Juventus have reportedly slapped an extraordinary price tag of £60million on the head of France international Paul Pogba.
Having finally ran out of patience with trying to force his way into a Manchester United side which was crying out for a midfielder of his talent, the 21-year-old quit England and signed for the Bianconeri when his contract at Old Trafford expired in 2012. During the two years he has spent in Italy he has won two league titles, whilst establishing himself as a key member of Les Bleus World Cup plans.
Pogba, who has claimed United treated him with disrespect when he refused to sign a new deal, has been heavily linked with a return to his former club. However, widespread reports claim Juventus have demanded a £60million fee for the services of the player, who remains under contract until the summer of 2016.
Whilst incoming coach Louis van Gaal is expected to be given a healthy transfer budget to transform the fortunes of a side which finished seventh in the Premier League last season, it is unlikely he would spend so much on one player. Further, it is also unlikely that United would take too kindly to paying such an extravagant fee on a player who walked out on them for nothing two years ago.
What does remain certain, though, is that the Reds are in need of strengthening their midfield. Last year, under the leadership of David Moyes, they were heavily linked with Cesc Fabregas who they tabled bids to sign. Barcelona were then reluctant to sell the Spaniard, and although they are now willing to let him leave for £30million, the former Arsenal captain looks set to return to the capital with Chelsea.
One player van Gaal would love to add to his squad at Old Trafford is Kevin Strootman, his Dutch compatriot. The 24-year-old left PSV Eindhoven for AS Roma in a £12million deal last summer, and would now likely cost around £20million. However, he is currently out of action with a cruciate ligament injury which has ruled him out of the World Cup Finals, and as he is not expected to be back in contention until October, United may have to wait until the New Year to make a move.