Paul Pogba has said he would like the chance to work under Pep Guardiola, indicating that he may be open to leaving Juventus for Manchester City, with Barcelona and Real Madrid also linked.
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City Boosted by Pogba Comments
Friday, Feb. 19
"[Guardiola] has plenty of experience. As a manager he has a positive influence on the whole team and everyone respects him. One can only admire him and try to learn something from him," said Pogba to Sky Sport Deutschland (via Lorenzo Bettoni of Italian outlet Calciomercato).
"He’s an icon of the game and I’ve heard every player improves [when they work] with him. I am a Juventus player now, but, obviously, the chance of working with him could develop in the future," the Frenchman added.
The current Bayern Munich manager takes over at Manchester City in the summer and Pogba, 22, is said to be one of Guardiola's key targets as he looks to turn the Sky Blues into a Champions League-winning side, per Ian Ladyman and Neil Ashton in the Daily Mail.
Ladyman and Ashton quoted Pogba's value at £80 million, a not unreasonable figure given how influential he has become at Juve—and the fact that he is contracted to the Old Lady until 2019.
The French midfielder was recently named by Squawka as the best player in the game under the age of 23, and described him as a "Ballon d’Or winner in waiting."
It is hard to argue with that assessment, and given that Pogba is likely to improve even further the more experience he gains, he could end up being a bargain at £80 million.
A powerhouse in the centre of midfield, Pogba would be the perfect replacement for the declining Yaya Toure at City, and a central figure around which Guardiola could build his team.
The former Manchester United man is arguably the most coveted star in Europe, with the likes of La Liga giants Real and Barca also interested in signing him, per AS (via the Mirror's Ed Malyon).
However, given Pogba's latest comments, City may have the advantage in the race to sign him this summer, and they certainly have enough money to persuade Juve to part with him.