It is a story that has already been widely repeated by various news outlets, but one that does not add up on a number of counts and is therefore difficult to believe holds much truth.
Tuttosport’s claim is that Pogba is ‘fed up’ of Manchester United and that he ‘dreams’ of returning to Juve, where he previously spent four years between 2012 and 2016.
It is alleged by the publication that United ‘could deal immediately’ if Juve were to make an offer worth €60m (£52m) plus Can. But given that Can is deemed by Transfermarkt to have a market value of little more than €30m, it puts the overall value of any such deal at less than €100m.
Compare that to the summer when rough estimates of Pogba’s price tag, should United even be willing to entertain offers, was in the region of €180m, around double.
Tuttosport’s story rests on the idea that United would be so desperate to get rid of Pogba, a player the sports daily describes as being like a ‘foreign body’ at Old Trafford, that they would be willing to accept a considerably unfavourable deal midway through the season.
Add to that Can’s Liverpool past and United’s need for a creative player rather than a more orthodox central midfielder and it all makes very little sense.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer declared in no uncertain terms as recently as Friday that Pogba ‘is not being sold in January’. The Frenchman’s long-awaited return from injury two days later was then described by Solskjaer as ‘the only plus’ in the club’s defeat to Watford.
Also on Friday, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola gave an interview stating that his client wants to stay at Old Trafford: “Paul wants to be successful and happy and wants to win prizes and he would love to do that with Manchester United.”
Raiola alluded to a desire to join Real Madrid before the season began, but also explained that Pogba does not want to be the type of player that kicks up a fuss. It suggests that United’s refusal to sell him is therefore a decision that he will respect.