Manchester United to blow rivals out of the water with move for £162m pair as Jose Mourinho continues summer spending re-shufflePublished July 26, 2016
Manchester United are readying a big money move for Juventus centre-back Leonardo Bonucci as Jose Mourinho seeks to pull off a stunning double swoop that would also see long-term target Paul Pogba leave Turin for Old Trafford according to the Manchester Evening News.
29-year-old Italian international Bonucci is arguably the best central defender in world football and as such the price-tag hanging over the experienced defender is a high one.
Some sources claim the Serie A side would want as much as £60m for Bonucci and are holding out for a fee in excess of £100m for Pogba.
Juventus are closing in on a deal to sign Napoli ace Gonzalo Higuain, which could cost the domestic champions as much as £75m, and boss Massimiliano Allegri has already forked out around £25m to sign AS Roma playmaker Miralem Pjanic and a big fee to loan in defender Mehdi Benatia.
Bonucci has recently declared his intention to remain at Juventus but could perhaps be tempted to leave if he feels the likely sale of Pogba is a sign of a lack of ambition.
Jose Mourinho already moved to improve the back-line he inherited from Louis van Gaal by bringing in Eric Bailly from Villarreal but seemingly the former Chelsea boss isn’t finished there.
Chris Smalling impressed last term but his defensive partners were less reliable with the likes of Marcos Rojo, Phil Jones and Daley Blind proving inconsistent.
Manchester United’s chief summer target is still Pogba and the signs are that the Premier League side are ready to fork out a world-record sum for the 23-year-old and it’s just the ‘small’ matter of the fee for the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, being a sticking point.
The Italian expects to receive as much as £20m in the deal and interested parties are arguing as to whether the selling club should foot that bill.
Pogba has matured into one of the best young footballers on the planet following his move from Manchester United to Juventus back in 2012.
Sir Alex Ferguson opted to allow the rangy midfielder to leave when his contract expired and the Italian giants snapped up Pogba for a nominal fee and now stand to secure a massive sum from his likely sale.
Pogba has won four successive Serie A titles over the course of his four seasons with the club, in 2014/15 he helped the club to a Champions League final and last season finished as the leading assist-maker in the Italian top tier.
Having already brought in the aforementioned Bailly, as well as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Manchester United chief executive Ed Woodward will want to offload a number of the club’s underperforming talents in order to balance their books.
With that in mind the likes of Juan Mata, Marouane Fellaini, Memphis Depay and Marcos Rojo could be seen as players who’s sales could help fund further big money moves.