EXCLUSIVE | By Chelsea correspondent Tony Hughes
Chelsea have registered their interest in signing Paul Pogba as they prepare a package to entice one of the most coveted midfielders in world football.
Football Insider sources have learned that the Premier League club have made contact with Pogba’s camp and are expected to meet with the player’s agent Mino Raiola.
Chelsea have held a long-standing interest in the £60million-rated Juventus midfield kingpin and attempted to land him last year.
They have made a fresh move in what is expected to be one of the most competitive transfer battles of the summer window, with Real Madrid, Barcelona, PSG and his former club Manchester United all closely monitoring his situation.
Football Insider revealed last Saturday that Barca, who are banned from buying players until 2016, are willing to discuss a deal in which they sign Pogba on a pre-contract and loan him back to Juventus next January, when he would be able to formally join the Catalan club.
The 22-year-old has been a key player for Juventus this season, in which they are 14 points clear at the top of Serie A, in the semi-finals of the Coppa Italia and through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League.
He is currently out with a hamstring injury that Juve have said will sideline him until May but he is tipped for a big-money summer transfer even though he signed a new contract with the Italian giants last year that runs until 2019.
Juventus general manager Giuseppe Marotta said this week that the club won’t be able to keep Pogba if he decides to leave Turin this summer.
“Pogba is the protagonist of his own destiny and if he decides to leave then we can’t stop him,” the Bianconeri chief told Corriere della Sera.
“Pogba has not indicated a willingness to leave, though. The problem will come when the player is offered a contract that is two or three times what he already earns. We’re talking in the tens of millions per year.”