IT COULD COST R1.9BN TO SIGN HIM
SHANGHAI, China – Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho admitted yesterday the club needs one more signing before the season starts but would not confirm it would be record target Paul Pogba.
Media reports in the UK on Wednesday suggested United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward had pulled out of the club’s pre-season tour to China so he could meet and agree personal terms with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola.
Mourinho was asked directly at a news conference in Shanghai whether he could confirm the reports.
“I don’t confirm and I don’t deny. I cannot tell you,” Mourinho said on the eve of the International Champions Cup match against Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai today.
“I don’t think it’s correct to speak about players of other clubs, and he’s a Juventus player and not a Manchester United player.
“The only thing I can tell you is that my board, my directors they did fantastic work to do 75% of the job I asked them to do,” said Mourinho.
“I asked them for four players. To be more accurate I asked them for four or five players I need.”
Mourinho has reportedly made French international Pogba his top transfer target as he bids to make a big impact in his first season at Old Trafford, but it could cost the club a recordbreaking £100-million (about R1.9-billion) to land the midfielder.
United are believed to have had an opening bid of £86-million rejected by Juventus and an improved offer could shatter the previous world record fee of £85- million paid by Real Madrid for Gareth Bale in 2013.
Pogba, 23, had a spell at United but was allowed to leave for Juventus on a free transfer in 2012 while still a teenager after just a handful of appearances under then manager Alex Ferguson, who slammed him for showing no respect to the club.
Pogba has since emerged as one of the top midfielders in Europe, playing an integral part in the France side that reached the Euro 2016 final and helping Juventus win four successive Serie A titles.
United round off their China tour against fierce rivals Manchester City on Monday. –