Would Including Verratti and Moura in PSG Move for Juventus' Pogba Be Smart?

Jonathan JohnsonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2014

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 20:  Paul Pogba of Juventus FC celebrates after scoring their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Juventus and AS Trabzonspor at Juventus Arena on February 20, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco Luzzani/Getty Images)
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

According to Gazzetta dello Sport (h/t Goal.com translated from French as a bilingual) on Friday, if Paris Saint-Germain want to sign their priority target Paul Pogba of Juventus in this summer’s transfer window, then they will have to part with one or both of Marco Verratti and Lucas Moura as well as money.

BARCELONA, SPAIN - APRIL 10:  Lucas and Marco Verratti of PSG close down Andres Iniesta of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League quarter-final second leg match between Barcelona and Paris St Germain at Nou Camp on April 10, 2013 in Barcelona, Spain.
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The alternative to swapping both players and a smaller sum of money is thought to be the Italian international and €50 million. 

PSG’s interest in Pogba is understandable. He is one of the world’s most talented young players, plays in a position that the French champions arguably still need to strengthen in and, more importantly, he is French. 

Pogba, who is also the subject of interest from former club Manchester United, is set to put pen to paper on a new deal to ward off any potential suitors, according to reports from the Mirror’s Ed Malyon earlier this month. 

However the 20-year-old, who has risen to prominence over the past two seasons with the Italian giants, has not yet signed the deal.

Juventus making these sorts of demands for a player who is courting this level of interest, while remaining on a contract that does not reflect his status within the side, is highly unrealistic.

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 02:  Paul Pogba of Juventus in action during the Serie A match between Juventus and FC Internazionale Milano at Juventus Arena on February 2, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Claudio Villa/Getty Images

PSG would benefit massively from signing the senior French international but, at that price, simple logic should tell them that he is not worth the sacrifices that the Italian champions are asking for. 

Moura and Verratti, in particular, are too important for the side from the French capital to just gift to a European rival. Two top-class players and money in exchange for one is not sensible business.

PARIS, FRANCE - NOVEMBER 05: Marco Verratti of PSG (L) tackles Sacha Kljestan of Anderlect during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between Paris Saint Germain and RSC Anderlecht at Parc des Princes on November 5, 2013 in Paris, France.  (Photo by H
Harry Engels/Getty Images

The diminutive Italian midfielder is a key player in Laurent Blanc’s current side, more so than Lucas, who has been in and out of the team so far this season, so letting him go would not solve the problem of needing to have two players to cover every position in the starting XI.

Blanc has turned PSG into a possession-based side that thrives thanks to a three-man midfield unit that is able to dominate possession in the same way that Barcelona and Bayern Munich do.

However, the vital central-midfield trio of Verratti, Thiago Motta and Blaise Matuidi has been run into the ground this season thanks to Adrien Rabiot’s recent knee injury and Javier Pastore’s inability to function as a central midfielder.

Yohan Cabaye’s recent move from English Premier League side Newcastle United added some much-needed depth in that area. But even with his arrival and Rabiot’s return to fitness, PSG only have five players genuinely capable of playing in the three-man unit.

In order to be at the same level of squad depth as their continental rivals, the Parisians arguably need one more player to posses the adequate depth needed to challenge on all fronts. 

ATHENS, GREECE - SEPTEMBER 17:  Lucas of Paris Saint-Germain FC in action during the UEFA Champions League group stage match between Olympiacos FC and Paris Saint-Germain FC held on September 17, 2013 at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens, Greece.
EuroFootball/Getty Images

Perhaps the French champions could get away with having one less option in the front three, which is why Moura as part of a deal for Pogba would make some sense. The Brazilian international is by no means a bit-part player though, and he has contributed three league goals and seven assists so far this season.

Also, with Jeremy Menez set to leave at the end of his contract this summer, there will be one less option in the same area where Lucas operates, while Ezequiel Lavezzi and Javier Pastore’s futures are far from certain at present. Defender Alex is also out of contract in June. 

Because of these anticipated departures, there is no doubt that PSG will be busy in this summer’s transfer market and Pogba is believed to be their priority signing. Mino Raiola’s status as the Frenchman’s agent and his close ties with PSG have also fanned the flames of speculation.

However, it makes little sense for the Ligue 1 leaders to sacrifice two important players for one, when there are already five players who can play in the same position as him. 

TURIN, ITALY - FEBRUARY 20:  Paul Pogba of Juventus FC celebrates after scoring their second goal during the UEFA Europa League Round of 32 match between Juventus and AS Trabzonspor at Juventus Arena on February 20, 2014 in Turin, Italy.  (Photo by Marco
Marco Luzzani/Getty Images

Considering that Juventus are reportedly asking for €70 million, but the player has not yet renewed his contract on better terms, the chances are high that the Italians have missed their chance to make such outrageous demands and actually get what they want.

KIEV, UKRAINE - NOVEMBER 15: Paul Pogba of France controls the ball during the FIFA 2014 World Cup Qualifier Play-off First Leg soccer match between Ukraine and France at the Olympic Stadium on November 15, 2013 in Kiev, Ukraine.  (Photo by Adam Nurkiewic
Adam Nurkiewicz/Getty Images

With such interest in the French star, it seems unlikely that he would agree to ink new terms if they were not extremely favourable towards his chances of joining one of the big clubs currently chasing his signature.

Any minimum fee release clause inserted into the potential new deal will surely be worth substantially less than €70 million. 

PSG could actually benefit from letting Pogba sign a new contract with Juventus. 

Such a deal would guarantee the Italians a relatively generous fee in exchange for their blossoming talent, but it would also ensuring that the French giants do not need to part with either Verratti or Motta. That would be smart business.