Real Madrid are increasingly confident they could sign Paul Pogba from Manchester United this summer, sources at the Bernabeu have told ESPN FC.
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is keen to land Pogba, although club president Florentino Perez has needed convincing after spending over €300 million on new players already this summer.
Pogba and his agent Mino Raiola both publicly pressed for a move away from United earlier this summer, although more recently, the World Cup winner’s attitude has been praised by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the team’s preseason tour of Asia.
Perez told Zidane during a meeting in Montreal last week that it would be “difficult” to sign Pogba this summer given that United do not want to sell. Zidane then asked Perez and director general Jose Angel Sanchez to make another effort and now Madrid sources have said that, although United are holding out for €180m, there is a feeling they can find an agreement.
Marco Asensio will miss a large part of the upcoming campaign after suffering a serious knee injury. However, different sources have told ESPN FC that Zidane believes he has enough resources in attack to cope without the Spain international and is instead demanding the club make a last effort to bolster the midfield with Pogba.
One of the major obstacles for Madrid is time, with Premier League clubs unable to sign players after the transfer window closes at 5 p.m. BST on Aug. 8.
While Premier League teams cannot sign players after the Aug. 8 deadline, the window for selling is open until Aug. 31, but United will not let Pogba leave if they cannot bring anyone in.
Madrid are still expecting to receive around €40m by letting James Rodriguez leave — with neighbours Atletico Madrid interested. Zidane had hoped to free up space by selling Gareth Bale this summer, but the Wales international is still no closer to leaving the Bernabeu.