Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has not travelled to China with Jose Mourinho’s squad amid reports that a world-record offer for Juventus’ Paul Pogba has been rejected.
The 23-year-old departed Old Trafford four years ago having failed to make a single first-team start, racking up a mere seven appearances in all competitions.
Pogba subsequently flourished and has transformed into one of the world’s best midfielders, shining during a medal-laden period with Serie A champions Juventus.
Now, though, a return to United could now be on the cards and the Guardian reports a transfer package worth £100million has been turned down by the Turin giants.
The newspaper says Juventus want a basic £100million plus £8million add-ons for a player that is also attracting interest from Real Madrid, with head coach Zinedine Zidane an admirer of the midfielder.
However, United are the bookmakers’ favourites to sign Pogba and Woodward conspicuous by his absence when the team landed in Shanghai on Wednesday.
The executive vice-chairman did not travel to China for United’s week-long pre-season tour as work continues to add to the summer arrivals of Eric Bailly, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Henrikh Mkhitaryan.
The latter pair are both clients of Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola and reports in Italy suggest the player has told Juventus he wants to leave, having last week publicly stated his happiness at the club.
It is understood Woodward could head to China for the second friendly against Manchester City in Beijing next Monday, but he did not travel for United’s clash against Borussia Dortmund in Shanghai on Friday.