Juventus to move for Matic if Pogba departs

The Italian champion is holding out for big money for its most valuable asset and will target Chelsea’s Serbian midfielder should Pogba leave.

Juventus will make Nemanja Matic the club’s primary transfer target should Paul Pogba be sold to Manchester United.

The Bianconeri want to hold on to Pogba but are willing to let the France international return to Old Trafford should the 23-year-old’s former employer meet their 120 million euro ($132 million) asking price.

As it stands, the proposed deal is being held up by the fact that Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, is set to earn 20 percent of the transfer fee.

However, the two clubs are still in negotiations over what would be a record-breaking deal and if Juve ultimately agrees to allow Pogba to depart, the Italian club will immediately look to fill the void left by a player who has helped the side win four successive Serie A titles since arriving in Turin from Manchester in 2012.

The Italian champion’s preferred replacement is Matic, who was a colossus during Chelsea’s Premier League-winning campaign of 2014-15.

The Serbia international suffered an alarming dip in form last season – but he was not alone in this regard, as the Blues put up a dismal defense of their domestic crown.

Furthermore, Juve believes that the Serb would prove an imposing addition to the squad.

The Bianconeri are also buoyed by Matic’s present predicament, with the 27-year-old seemingly having fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following the summer signing of N’Golo Kante from English champion Leicester for €35.8 million.

New Blues boss Antonio Conte has also stated that he is keen to keep Matic. Consequently, Juve is also considering both Axel Witsel and Moussa Sissoko as viable alternatives.

Witsel has long been linked with a move to Serie A, having previously been pursued by AC Milan, but the Zenit midfielder’s €40 million fee has always been seen as prohibitive.

However, in the event of Pogba’s sale, it would not be an issue for Juve, which was one of a number of clubs, including Napoli, to have been taken with the Belgian’s performances at Euro 2016.

As for Sissoko, he is also readily available at the right price – with the Frenchman’s club, Newcastle, having been relegated from the Premier League last season.

Elsewhere, Marcelo Brozovic is of interest to Juve, where a close relationship with long-time rivals Inter has improved following Hernanes’ relatively amicable transfer from Milan to Turin last year.

Valencia ace Andre Gomes is still under consideration but there is an acceptance at Corso Galileo Ferraris that it would be more difficult to land the Portugal international, who is also being courted by Real Madrid.

For now, Juve’s focus is on talks with United, but moves are already being made to ensure that the Bianconeri have a quality replacement lined up should Pogba depart – particularly as the club will be without the injured Claudio Marchisio for the start of its bid for a sixth successive Scudetto.

The original version of this story which was published by goal.com Serie A can be viewed here.

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