Writing for the Mirror, Jake Polden reveals who were Man United’s top targets and why have key deals failed As Juventus reportedly line up Paul Pogba return,

  • The funds from sales of Pjanic, Higuain and Rugani will be used to sign the Frenchman
  • Agent Mino Raiola has already been contacted

According to the Mirror, Juventus plan to use money from Gonzalo Higuain, Miralem Pjanic and Daniele Rugani (around 200m euros) sales to re-sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United. Binaconeri already contacted the Frenchman’s agent Mino Raiola and told him that they are ready to bid 110m euros this summer.

READ ALSO: Allegri refuses to discuss Pogba return rumours

Pogba has reportedly informed Juventus he wants to return to the Bianconeri and continue his career playing with Cristiano Ronaldo. The 25-year-old wants to build on his good showing during the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and the tactical limitations United have shown under manager Jose Mourinho have led to his desire to leave. There was also contact with Barcelona, but the Catalans are no longer an option.

Writing for the Mirror, Jake Polden reveals who were Man United’s top targets and why have key deals failed

Toby Alderweireld

“As things stand, Alderweireld is out of contract in 2020 and has a clause in his deal that will enable him to leave for a mere £25million next season. It is because of this that Spurs were open to at least listening to offers in the hope of selling the defender at a much higher price before D-Day. But it is also this very tactic that saw Manchester United’s interest in the centre-back dwindle – at least those whose money would be used to complete the deal, that is.

“It was initially believed Spurs would accept around £55million for Alderweireld, but chairman Daniel Levy wanted a figure closer to £75million, prompting the Red Devils to rethink. Of course, the deal isn’t completely dead in the water just yet. Manchester United may still stump up the cash, and Spurs may come down in their valuation. But, as has been widely reported, the Old Trafford club have explored other avenues including Leicester City centre-back Harry Maguire. Unfortunately, however, they are facing similar valuation problems trying to land the England World Cup hero.”

Gareth Bale

“Moments after – in some ways single-handedly – winning a record thirteenth Champions League title with Real Madrid, Bale announced: “I’m disappointed not to start the game, I felt like I deserved it but the manager makes the decisions so what can you do? I need to be playing week in week out and that hasn’t happened this season for one reason or another, I need to sit down in the summer and discuss it with my agent and go from there.” It seemed that the writing was on the wall, that he was returning to the UK, that he’d be signing for Manchester United, and that finally, finally, Mourinho was going to get his man.

“Zinedine Zidane, the man who had limited Bale’s playing time at Real Madrid, stepped down, immediately opening up a new door of opportunity for the Welshman. Then Cristiano Ronaldo followed suit, opening the door that bit wider to not only increase Bale’s chances of regular first-team football but also his importance to the La Liga giants. It is because of this that Bale’s interest in leaving wavered along with Real Madrid’s interest in listening to bids for the player. And when Los Blancos don’t want to sell, then, unfortunately, you’re not going to get your man.”


Fred / Sergej Milinkovic-Savic

“Brazilian midfielder Fred was always the main midfield target on Mourinho’s wishlist. But the Portuguese was also looking at the possibility of signing Sergej Milinkovic-Savic from Serie A giants Lazio, as an alternative.

“The duo are similar players that booth ooze class, and there was the possibility that United could land the Spanish-born Serbia international at a discounted price after Lazio missed out on Champions League football. Mourinho got his way when it came to strengthening his midfield, however, and the club parted with £52million to sign his first choice Fred from Shakhtar Donetsk.”

Alex Sandro / Kieran Tierney

“The left-back problem at Manchester United has been an issue ever since Patrice Evra left the club for pastures new. Ironically the Frenchman did so because the club had just splashed out a then-staggering amount of money to land Luke Shaw from Southampton, and Evra believed his days were numbered. Evra, who signed for Juventus, would, of course, go on to play in the 2015 Champions League final, while Manchester United – more so following the arrival of Mourinho in 2016 – would lose faith in Shaw and convert ageing winger Ashley Young into a makeshift left-back. It’s frustrating in some ways that a signing hasn’t been made to fill this void, given the fact the position has been a ‘weak spot’ for United for the past few seasons. And it is because of this that Mourinho set out to purchase a left-back when the summer transfer window opened.

“Sandro is arguably the preferred option of the two targets, but Juventus want £60million for the left-back, and it is believed the United board think the money could be better spent elsewhere. Tierney would cost considerably less, but is arguably still a work in progress as opposed to the finished article that is Sandro, and therefore not too dissimilar to Shaw in that respect. Shaw meanwhile has been working hard all summer in a final bid to impress his boss – and his efforts have apparently paid off somewhat.”


“A deal for the Chelsea winger – who has previously played under Mourinho at the Bridge – isn’t yet entirely off the table. According to some report,s the Old Trafford club have even had a bid accepted to sign the Brazilian, who Mourinho rates very highly. But it seems the transfer wages on a few other things panning out first. Man United have competition in the form of Barcelona, who are keen on signing the winger, and have seen big bids turned down for his services. The Catalans have also just signed Malcom however, which could see their desire to sign him dwindle.”


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