Paul Pogba’s representatives have held fresh talks with Juventus over a free transfer from Manchester United this summer as the Italian club look to replenish star power
The Bianconeri had to settle for a 2-2 draw with Lazio in Serie A on Monday night but the occasion was all about Giorgio Chiellini and, to a slightly lesser extent, Paulo Dybala. Veteran defender Chiellini, 37, announced last week he would be leaving Juve at the end of the season following 17 years of trophy-laden service.
Soon after, Dybala confirmed he would be following his Italian teammate out of the Juventus Stadium with an emotional statement. The Argentine maestro, 28, has been with the Turin club since 2015 but was unable to agree to a contract extension, putting the likes of Manchester United and Arsenal on red alert.
Pogba spent four years as Chiellini’s teammate between 2012 and 2016 and one shared one season with Dybala, during which they won the Serie A-Coppa Italia double. The Frenchman shares a close bond with the duo and took to social media to send them his best wishes as they pursue pastures new.
“What a fantastic career @giorgiochiellini! Feel privileged to have shared the pitch with you, a phenomenal player and an even better person,” Pogba wrote on Instagram. In a separate post for Dybala, he said: “Hermano, you’re a top player and a top man! It’s great to have you as a friend and to have shared moments with you at @juventus. Hope to see you soon!”
Pogba’s messages to his former Turin teammates come as Juve hold talks over a swoop for the World Cup winner. He has already joined the Italian giants on a free transfer before – arriving from United a decade ago – and could be poised to do so again.
CEO Maurizio Arrivabene confirmed on Monday that the Bianconeri have held talks with Pogba’s representatives over a return to the club, but added: “He is a Manchester United player. We respect them, and we would have to inform them first due to a gentleman’s agreement. He has the same agent as Moise Kean and Luca Pellegrini, so talking is routine.”
Juve are viewed as the frontrunners for Pogba’s signature, although Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are also in the frame. Should he arrive back in Turin, however, the player will not be greeted by two familiar faces in the dressing room.
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- Alessandro Del Piero: 705
- Gianluigi Buffon: 685
- Giorgio Chiellini: 558
Chiellini was honoured on his final home game for the club by being taken off in the 17th minute, marking the number of years of loyal service he has given. Dybala, meanwhile, played 78 minutes before he was taken off and he could not hide his emotions as tears rolled down his face.
Dusan Vlahovic gave the hosts an early lead and Alvaro Morata doubled the advantage but Lazio hit back through an Alex Sandro own-goal after the interval and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic snatched a point in the 96th minute. Juve travel to Fiorentina for their final game of the season having already secured a fourth-place finish.