•Italian champions will pursue other midfield transfer targets this summer
•United are adamant that Pogba, valued at £150m, will not be moving anywhere
Juventus have ended their interest in Paul Pogba, leaving Real Madrid with a clear run at signing the £150million Manchester United midfielder this summer.
The French World Cup winner has made clear his intentions to leave United but a return to Juventus, where he spent four successful years between 2012 and 2016, won’t be happening.
Though Pogba was open to a return to Turin, his agent Mino Raiola has been notified by Juve’s vice-chairman Pavel Nedved that they intend to pursue other targets.
It leaves Real as the strong favourites to make Pogba their latest ‘Galactico’ signing if they can match United’s valuation and Pogba’s wage demands.
Juventus have already bolstered their midfield this summer with the free signings of Aaron Ramsey from Arsenal and Adrien Rabiot from Paris Saint-Germain.
They are also hopeful of concluding a deal for the Fiorentina playmaker Federico Chiesa, who is keen to join the Italian champions.
Pogba reported for United’s pre-season tour of Australia, Singapore and China on Sunday morning despite fears that he wouldn’t show up in order to force through his move away.
He has been training with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his squad in Perth ahead of two friendly matches there against Perth Glory and Leeds United.
Real are now the only club in the running for Pogba, who would relish the opportunity to play under his compatriot Zinedine Zidane.
The club confirmed yesterday a member of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s backroom staff, who is yet to be named, is receiving medical assistance in hospital.
Phil Neville’s side came into the tournament ranked third in the world, but have slipped down the table with Holland replacing them following their fairytale run to the final.
Meanwhile, Manchester United have been handed a boost in their pursuit of Bruno Fernandes after Sporting Lisbon closed in on his replacement.
The Portugal international playmaker, 24, is a summer transfer target for both clubs as they look to strengthen in that area of the field.
Fernandes, who is valued at £70million, scored 32 goals and added 18 assists in all competitions last season and helped his country win the Uefa Nations League.
United reportedly met officials from Sporting to make progress on the deal this week and now reports by Italian website Alfredo Pedulla say the Portuguese club have found his replacement.
Manchester City have also been linked with Fernandes this summer. Sporting are closing in on a deal for Palermo’s Aleksandar Trajkovski, 26, who is poised to sign a four-year contract.
Trajkovski, an international player for North Macedonia, is versatile enough to play the playmaker role, as well as on the wing and up front. United will certainly need to fill a hole in midfield if Paul Pogba gets his wish and completes a £150m move to Real Madrid or Juventus this summer. Newcastle United’s Sean Longstaff is another possibility but Old Trafford chiefs have reportedly been left stunned by his £50m price tag.