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Report: Juventus now the favorite to sign Paul Pogba

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For at least the next 24 hours or whatever.

Manchester United v Rochdale AFC - Carabao Cup Third Round Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

We’ve been told that bringing Paul Pogba back to Turin is Juventus’ dream signing for the summer of 2020. We’ve also been told that it’s certainly possible that the coronavirus pandemic and the current suspension of play will throw the transfer market for a complete loop, with transfer fees that clubs think they can get not all that possible based on all of the lost revenue that has happened over the last 2 12 months.

Where exactly things fall still remains to be seen as we await the season to actually be finished or completely abandoned.

Either way, there will be Pogba talk — and plenty of it, too.

According to La Gazzetta dello Sport — so make sure to gather up a bit of skepticism at your own risk — Juventus has moved into pole position to sign Pogba for the second time in his career. This is due to the fact, according to the report published on Saturday morning, that Real Madrid (and to a lesser extent Inter Milan) are no longer interested in signing Pogba. And that is due to the fact that Manchester United, which paid a then-world-record fee of €105 million to bring Pogba back to Old Trafford four years ago, is holding firm on the fact that it wants to try and recoup as much as that fee from 2016 as possible.

Basically: United want upward of €100 million for Pogba. Real Madrid and Inter don’t want to pay anywhere close to that to sign the 27-year-old Frenchman.

By process of elimination, that leaves Juventus ... and maybe Paris Saint-Germain depending how much the Financial Fair Play fairy actually decides to enforce things within the next year or two.

Just how willing Juventus’ front office is to push it financially could very well be the determining factor here. There’s been rumors of including players like Douglas Costa or Adrien Rabiot in a potential deal to try and get the transfer fee lower and more of something that Juventus will be able to afford. But there’s also the fact that Juventus Chief Football Officer Fabio Paratici recently said the following about Pogba:

“Pogba is a great player, but logically the salary demands someone of his level would’ve had before is now more difficult to get hold of, or at least he’ll have fewer clubs prepared to pay that money.”

If Juve don’t sign Pogba this summer, the general impression you get is that it will be more from a financial standpoint rather than a sporting one. We know Juventus’ midfield needs a big step up. The front office knows it, too. However, if Manchester United prices Pogba out of the running for pretty much anybody no matter how much he may want to leave Old Trafford (again), Paratici has been as upfront as anybody in terms of what the transfer market will be like this summer as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

But, for now, La Gazzetta dello Sport thinks Juve’s in front when it comes to trying to sign Pogba. How long that lasts is pretty much anybody’s guess at this point.