EXCLUSIVE | By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
Chelsea will make a last-ditch £60million bid for Paul Pogba in an attempt to sign the midfielder before the transfer window closes, Football Insider sources understand.
The Premier League champions had a £54.4million offer for Pogba rejected by Juventus last week and were informed that he is not for sale this summer.
But Chelsea have not been put off by the Serie A club’s stance and will make a fresh bid for the 22-year-old in the hope to persuade them to sell.
Football Insider understands Chelsea will offer around £60million for Pogba, which is close to Juventus’ valuation of the player.
Jose Mourinho is a big admirer of Pogba and he has been on Chelsea’s radar for over a year, with Football Insider revealing in March that they were keen on signing him this summer.
The 22-year-old former Manchester United midfielder is one of the most coveted young players in the world and is also being closely watched by Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Manchester City.
The cash-rich Spanish and English clubs can offer Pogba a bigger salary than that available in Serie A but Chelsea are unlikely to succeed in prizing the France international from Italy in the next week.
Juventus have already sold Carlos Tevez, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal in a major makeover of their first-team squad during the transfer window, and regard Pogba as essential to their defence of their Serie A crown and ability to reach the later stages of the Champions League.
The Chelsea Paul Pogba approach demonstrates the extent at which owner Roman Abramovich is willing to back Mourinho in the transfer market.
The London club completed the signings of Pedro and Baba Rahman over the last week following the team’s worst start to the season in 17 years.
Pedro joined for £21.2million from Barcelona and Rahman transferred from Augsburg in a £17million deal.
The pursuit of Pogba represents a significant statement of intent from billionaire owner Abramovich. Pogba is a long-time target of the Premier League club but it is doomed to end in failure until January at least.