Manchester City face competition from clubs including Real Madrid and Barcelona for the midfielder Paul Pogba. Photograph: Massimo Pinca/AP
Manchester City’s determination to prise Paul Pogba from Juventus has led to Yaya Touré being offered as a makeweight in a deal for the Frenchman, who is valued at €100m (£71m) by the Italian champions. City have visited Turin to hold talks over a potential transfer.
They face competition for the midfielder from Real Madrid, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain and Manchester United, who signed Pogba from Le Havre in July 2009 before allowing him to depart on a free to Juve three summers later.
City have offered not only Touré, whose relationship with the club is troubled, but also Samir Nasri, Stevan Jovetic, Aleksandar Kolarov and Edin Dzeko to Juventus should the Serie A club wish to include one or more in any deal for Pogba.
City are the only club to have gone to Turin to firm up their interest in buying a player who would be the ideal replacement for Touré and who, at 22, would be expected to be mainstay of the midfield for the foreseeable future.
Juve are reluctant to sell but will listen to serious offers in the region of €100m, though their preference would be a straight cash deal and it remains to be seen if they would accept a player in part-exchange.
Pogba’s first choice is to play in Spain for Real or Barça, with City then favourites ahead of PSG. Real’s interest has caused Zinedine Zidane, coach of their Castilla ‘B’ team, to make contact with the player’s camp by telephone to begin a dialogue. At the end of March Zidane told Canal +: “When we are talking about a player like Pogba, it is only logical Real Madrid are interested in signing him. He is a player with immense potential, who still has an important margin for improvement. He is still young and has an exciting future ahead of him. Where Pogba will play next season? I don’t know the answer to that question. You will have to ask him.”
Although Barcelona have a transfer ban for 2015 imposed by Fifa the Catalan club may be able sign Pogba and loan him back to Juve before registering him next year.
City’s sporting director, Txiki Begiristain, and chief executive, Ferran Soriano, are willing to offer Pogba around £250,000 a week, a figure in the region of that earned by Touré, the club’s highest-paid player.
The executive hope to sell Pogba a vision of City as an ongoing domestic force and a club whose progress in the Champions League has allowed them to reach the last 16 for the past two seasons, with the Frenchman viewed as the driving force to take them to the next level on the continental stage.
City hope that Pogba can be joined by Wolfsburg’s Kevin De Bryune, who at 23 would be part of a fresh dynamic team. Patrick De Koster, De Bryune’s agent, confirmed City’s interest. “I have a meeting with Klaus Allofs [Wolfsburg’s sporting director] next week to find out what they want to do,” he told TalkSport. “I will know if they want to offer a Kevin a new deal or allow him to move. Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Paris Saint-Germain have made informal contact with me, but there have been no official offers.
“The situation has now changed with Wolfsburg qualifying for the Champions League next season, so wherever he plays next season it will be in the Champions League. If Wolfsburg decide to sell Kevin, then he will have a choice of clubs who can win their domestic league and challenge for the Champions League as well. The choice is his.”
Although Touré has been offered as a makeweight for Pogba there is no guarantee the Ivorian will leave the club this summer, though with his agent, Dimitry Seluk, claiming it is “90%” certain he will do so, City are considering their options.
Dzeko, Nasri, Jovetic, and Kolarov are viewed as others who could leave, each of them having disappointing seasons for the club in a Premier League title defence that fell away since 1 January when City were joint-leaders alongside Chelsea, who sealed the title last week.