Zidane v Perez’s summer signing battle: French boss wins internal war and Real will now target Pogba, not the president’s preferred option Eriksen, leaving Spurs star out in the cold
- Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has identified Paul Pogba as his top priority
- Manchester United remain unwilling to part with their most expensive signing
- However, the Frenchman will do all he can to move, including taking a pay cut
- The decision to pursue the World Cup winner has left Christian Eriksen in limbo
Paul Pogba is the final piece in Zinedine Zidane’s Real Madrid revamp after convincing club bosses to pursue the Manchester United midfielder.
According to Marca, Zidane has won his battle with club chiefs to pursue the Frenchman over Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.
That has left the Dane in limbo, after appearing to push for a move to the Bernabeu.
United have insisted this summer that Pogba is not for sale, but the Spanish giants are ready to ‘throw everything’ at getting their top target, having already secured the services of Eden Hazard from Chelsea and striker Luka Jovic from Eintracht Frankfurt.
That will involve paying at least £135million for the Frenchman’s services, nearly £50m more than those at Old Trafford paid to bring him back in 2016.
Paul Pogba is willing to take a pay cut in order to seal a move to Spanish giants Real Madrid
The story was front page in Tuesday’s Marca
But having been identified as Zidane’s top target, wheels are in motion at the Bernabeu to ensure he is a Real player before the start of this season.
There are still obstacles to overcome however – even though Pogba has agreed to a pay cut to make the move.
As revealed on Monday, Zidane will not be in a position to sign any other players unless they raise the money themselves due to Financial Fair Play restrictions, and other expenditures, such as the money going on their stadium upgrade.
There are 15 players who Real would be willing to part with this summer, including Gareth Bale, Keylor Navas and James Rodriguez.
President Florentino Perez revealed as of two weeks ago, however, that the club had yet to receive an offer for any player.
As a result, it appears, after completing the signing of Ferland Mendy from Lyon, that there is just one deal left to broker – with the club not in a position to sign both Pogba and Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.
Zinedine Zidane has identified the France World Cup winner as his No 1 target
POGBA STATS 2018-19
Minutes played: 4,012
*Figures for all competitions
The Dane has been vocal about his desire to leave the Champions League finalists this summer, saying: ‘I feel I am at a place where I want to try something new.’
He was understood to be Perez’s preferred signing, but the president appears to have ceded to the wishes of Zidane.
That situation could now test the patience of Eriksen, who, according to AS, still has a contract offer on the table from Spurs.
The playmaker will have to make a decision of some form on his future this summer with Daniel Levy unwilling to let him leave on a free in 2020.
Pogba has not commented on his own future to date.
To complicate matters further, Juventus are also believed to be exploring the possibility of bringing Pogba back to Turin.
Having left in 2016, the Serie A champions are thought to be ready to sell five players to raise the funds they need to tempt United into selling.
Any move for Pogba will leave United searching for a replacement. Reports suggest that they have already lined up Monaco midfielder Youri Tielemans, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Leicester City, should he leave.