Jose Mourinho looking to land huge deals for two France midfield stars

SoccerBy Sunday World
Jose Mourinho looking to land huge deals for two France midfield stars

The Manchester United manager wants to bring Paul Pogba to Old Trafford in a deal that will smash the world transfer record, while Pogba's fellow France midfielder Blaise Matuidi is also wanted by the club.

Mourinho has made the signing of France midfielder Pogba his top priority.

According to reports, United are prepared to shatter the world-record transfer fee to bring the player to Old Trafford.

Mourinho spent a portion of his first day as United manager discussing transfer targets with executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, stressing that Pogba is the player that the Portuguese is desperate to land.

That is expected to lead to an official offer being made to Juventus, which could be as much as £100million.

Paul Pogba

United know they will have to do something special to beat Barcelona and Real Madrid, as well as Manchester City, in the race to sign the 23-year-old.

The club will be hoping that the size of their bid deters their rivals.

Pogba's return to Old Trafford would be seen as a coup, albeit a hugely expensive one given that they allowed the player to leave rather than meet his wage demands for a new contract four years ago.

There is a growing confidence that Pogba will return to United, although officials are wary of being used in an attempt to drive up the asking price.

United were used during Cristiano Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos' contract negotiations at Real, and their interest has also helped Neymar's representatives agree a new deal at Barcelona.

However, Pogba is set to leave Juventus this summer.

City have the resources to match United's bid, although new manager Pep Guardiola has not pushed as hard to sign the player.

Barcelona and Real were both ordered to repay millions in illegal state aid by the European Commission yesterday following an investigation into the financial help they have received from the Spanish government, so are unlikely to be able to outbid United.

Meanwhile, the Special One has also been linked with a swoop for Pogba's France teammate Blaise Matuidi.

The 29-year-old has helped Paris Saint-Germain lift four consecutive Ligue 1 titles since 2012, scoring 19 goals in 165 appearances while attracting interest from across the continent.

Blaise Matuidi

Mourinho has made no secret of his desire to acquire a raft of new midfield talent this summer.

A deal for Borussia Dortmund playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan is thought to be extremely close to completion, with a slip-up by the club's shop before a Dortmund tweet more or less confirming the 27-year-old's move.

The Red Devils are also thought to be close to finalising a deal for Mexico winger Hirving Lozano.

According to the French wing of Goal, Les Blues manager Didier Deschamps has afforded Matuidi with a short window to undergo negotiations with the 20-time champions of England before their semi-final against Germany on Thursday.

New Paris head coach Unai Emery has swiftly completed the signings of Hatem Ben Arfa from Nice and Grzegorz Krychowiak from Sevilla, both midfielders, meaning Matuidi could find himself considerably lower down the pecking order.

Mourinho has already completed the signings of defender Eric Bailly and Matuidi's former PSG teammate Zlatan Ibrahimovic this summer as he continues his redesign of the squad he inherited from Louis van Gaal.

Juan Mata, meanwhile, has been linked with a transfer to Everton as Ronald Koeman flexes the financial muscle handed to him by new owner Farhad Moshiri.

However, the revelation yesterday that Ibrahimovic will not actually be assuming Mata's number 8 shirt at Old Trafford means that the playmaker's exit is currently less than certain despite his history with Mourinho.