Mino Raiola has not set Manchester United a deadline to sign Paul Pogba, according to reports today in the Manchester Evening News. United are keen to ensure their pursuit of Pogba does not become a full-blown transfer saga this summer, as they continue to prepare for Jose Mourinho’s first season in charge. Rumours have circulated and intensified in recent weeks – with reports ranging from the suggestion that various details of this proposed world record transfer have already been agreed, to the possibility of a move for Pogba’s international teammate Blaise Matuidi should the deal fall through.
However, far from setting a deadline for any potential deal, Raiola is thought by many to have agreed to the terms offered to his client and all that is left is for United to come to an understanding with Juventus over the price for the player. Any fee for Pogba is expected to eclipse the world record fee of £85 million that saw Gareth Bale join Real Madrid in 2013. Pogba himself has remained virtually silent on the matter, unwilling to comment one way or the other regarding his future.
On Wednesday night he broke that silence, speaking on ESPN at the ESPYs awards in Los Angeles. In a less than subtle attempt to get Pogba to reveal his next club, he was handed three football shirts and asked questions of each. Speaking about Juventus, Pogba said: “This is my team, my family, where I am playing. I am happy there, I play football, and do things I wanted to do when I was small.”
When asked about Madrid, the midfielder simply referred to them as “the white house — which won the Champions League this year, a great club.”
When he was handed the Manchester United shirt, Pogba joked “I don’t know this one.” He then went on to call United “my first club, my first family.”
Pogba was also asked how he would respond to any potential contact with Jose Mourinho, should the Manchester United manager call and ask for his services:
“My response would be ‘I don’t know.’ I don’t know when. We will see. For the moment, I am here [Juventus] and I am happy here. I don’t know where I want to go.”
While Pogba remains tight-lipped about the situation, his club has continued to press forward with their own transfer plans. Midfielder Miralem Pjanic joined last month from Roma in a deal that many have argued could pave the way for Pogba to re-join Manchester United.
So the news from the Frenchman’s camp suggesting there is no deadline in place will encourage many at the club, including Mourinho, who sees Pogba as the fourth and final piece of his United jigsaw.
United have confirmed three signings already this summer; Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and Mourinho has already spoken of desire for four new arrivals this summer.
“I can try to make you understand the profile. We made a nucleus of four priorities, four positions to give a certain balance to the squad, to give a certain push in terms of quality and the qualities I need and want. Especially the ones with more vision.
“We decided four targets. From these four, we have three and until we don’t have the fourth, we are still working hard, myself, the structure, Mr Woodward, the owners, we are working hard.
“When we have the fourth I breathe and then the market will be open. We are not going to get the fourth on August 31, we will get the fourth before then.”
Having engineered moves for Ibrahimovic and Mkhitaryan already this summer, all eyes are now on Mino Raiola as Manchester United remain hopeful they can complete a new world record transfer.
Breathe Jose, breathe.