Juventus’ interest in Paul Pogba isn’t going away just yet. Italian newspaper Tuttosport claim they are open to a potential swap deal with Manchester United.
Five players are put forward as being up for grabs. None of which suit United.
- Aaron Ramsey, 29, (No thanks, injury prone)
- Adrien Rabiot, 25 (United snubbed chance to sign him for free last year)
- Douglas Costa, 29, (Too inconsistent)
- Miralem Pjanic, 30, (Good player, but no sense signing a 30-year-old)
- Alex Sandro, 29, (We don’t need a left-back)
The Juventus player United do need, setting aside Cristiano Ronaldo of course, is midfield star Rodrigo Bentancur.
Big talent, right age
If Pogba pushes through an exit to Juventus, United must insist on Rodrigo Bentancur coming the other way in return.
Bentancur, 22, has been a key part of Juventus’ team since he joined the club in 2017 from Boca Juniors. Already he has won two league titles and played 96 times for the club.
The Uruguayan fits United’s needs perfectly. He can play in a variety of positions, most frequently either as a central midfielder or defensive midfielder.
He is good enough to play the holding role and succeed Nemanja Matic, or roam further forward if required. He even played as an attacking midfielder in Juventus’ win over Lokomotiv Moscow earlier this season.
Bentancur was outstanding at Old Trafford when Juventus beat us 1-0 in October 2018, making more successful passes than any player on the pitch [Telegraph].
He leads Juventus’ team in assists this season with six, while completing 90 per cent of his passes.
Yet a cynical side of his game also shows his willingness to mix it. His seven yellow cards are also the highest in the Juventus team.
This season in Serie A he averages 1.5 key passes per game, 1.8 interceptions and 1.5 tackles. He offers the team real balance and is key in every aspect of their play.
Is a deal viable?
Juventus won’t want to lose Bentancur, their preference would be to lose one of the older, less effective midfielders like Ramsey, Pjanic or Rabiot.
But they don’t have the finances to buy Pogba outright. United have the ability to say ‘give us Bentancur, or no deal’.
He signed a new deal last summer which runs until 2024, another case of smart business from the Italian club.
He’s a big part of their future, and it wouldn’t be possible to sign him outright. As part of a Pogba deal, it’s possible.
There’s reason to still believe Pogba can still be a key player for us, if he wants to be. There’s no desperation to sell yet, especially in part-exchange for unwanted assets like Douglas Costa or Aaron Ramsey.
If United aren’t getting a straight up big fee for the Frenchman, then only the very best players are acceptable as part-exchange. Bentancur would do nicely.
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