Manchester City are ready to launch a bid in excess of £50million for Juventus star Paul Pogba.
The Etihad’s top brass have made Pogba their major summer target and believe they can land him ahead of rivals including Chelsea, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain.
But the Blues will have to have to offload several big-name players to help fund such a huge bid, with Yaya Toure, Samir Nasri, Edin Dzeko and Stevan Jovetic set to be the fall-guys.
France international Pogba, who walked away from Manchester United as a free agent in 2012, is set to figure in the biggest transfer saga of the summer with Europe’s top clubs fighting to land him.
City view the dynamic 22-year-old midfielder as the ideal replacement for Toure, who is set to leave this summer, with Juve’s Serie A rivals Inter Milan his likely destination.
The newly-deposed champions see Pogba as a player around whom to build their midfield – with a £35m bid also planned for Liverpool and England wide-man Raheem Sterling.
Despite Juventus publicly insisting the player is not for sale, it understood they arewilling to listen to offers for him, but only in excess of £50m.
City are likely to have to stretch to as much as £60m and will have to beat off stiff competition for the Frenchman, with PSG said to have provisionally agreed an outline fee with Juventus which other clubs will have to better.
That figure is understood to be around the £50m mark, with a bidding war likely to be sparked which could see the transfer dragged out over the summer.
United received a little under a million pounds in compensation when Pogba left them as a free agent to join Juventus, after becoming disillusioned at his lack of first-team chances under then-manager Sir Alex Ferguson.
Inter want City to give them Toure on the cheap.
Midfielder Toure, who turns 32 next week, is on £220,000-a-week and the Milan giants are hoping City give him a pay-off to top up his wages – or agree a cut-price fee.