Man Utd to use Pogba as bait for Juventus defender De Ligt

Manchester United want to sign Juventus defender Matthijs De Ligt and will offer Paul Pogba to the Serie A club to get him, it’s been reported.

The Daily Star claims United have maintained their interest in De Ligt after contemplating a move for the Netherlands international last summer, when he left Ajax, but ultimately declined to compete with Juve and Barcelona for his services.

It’s suggested that the 20-year-old has yet to settle in Turin, with injuries a factor. De Ligt has made 20 league appearances for the Old Lady this season, following his £67.5m transfer, with a further two Coppa Italia run-outs and seven outings in the Champions League.

The report continues by claiming United would want to receive a significant portion of the £90m they paid Juventus for Pogba in 2016 if he were to leave Old Trafford, but would be keen to use the France midfielder as a makeweight in a move for De Ligt. Pogba and De Ligt are both represented by agent Mino Raiola, which could also be a factor.

Pogba moved to Juventus from United in 2012, having arrived at the Premier League club in 2009. United nabbed Pogba from Le Harve’s academy, with Pogba going on to make his first team debut in the 2011-12 season.

However, he quit United at the end of his contract for Juve, and went on to make 178 appearances for the Turin club, scoring 34 goals. Pogba was part of the team that won four consecutive Serie A titles – Juventus went on to win three more in a row without him – and also lifted two Coppa Italia trophies in his time at the club.

Since returning to United, Pogba has made 143 appearances, scoring 31 goals, but only eight of his appearances have come in the 2019-20 season as the 27-year-old has been struck by a series of injuries. An occasional United captain, Pogba was part of the side that won the 2017 EFL Cup and the Europa League in the same year.

Internationally, Pogba made his France debut in 2013 and has to date won 69 caps, scoring 10 goals. He was part of Les Bleus’ World Cup-winning squad of 2018, scoring in the final 4-2 win over Croatia.

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