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Manchester United eyeing Real Madrid's Federico Valverde as Paul Pogba replacement: Reports

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
ANALYST
Modified 18 Feb 2021
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Manchester United are already preparing for a future without Paul Pogba and could even go knocking on Real Madrid’s door to replace the Frenchman if he leaves in the summer.

According to Daily Star, the Red Devils have shortlisted Los Blancos star Federico Valverde as the ideal replacement for Paul Pogba amid uncertainties surrounding his future. Manchester United have already prepared a list of alternatives for the Frenchman, and the Real Madrid midfielder features prominently there.

Valverde joined Real Madrid's academy from Penarol in the summer of 2016. A year later, he moved to Deportivo La Coruna on loan for the season. He was so impressive that upon his return, Valverde was immediately drafted into Zinedine Zidane’s squad. The Uruguayan has not looked back since and a string of impressive performances last season have caught Manchester United’s eye.

The Red Devils are losing patience with Pogba and his notorious agent Mino Raiola, who stirred up controversy just before a crucial UEFA Champions League game last year, declaring his client’s time at Old Trafford is over. Manchester United ended up losing the game and getting knocked out of the premier European club competition by RB Leipzig. That might have prompted the Red Devils to look at alternatives to the Frenchman, due to which Real Madrid’s Uruguayan midfielder has seemingly emerged as an option.

However, prizing Valverde away from the Santiago Bernabeu will not be easy. The Uruguayan’s current contract includes a £148m release clause, an amount Manchester United are unlikely to match. Valverde presently earns a salary of £120,000 per week at Real Madrid, but the Red Devils could offer him a significant raise to lure him to Old Trafford.

Manchester United could raid Real Madrid for Valverde

Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane

Valverde was an integral part of the Real Madrid team that won La Liga last season. While the Spanish giants have struggled to keep up with runaway leaders Atletico Madrid this term, the Uruguayan has still managed to keep Manchester United on their toes with his displays on the pitch. The Premier League giants have scouted the player for ages and could now step up their efforts to secure his signature.

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Manchester United believe that Valverde’s box-to-box ability, versatility and quality on the ball make him the perfect man to replace Pogba. The Frenchman has his heart set on a move to Real Madrid, but it is unclear whether a swap deal involving the two players could be on the cards.


Published 18 Feb 2021, 00:51 IST
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