic salary of £250,000 per week on a five-year deal, according to Sky Sports.
Real Madrid president Florentino Perez has reportedly admitted defeat in his pursuit of the player, conceding his club cannot compete with United financially. As United look to strike a deal with Juventus, Real will now turn their attention to Valencia midfielder Andre Gomes.
The highly-rated Portuguese has also attracted interest from Chelsea and Barcelona, but Real have now joined the race to sign Gomes this summer. Real are expected to bid as much as £42m to sign Gomes once Euro 2016 is concluded later today (10 June).
Meanwhile, Pogba's agent Mino Raiola and United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward are set to increase the pace of their negotiations at the end of the tournament. The duo have already worked together on deals for Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan this summer, and are reportedly confident of sealing Pogba's transfer to United.
The club's board were initially reluctant to spend so much on a player who left Old Trafford to join Juventus in 2012 after failing to agree a new deal at the club, Sky Sports report. However, United boss Jose Mourinho has reportedly convinced the hierarchy that Pogba forms a key part of his long-term vision.