Real Madrid are still hopeful of landing Paul Pogba from Manchester United this summer and are preparing a cash-plus-player offer in hopes of tempting the Old Trafford club to sell, reports The Sun.
It is thought that the La Liga outfit, who endured a poor season by their own high standards last time around, will bid £72 million, along with United’s pick of either Isco or Gareth Bale.
Pogba is known to be unsettled in Manchester and there is a growing feeling amongst fans that a parting of the ways could turn out to be the best solution for all involved.
Since rejoining from Juventus three years ago, the Frenchman has impressed only sporadically, with many supporters and pundits critical of his work rate, positioning and consistency in the middle of the park.
And while his record last term of 16 goals and 11 assists across all competitions was impressive on paper, there remain major doubts about his attitude and displays in the team’s more important fixtures.
Isco would be something of a direct replacement for Pogba at United; the Spaniard plays in a slightly more advanced attacking midfield role, but was regularly benched at the Bernabeu last term.
It is thought that Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane is an admirer of the 27-year-old, but would be prepared to let him go to facilitate the move for the France international.
However, his feelings on Bale are more definite; the Los Blancos boss was regularly critical of the Welshman in the closing stages of 2018-19 and has suggested that he is not a key part of his plans.
The signing of Eden Hazard, allied to the emergence of Brazilian starlet Vinicius Junior, means that the man who won Madrid the Champions League with two goals in the final just over twelve months ago is now being pushed to the margins of the squad.
While Bale would possibly be the more glamorous, marquee arrival of the two, his astronomical wages and injury record mean that Isco could well be the better bet.
It remains to be seen whether United entertain offers for Pogba, or whether manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sticks to the club’s current stance that he is not for sale.