Juventus interested in signing Paul Pogba from Manchester United

Paul Pogba celebrates after giving Manchester United a 1-0 lead
Image: Paul Pogba has two years left on his current Manchester United contract

Juventus are interested in signing Paul Pogba back from Manchester United, according to Sky in Italy.

The Italian champions have made contact with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola over a potential summer move for the France international.

Sky in Italy understand that Manchester United have been informed of Juventus' interest.

After four years at Juventus Pogba returned to United
Image: Pogba spent four seasons with Juventus before rejoining Manchester United in 2016

Pogba first joined Juve on a free transfer in 2012 after struggling to secure regular first-team football at Old Trafford.

The midfielder enjoyed four successful seasons in Turin before rejoining United in 2016 for a then world-record fee of £89m.

Paul Pogba during Manchester United's 1-1 draw with Chelsea 1:04
Patrice Evra tells Sky Sports' Gary Neville he expects Pogba to leave Manchester United, as players need to 'feel the love'

Pogba has experienced mixed fortunes during his second spell in Manchester, scoring 31 goals in 135 games since returning to the club.

The 2018 World Cup winner still has two years remaining on his current deal at United, with the club holding an option to trigger a further 12-month extension to his contract.

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Real Madrid have also been linked with Pogba and the midfielder fuelled speculation he could move to the Bernabeu this summer after describing the club as "a dream for anyone" in April.

Juventus, meanwhile, are still without a manager following Massimiliano Allegri's departure at the end of the season.

Chelsea head coach Maurizio Sarri is the favourite to replace Allegri at the Allianz Stadium, according to Sky in Italy.

The Stats

Analysis by Sky Sports' Adam Smith:

Despite being widely criticised for inconsistent performances during the three years since he returned to Old Trafford, the 26-year-old was involved in a career-high 22 league goals this season.

GOAL INVOLVEMENT

Pogba scored 13 goals in the Premier League - albeit seven from the penalty spot - and assisted another nine, amounting to a joint-career high 0.7 goal involvements per 90 minutes - having achieved the same ratio in 2017/18.

Again, contrary to the criticism, Pogba reigns supreme across every key attacking measure at the club: goals, shots, penalties scored, assists, chances created - in addition to completing more passes than any other player.

In fact, Pogba surpassed all midfielders in the Premier League for goals, shots and assists in open play, while ranking third for passes attempted and touches - suggesting his distribution and involvement was equally influential.

POGBA

The Frenchman's scoring rate was boosted from converting seven penalties this term, with his synonymous long, standing run-up being widely scrutinised - but five of his six goals from open play came from inside the box.

However, the graphic below reveals his league-topping shot count for a midfielder primarily stems from taking shots from range - an unwavering trait, despite only netting three of his 156 attempts in the Premier League over three years.

GRAPHIC
Image: The majority of Paul Pogba's attempts are from outside the box

The France international also provided more midfield muscle than any of his counterparts with 493 duels - nearly double the total attempted by second-ranked Luke Shaw.

According to the Power Rankings, Pogba has produced fairly sporadic form over the past two seasons. However, a large proportion of dips were against 'big six' rivals - lending credence to the claim he underperforms in big games.

graphic
Image: The spike after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's appointment in December was remarkable, recording his best form in two years during back-to-back games against Huddersfield and Bournemouth

But United, as a team, have also underperformed as a whole against their main rivals, ranking bottom among the 'big six' clubs in head-to-head league meetings this season, inferior to Tottenham on goal difference

'Big six' head to head, PL, 2018/19

Team Wins Draws Losses Points
Man City 8 1 1 25
Liverpool 5 4 1 19
Arsenal 3 3 4 12
Chelsea 3 3 4 12
Tottenham 2 1 7 7
Man Utd 1 4 5 7

Where would Pogba fit in Italy or Spain?

Juventus will start a new era this summer after Massimiliano Allegri stood down as manager after five years at the club, with former Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey being the blockbuster signing to date.

In fact, the Wales international is the only Juventus player to rival Pogba in the stats, while only Miralem Pjanic completed more passes per 90 minutes this season, typically from a deeper position.

GRAPHIC

Zinedine Zidane returned as Real Madrid boss in March after the club sacked Santiago Solari, but only guided his side to third-place finish in La Liga - some 19 points adrift of champions Barcelona.

But Zidane is reportedly keen, and confident, of prising Pogba and Chelsea forward Eden Hazard to the Bernabeu this summer, and the stats suggest he needs to reinvigorate a stale midfield.

Pogba surpasses the current crop of midfielder in Madrid for goals and assists, while his average number of passes rivals Luca Modric and Isco - despite playing in a team that typically achieves a lower proportion of possession.

GRAPHIC

WATCH: Pogba at his best...

We take a look at Pogba's best moments in a Manchester United shirt from the Premier League amid speculation he could be leaving Old Trafford.

Pogba Transfer Target 1:42
We take a look at Paul Pogba's best moments in a Manchester United shirt from the Premier League amid speculation he could be leaving Old Trafford

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