Man Utd identify Paul Pogba replacement from Real Madrid with £630m release clause

Manchester United are eyeing up a move for Real Madrid midfielder Federico Valverde, and could use Paul Pogba as a potential makeweight due to the youngster’s astronomical release clause. That’s according to a report in The Sun, which claims United have put him on their transfer wishlist.

United are bracing themselves for interest from Madrid for Pogba.

The Frenchman has long been linked with a move to the Bernabeu, and admitted last week that playing for Real Madrid was still “a dream” for him.

Pogba’s contract was extended by a year by United, who were cautious that he would be a free agent next summer if they didn’t.

But regardless, the speculation still links him with a possible exit from Old Trafford, and now it seems United are lining up a replacement.

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Valverde has emerged as one of the most promising midfielders in the world at the moment, having broken into Zinedine Zidane’s first-team last season.

The 22-year-old midfielder plays in the middle of the pitch in a similar way to Donny van de Beek, with the ability to play as a defensive midfielder or in a more advanced attacking role.

Madrid view him as a key player for them going forward, and slapped a £630million release clause in his most recent contract, meaning it would take a significant bid for United to manage to sign him.

However, given the uncertainty surrounding Pogba, the Sun claims he could be used as a makeweight in a potential deal.

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It has been speculated that Pogba’s contract extension was simply to avoid losing him for free in a year’s time, with speculation suggesting he could still leave if an acceptable bid comes in.

Speaking after the extension was confirmed, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was adamant he’d be going nowhere.

“Paul is our player, he’s going to be here for another two years,” Solskjaer said.

“I’m sure he’s focused on doing his best for us and we want to see the best of Paul.

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“I’m sure in the next couple of years we’ll get the best out of him.”

Pogba was left on the bench on Saturday as United thrashed Newcastle 4-1 at St James’ Park, coming on late in the game.

And Solskjaer confirmed the Frenchman was carrying a slight knock from his time away with the French national side.

He said: “Paul had hip and back problems when he was away with France, so it wasn’t right to start him.

“We have got big games coming up. Everyone has to perform when they come on. I am delighted for him.”

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