Juventus sporting director Fabio Paratici says the club “love” Paul Pogba amid speculation linking the Manchester United midfielder with a return to Turin.
There has been intense speculation about the 26-year-old’s Old Trafford happiness and last weekend he admitted he was considering “a new challenge somewhere else”.
Real Madrid have a long-standing interest in Pogba and Juventus are interested in bringing back the France midfielder, three years after selling him to United for a then world-record fee of £89million.
Juventus sporting director Paratici was asked about Pogba, who won four Serie A titles with the club between 2012 and 2016, and Paris St Germain’s Adrien Rabiot, as new manager Maurizio Sarri was unveiled on Thursday.
“They are very good players,” he said.
“Pogba plays Manchester United, we love him a lot of course because he played here for several years.
“He grew here a lot, and became world champion, so he certainly gave us a lot but he is a player of Manchester United.”
Press Association Sport understands that United still expect Pogba to be at the club next season, with a massive offer required for that stance to waver.
Romelu Lukaku’s future is also up in the air, with the striker being linked with a move to Antonio Conte’s Inter Milan, while questions remain over the future of the likes of Alexis Sanchez and David De Gea.
I’m very proud to join the biggest football club in the world. This is a new and exciting chapter in my life and I can’t wait to get started. Thank you to everyone who has shown faith in me. Hard work starts now! 🔴⚪⚫ @ManUtd #MUFC pic.twitter.com/SRHdNpvLLI— Daniel James (@Daniel_James_97) June 12, 2019
Ander Herrera and Antonio Valencia are leaving the club this summer on free transfers, but Juan Mata signed a two-year deal, with the option of another, on Wednesday.
Swansea’s Daniel James is the only summer acquisition so far but Press Association Sport understands work is afoot to bolster Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad before pre-season gets under way on July 1.
United are pushing to sign Crystal Palace and England Under-21s right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, while Leicester’s Harry Maguire is of interest as they attempt to improve at centre-back.
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Real Madrid are in the market for a central midfielder and have been linked heavily with moves for Paul Pogba and Christian Eriksen.
Los Blancos have already spent upwards of £270 million this summer with the acquisitions of Eden Hazard, Rodrygo, Ferland Mendy, Eder Militao and Luka Jovic.
Zinedine Zidane is a known admirer of Pogba while Eriksen has been a long term target for Madrid.
However, as far as the fans are concerned, the Manchester United man appears to be the more popular option.
Our poll on Instagram asked fans which midfielder Madrid should sign and the Frenchman received 57 per cent of the 8,118 votes that were cast.
Pogba has two years left on his contract though with United holding an option for another year so he won’t come cheaply. Meanwhile, Juventus are also keen to re-sign the 26-year-old.
What the papers say
Frank Lampard’s switch to be the new Chelsea manager could be hammered out by the end of the week, the Evening Standard reports.
Derby will reportedly demand £4million to let their boss terminate his contract early and have publicly stated that no approach has yet been made.
However, the former Blues star is said to be the first choice to replace Maurizio Sarri at Stamford Bridge. Currently on holiday in the Mediterranean, Lampard is also said to have informed Derby of his desire to take the opportunity if it arises.
The Blues may face having to deal with Jorginho’s desire to follow Sarri to Juventus, the Daily Mirror reports. The Italian playmaker arrived in West London just a year ago as part of a £50million deal, but he is ready to return to Serie A, the paper says. Joining Juve could be problematic for a former Napoli star, but his agent Joao Santos insisted he is a “professional”. Santo also said his client was happy at the club, but added “anything can happen in the transfer market”.
Romelu Lukaku’s exit from Manchester United has been confirmed in principle after he agreed a deal worth £180,000-a-week to join Inter Milan, according to The Sun.
The Belgian striker, who cost a reported £75million, could leave Old Trafford if the Italians stump up £70million, the paper reports. United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to have earmarked Bournemouth midfielder David Brooks as a replacement. The £50million 21-year-old is said to also be on Tottenham’s radar.
United and Crystal Palace are yet to agree a deal for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, the Daily Mail reports. Contrary to rumours that the clubs had agreed terms on a £55million deal, the sides are said to remain locked in negotiations. Palace have reportedly told United that they will need to increase their original offer to £45million plus £5million in add-ons to land the 21-year-old right back.
Players to watch
Kieran Tierney: Arsenal have made the 22-year-old Scotland and Celtic full-back a summer target, according to the Mail.
Rodri: Manchester City might have to scrap with Bayern Munich if they want to land 22-year-old Spain midfielder Rodri from Atletico Madrid, AS reports.