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Mino Raiola says Real Madrid are 'in the preliminary phase of negotiations' for Paul Pogba

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With what is almost assuredly many more weeks of Paul Pogba transfer rumors — it is an unwritten rule for every single day of our lives, after all — the French midfielder's agent, Mino Raiola as essentially added a massive can of gasoline to the already red-hot fire.

Agent Talk can be a dangerous, dangerous thing. And this one is certainly falling into that category. From Mino's own mouth, via Monday's edition of MARCA:

"We are in the initial phase of negotiations. Pogba admires Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane and that will be very important when making his decision."

(Source: Football Italia)

Here's more of the interview, which provides a little more context than the initial words that caused a whooooole lot of knee-jerk reactions.

"We're hoping that Paul can be football's superstar for the next ten years," Raiola told Marca. "Last year Juventus had reached terms with four different clubs for a transfer, but Paul didn't want to go.

"We have a technical project on our minds. We're all very calm. What matters most is the project of the team, that's more important than the money.

"He's happy at Juve. We're in talks with two-three teams whose sporting project we appreciate, but for the moment he must keep his cool and think of the Euros.

"Every summer I speak with Real, Manchester United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, and Manchester City. Real had a clear and professional relationship with me over the past two years.

"We know that Real want him but nothing has been decided yet. We are in the initial phase of the negotiations and what's important is the desire of Zidane and of the club."

(Source: Football Italia)

There are a couple ways to read this little situation we have here.

On one end, we can collectively freak out because Raiola is openly admitting he's talking to Real Madrid about Pogba leaving Juventus. You can just read the "we're in the preliminary phase of negotiations" and assume that's that and then move on with our lives. Raiola has said Real's interest in signing Pogba is "no secret," which isn't that much of a surprise considering who the interested party is. They want the big signing —especially in the summer after winning the Champions League once again. And there would be no bigger signing this summer than landing Pogba for what will almost certainly be a world-record transfer fee.

But, on the other hand, we can look at it the same way we've looked at just about every Pogba-related piece of transfer gossip and/or rumor and/or chatter from an agent or team rep — Juventus will sell the player if he shows a desire to leave. That's been the stance of Beppe Marotta from essentially the first time he's had to comment on these rumors of Pogba leaving Juventus.

People will look at the fact that Pogba is "we're in the preliminary phase of negotiations" part and blow right over that Raiola also says that the player is perfectly happy in Turin right now. If he's happy, then you would like to think the desire to leave wouldn't be as great as it might be in a different kind of situation.

So, I guess we see where these negotiations go and hope for the best. That would be Pogba staying, of course, but you probably figured that part out already.