Transfer Talk: Zinedine Zidane's Paul Pogba pursuit strengthened by Real Madrid form

Paul Pogba in action during the pre-Season friendly against Kristiansund
Image: Paul Pogba is a transfer target for Real Madrid

Real Madrid’s dire pre-season form has strengthened Zinedine Zidane’s hand as he tries to convince the club’s board to do all they can to sign Paul Pogba, Spanish football expert Dermot Corrigan has told the Transfer Talk podcast.

Pogba has said he is ready for a "new challenge" after three years at United, while his agent Mino Raiola revealed earlier this month his client wants to leave the club.

Real slipped to their third defeat in four pre-season games with a 1-0 loss to Tottenham in the Audi Cup on Tuesday.

Their poor run has also included a 7-3 hammering by city rivals Atletico Madrid, and Corrigan says Real are in desperate need of restructuring their midfield.

"The feeling I get from around the Bernabeu now is that Zinedine Zidane would still really like to sign Pogba," Corrigan told Transfer Talk.

"He's been his number one midfield target since back in March/April time when Zinedine Zidane returned to the Bernabeu [and] he's been talking in public about how great a player Pogba is.

"The way that Madrid's pre-season has gone so far has helped Zidane's battle to get the club to pay the amount of money that they would need to get Pogba because results haven't been good, performances haven't been good.

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"The midfield especially has looked as if it needs reinforcement and Pogba is the type of player that could fit in really well.

"Maybe he is the type of player they need in midfield. If they can get him properly focused and playing at his best he could be a real addition to the team.

Zinedine Zidane has refuted suggestions that he has disrespected Gareth Bale
Image: Zinedine Zidane has overseen three defeats in four pre-season games

"Whether they are going to be able to do it or not remains to be seen, but the way things have gone over the last couple of weeks has strengthened Zidane's hand I think in the discussions over whether they should really push the boat out to get Pogba."

'Real changed their mind over Bale departure'

Gareth Bale looked set to leave Real Madrid for Chinese Super League side Jiangsu Suning until he saw the move fall through on Monday.

Corrigan told Transfer Talk Bale's reported wage packet of £1m a week in China may have made the Real hierarchy reassess the Welshman's value to the club.

"They had decided last week to let Bale go to China because they are going to have to pay him 100m euros over the next three years in salary and taxes," Corrigan said.

"With his situation with Zidane, keeping him around seemed no good, so they thought they'd let him go to China for free.

"But then those at the very highest level of the club - when they saw the Chinese deal was going to happen and when they saw the salary Bale was apparently offered - they thought if he is that valuable they could not let him go for free.

Gareth Bale has been continually linked with a move away from Real Madrid this summer.
Image: Gareth Bale has been told he can leave Real by Zidane

"Whether they thought they could squeeze some more money out of the Chinese club perhaps, or just the idea of letting him go for free when so much money was involved just didn't sit right with the people at the very highest levels at the Bernabeu.

"So they changed their minds and decided they weren't going to let him go for free which left everybody hanging and the Chinese club weren't able to come up with the fee at that stage."

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Start your day with Good Morning Transfers at 9am as our team of reporters bring you the latest news and insight. Transfer Talk then follows at midday delivering analysis of the biggest stories. Then join us at 7pm for the definitive round-up of the day's news with The Transfer Show.

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