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Paul Pogba to Real Madrid transfer twist as Ed Woodward opens Man Utd contract talks | Football | Sport

Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has opened talks with Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola over a new long-term contract, according to reports in Spain.

Pogba expressed his desire for a new challenge in the summer, three years after returning to Old Trafford.

United did not want to lose their talisman, though, valuing him at £150million.

Real Madrid baulked at the price and tried to sell Gareth Bale and James Rodriguez to finance a transfer but were unsuccessful.

They are planning to make another move for the midfielder next summer but United have other ideas.

According to AS, Woodward has opened talks with Raiola over a new deal for his superstar client.

Pogba’s contract at United runs until June 2021 but the club want him to sign a fresh new deal to end Real’s interest.

United have a clause which allows them to trigger a one-year extension in the Frenchman’s deal but they would prefer him to commit his long-term future to the club.

The report also states Old Trafford chiefs are willing to offer Pogba a “substantial pay rise” on his current £290,000-a-week wage.

Pogba was United’s top performer last season, topping the team’s goals and assists charts.

He was also the club’s sole representative in the PFA Team of the Year and remains a popular figure among team-mates despite criticisms of his attitude by pundits and ex-United players.

He was excited by a move to the Bernabeu and in March said it was a “dream” for any player to be coached by Zinedine Zidane at Real, but has gone about his business professionally as it became clear he would be staying at United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer likes the 25-year-old, who he coached in the United reserves, and wants to build his team around the bustling midfielder.

If Pogba extends his Old Trafford stay Real are expected to move for Christian Eriksen.

The Tottenham playmaker is running down the final year of his deal and can sign a pre-contract agreement with European clubs in the January transfer window.

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