Real Madrid Reportedly Want to Sign Manchester United's Paul Pogba by July 1

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistJune 17, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MAY 12: Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Cardiff City at Old Trafford on May 12, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images)
James Baylis - AMA/Getty Images

Real Madrid reportedly want to complete the signing of Manchester United star Paul Pogba by July 1.

According to Marca's Hugo Cerezo, Pogba is now Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane's top target this summer and the manager wants to sign the midfielder before United begin their pre-season preparations at the start of next month.

Real don't start pre-season until a week after United on July 8, but securing the France international before then would allow him another week of rest.

It's said Los Blancos will have to spend a club-record fee to prise him away from Old Trafford, with his price tag set to exceed €150 million (£134 million). 

Pogba has fuelled speculation regarding his future after dropping a strong hint he's looking for a move this summer.

Last season, the 26-year-old had his most productive campaign at Old Trafford since his return in 2016, with 16 goals and 11 assists to his name.

His struggles for consistency remained an issue, though—he spent much of the season lacking form aside from a purple patch following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's arrival in December.

As the Guardian's Jamie Jackson noted, Pogba doesn't have a great deal to work with at United when it comes to his team-mates.

Real Madrid would be able to deploy him in a team of a much higher calibre.

The Spanish giants have snapped up Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic, Ferland Mendy, Rodrygo and Eder Militao already this summer.

Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News can understand why Pogba might wish to leave United for Real, noting how Zidane's return represents a manager at Real who has truly wanted Pogba in the past and is motivated to make moves.

The midfielder is contracted at Old Trafford until 2021, and United can extend his stay by a further year, so they're under little pressure to sell him this summer.

The fee they might receive for Pogba could fund significant recruitment, but the Red Devils' record in that area has been unconvincing in recent years with the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Fred failing to impress.

It's far from guaranteed the club would reinvest his fee in a way that leaves their squad better off than keeping Pogba, so parting with him would be a gamble for the Premier League side.