Real Madrid and Barcelona are reportedly set to go to “war” in an attempt to land Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba in the summer.
The newspaper’s main story on Wednesday stated new Los Blancos boss Zinedine Zidane has made his compatriot his main summer target as he seeks to shape his own Real Madrid side:
Pogba is top of Zidane's wish list on today's cover of AS pic.twitter.com/u8YIB27hHA— AS English (@English_AS) January 13, 2016
It’s certainly no surprise to learn both Barcelona and Real Madrid are keen on Pogba, who has blossomed into one of the standout midfielders in world football over the past couple of seasons. Here’s what he could potentially add to either team:
The Frenchman can do it all. Not only is he an imposing physical specimen, he’s a supreme technician, rapid across the ground and capable of conjuring moments of genius.
Pogba is also more switched-on defensively than many give him credit for, and this season at Juventus he’s proven he can assume the role of the team’s talisman.
Bleacher Report’s Sam Tighe and Dean Jones took a look which players might be on Zidane’s radar this summer, including Pogba:
At 22 years old, he’s still got a lot of improving to do. As Squawka Football noted recently, the strides made by Pogba already are remarkable given his age:
Paul Pogba, 22, is the youngest player since Lionel Messi in 2009 to be named in FIFPro's Team of the Year. pic.twitter.com/d50qudCsEu— Squawka Football (@Squawka) January 11, 2016
The prospect of working alongside someone like Zidane has to be appealing for a French player, not to mention the gravitas which accompanies Real Madrid.
Barcelona, of course, have their own allure too and players have opted for the Blaugrana over their great rivals previously. But Zidane might be critical in swinging this one in Real’s favour.
Eden Hazard Limit Revealed
According to Fichajes (h/t Bruce Archer of the Daily Express), Real Madrid are not willing to spend any more than €100 million (£75 million) on Chelsea man Eden Hazard in the summer transfer window.
The piece noted Zidane is a big admirer of the player, but his opinions are not shared by president Florentino Perez and as such, he’s not willing to break the club’s record transfer fee in an attempt to secure his services.
As we can see here courtesy of the Match of the Day Twitter feed, things have been very difficult for the Belgium international this season:
In fairness to Hazard he has suffered with injury, and he’s never quite been able to find a settled spot in the side. But for a player who was named as the finest footballer in the Premier League last season, his goalscoring, creativity and general play have deteriorated this term.
A move to a team like Real may well be what’s needed to spark Hazard back into form. There have been times this term where he’s looked tired of his surroundings and although he should certainly be performing to a higher standard, sometimes a player simply requires a change of scene.
Chelsea, if they do decide to let him go, will want a massive sum of money for his services, though.