Real Madrid 'concede defeat' in their bid to sign Paul Pogba
Manchester United appear to have been given a clear run in the £100m race to sign Paul Pogba, after word emerged from Spain confirming Real Madrid had given up on signing the France Euro 2016 star.
Real Madrid have rarely been priced out of the market for any player in recent years, but the immense spending power of United appears to have ended their interest in Pogba.
United's eagerness to hand over £100m to bring Pogba back to Old Trafford have given them a clear run to sign the midfielder, although reports suggest his agent Mino Raiola still needs to convince his client to make a return to Manchester.
Such is the huge sums being discussed by United as they look to wrap up a deal for Pogba that it may be impossible for all parties to walk away from a deal, with the world transfer record set to be shattered if new Old Trafford chief Jose Mourinho gets his man.
Meanwhile, former Ireland striker John Aldridge claims United are desperate to make a statement in the transfer market as they look to rebuild their aura as a title chasing team, with the fee being mentioned for Pogba taking the ex-Liverpool goal getter by surprise.
"If football hasn’t already gone mad, it certainly will have done if Manchester United hand over £100m to sign Paul Pogba from Juventus," Alrdidge told the Sunday World.
"Pogba is a decent player, even if he has not been one of those who have caught my eye at Euro 2016, but that is hardly surprising because the fella has not been used as a game changer by France.
"If United were paying over that kind of money to sign Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo, I would see some merit in it, but £100m for a relatively unproven midfielder? It is utter madness."