According to a report by Ben Jefferson in the Express, Manchester City are keen on signing Paul Pogba from Juventus this summer, with either Aleksandar Kolarov or Edin Dzeko expected to be offered as part of the deal, along with a £32 million payment. In addition, City would also be prepared to write off the remainder of the Carlos Tevez fee, making the deal worth around £53 million.
Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, is currently attempting to negotiate new terms on the midfielder's deal, but if the demands are too high—and it's thought he's looking to double his current salary—then the Turin giants may be tempted to cash in.
Pogba is said to want £70k per week, which would be no problem for City, who see the 21-year-old as the heir to Yaya Toure's throne. There's little doubt that, if City can secure his signature, they are getting one of the world's top midfield talents.
The inclusion of either Kolarov or Dzeko would also make sense. Both players have struggled for absolute consistency since they arrived at City, despite the pair obviously improving this season, and they are likely to feel they can be first-choice in their respective positions elsewhere.
Indeed, Kolarov excelled during his time at Serie A side Lazio, with the Italian style seemingly a more comfortable fit for his abilities than the fast-paced Premier League, while Dzeko's time in Germany with Wolfsburg saw him garner a reputation as a player who would suit Italian football.
Pogba left Manchester United back in 2012 and has since gone on to establish himself as one of the top midfielders in Europe. Very few in world football could realistically fill Toure's boots, but there's a sense amongst those who have watched Pogba at close quarters that he has the necessary power and pace to do so.
United let the 21-year-old go way too early, with their midfield troubles in recent times only exacerbating the feeling they were foolish to allow him to move on without ever really giving him the opportunity to prove himself in the Premier League. Indeed, he made just seven appearances for United, despite his reputation as one of the talents to come out of their academy in many years.
His move to Juventus, though, has seen him flourish and become one of the most feared and respected central midfield players in the game. He's made 77 appearances for the club, scoring 13 goals, and has established himself in the French national side. He was a key player in Juve's Serie A triumph last season.
At 30, Toure is having the best season of his career to-date, yet there's a strong sense amongst those at City that ensuring the club have a replacement for one of their most important players is absolutely vital to the club's long-term success.
The Ivorian is so often the difference for City, and having a player in the middle of the pitch with that unique blend of strength and explosive scoring ability is seen as a crucial element of their current setup—continuing that trend is key to their future plans.
There's little doubt that Pogba is one of an elite few who could conceivably consider himself a genuine successor to Toure, and City may well do everything in their power to make sure it's they who have him.
Rob Pollard is Bleacher Report's lead Manchester City correspondent and will be following the club from a Manchester base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here: @RobPollard_.
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