Man Utd want to sell Paul Pogba in January and target swap deal with Juventus
Manchester United want to sell Paul Pogba in January.
The Red Devils are keen to include a player in exchange with Jose Mourinho tired of Pogba’s influence on the dressing room.
United’s £89million Frenchman has become such a divisive figure in the dressing room that club chiefs are now ready to flog him for a second time, less than three years after making the 25-year-old the most expensive player in the world.
Beleaguered boss Jose Mourinho has run out of patience with the midfielder.
But it is understood that United are now planning to cash in on Pogba next month regardless of whether Mourinho continues as manager.
The feeling is that it is best to part ways now – to help Mourinho turn the season around and ensure that any prospective new manager does not inherit the problem next summer.
United will listen to offers when the transfer window opens in the New Year.
That could include allowing the World Cup winner to leave on loan in January as long as the deal includes the option of a permanent transfer.
Juventus, who bought Pogba from United for just £2million when his contract expired in 2012 and then sold him back to the Reds four years later, have already registered an interest.
The Turin giants have won seven successive serie A titles, but have pinpointed the Champions League after buying Cristiano Ronaldo from Real Madrid in the summer.
United would like Juventus midfielder Miralem Pjanic, but are likely to have more success if they try to engineer a swap deal involving defender Alex Sandro.
He was watched by United scouts in the midweek Champions League game with Young Boys in Switzerland.
Paris St Germain are also sure to join the bidding, although Pogba has an ambition to move to Spain with either Real or Barcelona.
Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has been gauging interest in the player from top clubs for the past 12 months.
Last January, he even offered Pogba to United’s bitter Mancunian rivals City – only to be told he was not wanted. A year on, United will not stand in the Frenchman’s way if a deal to recoup their money can be done.
Pogba has been embroiled in a war of words with Mourinho for most of the season. Both men have been critical of each other and Mourinho responded by axing the Frenchman as his vice-captain.
Pogba was restored to United’s team for the midweek Champions League game against Valencia and put in a disappointing performance in a 2-1 defeat.
He hasn’t started in either of United’s last two Premier League outings after a poor display in the draw at Southampton. And Mourinho faces a huge decision whether to call on the midfielder for Sunday’s crunch clash at title-chasing Liverpool.