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Saturday 3 December 2016

Pogba deal held up by agent row

Raiola cancels medical in Miami for French ace as United and Juventus haggle over £25m cut

Juventus star Paul Pogba reportedly had his Manchester United medical cancelled by his agent Mino Raiola. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Juventus star Paul Pogba reportedly had his Manchester United medical cancelled by his agent Mino Raiola. Photo: Martin Rickett/PA Wire
Mino Raiola. Photo: Jacopo Raule/Getty Images
Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho and executive director Ed Woodward remain hopeful of signing Paul Pogba. Photo: Lee Smith/Reuters

A medical for Paul Pogba has been cancelled by his agent after his move to Manchester United stalled.

The Reds are still hoping to wrap up a world record £100million deal to bring their former midfielder back to Old Trafford .

However the move has apparently hit the buffers due to a dispute between United and his agent Mino Raiola involving a £25million fee for the super agent.

Juventus have refused to pay their half of the agent's fee, meaning United could be forced to pay the whole lot.

While Ed Woodward and co still expect the deal to get done, Raiola has reportedly moved to startle the Premier League giants by cancelling a medical that was booked to take place in Miami.

Pogba had a medical booked in with Dr Italo Linfante of the Miami Cardic and Vascular Institute.

But they now say it was postponed until Raiola's payment is sorted out.

United are reported to have agreed a fee with Juventus and a contract with Pogba, who will return to the club he left for free in 2012.

Raiola flew to Miami to meet Pogba over the weekend and the France star posted an image of the two in a pool yesterday.

He included a cryptic message, writing: "we say it all by saying nothing at all."

Juventus boss Max Allegri was asked about the mooted price tag for Pogba on Tuesday, saying to reporters: "That's what it is, I don't assign prices to players. Each player has a value some low, some high."

The sage took a further twist yesterday when Juventus announced a Serie A record €94million deal for Napoli striker Gonzalo Higuain.

Sources in Italy believe the massive transfer fee will be paid out of the funds Juventus receive from United for Pogba.

Issues

The Italian champions remain confident that the Pogba deal will go through this week, once the financial issues with Raiola are sorted out.

United, meanwhilem have been alerted to the news that Blaise Matuidi - often touted as a Plan B should the Pogba deal collapse - has been told he can leave Paris Saint-Germain this summer.

The French midfielder is a wanted man, with Chelsea and Juventus also monitoring his situation.

He has two years left to run on his current deal but is understood to have told his agent he wants to experience football in another country. He would cost in the region of £30million.

Jose Mourinho is believed to have identified Matuidi as a potential backup plan, but still insists Pogba is his number one target. And new PSG boss Unai Emery admits he could leave the French capital.

"He is a very good player," Emery told L'Equipe.

"We have a lot of left-footed defensive midfielders. If he has the opportunity to leave and if he thinks there are too many midfielders here… But I do not want him to go."

United still lead the chase for Pogba but he is understood to be stalling on completing his move from Juventus.

If that deal hits a snag, Matuidi would be a viable alternative who would cost a fraction of the price.

Chelsea have already signed Matuidi's compatriot N'Golo Kante from Leicester - but new manager Antonio Conte has a large rebuilding job to do after the West London side struggled last season and he could be tempted to move for another midfielder.

At present, Juventus are yet to register any interest in Matuidi having already signed Miralem Pjanic from Roma.

But they are believed to admire him and view him as a potential to successor to Pogba's throne.

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