Real Madrid plot £50m swoop for Arsenal and Man Utd target
Paul Pogba is top of Carlo Ancelotti's shopping list, but Spain move could set off transfer carousel
IT'S news that will break hearts in the Premier League, but according to Talksport Real Madrid are lining up a "sensational" £49.5m summer swoop for Juventus's Paul Pogba. The future of the former Manchester United star has been the subject of intense speculation in recent months with Arsenal among those clubs said to be monitoring the 20-year-old.
But Talksport, taking its lead from Spanish newspaper El Mundo Deportivo, claims that Real president Florentino Perez sees Pogba as his "next high-profile acquisition". Having snared Gareth Bale last year, Perez believes Pogba can also help turn the Bernabeu club into Europe's dominant force over the next decade.
Talksport also reports that Juventus are desperate to hang on to the midfield magician but their resolve will be sorely tested if, as Spanish sources claim, Real table a bid "close to £50m". Earlier this week Real coach Carlo Ancelotti told Italian reports that his squad was still short of a midfielder and it appears that Pogba could be the man to fill the gap come next season.
However, if Madrid do get their man it could be good news for Arsenal and Man United in other ways. According to Talksport a deal for Pogba could prompt a clear-out at the Bernabeu with several players shipped out. Among them will be Sami Khedira, already linked to Man United and Chelsea, and Angel Di Maria, the Argentine who was a target of Arsenal in the summer and has also impressed Spurs and United.
The third Madrid player who could move on is young Brazilian midfielder Casemiro. The 21-year-old has failed to establish himself in Carlo Ancelotti's side and has already caught the eye of Arsenal and Spurs.
Elsewhere and the Daily Star says that Manchester United haven't given up the ghost, at least when it comes to Luke Shaw. The Southampton defender has no shortage of admirers with Chelsea thought to be at the front of the queue. But the Star says United gaffer David Moyes remains "confident a deal can be struck" with the Saints.
Apparently Moyes is channelling all his energy into signing the 18-year-old Shaw though he may have his work cut out. Saints owner Katharina Liebherr is said to be determined to hang on to the likes of Shaw, Jay Rodriguez, Rickie Lambert and Morgan Schneiderlin for next season. That said, would the Saints be so stubborn if, as the Star claims, United put £22.5m on the table for the England under-21 international? That could conceivably spark a bidding war with Blues boss Jose Mourinho, who is believed to view Shaw as the man to replace the ageing Ashley Cole.
Talking of Chelsea, Caughtoffside says that the west London club are closing in on Roma midfielder Miralem Pjanic and the 23-year-old Bosnian is open to a move to the Bridge. Apparently Mourinho is "keen" on the former Lyon star and will employ Pjanic in a role once filled by another veteran England international - Frank Lampard. Pjanic, now in his third season at Roma, is set to shine for Bosnia in this summer's World Cup and Chelsea are anxious to do a deal sooner rather than later before his stock rises.
Finally, Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Gundogan is distancing himself from recent reports linking him to a tug-of-war between Real Madrid and Manchester United. Still recovering from a long-term back injury, the German international has told German rag Bild that he's focused on one thing only right now. "I'm working hard to get back on the field, I want to help my team," said Gundogan, who still hopes to make it to the World Cup. "I am 100 per cent focused on Borussia... I hear many rumours about my future, but I've always said that the priority goes to my current team."