Juventus to move for Matic if Pogba departs

The Italian champions are holding out for €120 million for their most valuable asset and will target Chelsea's Serbian midfielder should the French international return to Old T...

GOALEXCLUSIVE

Juventus will make Nemanja Matic their primary transfer target should Paul Pogba be sold to Manchester United.

The Bianconeri want to hold on to Pogba but are willing to let the France international return to Old Trafford should the 23-year-old's former employers meet their €120 million asking price.

As it stands, the proposed deal is being held up by the fact that Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, is set to earn 20 per cent of the transfer fee.

However, the two clubs are still in negotiations over what would be a record-breaking deal and if Juve ultimately agree to allow Pogba to depart, they will immediately look to fill the void left by a player who has helped the club win four successive Serie A titles since arriving in Turin from Manchester in 2012.

The Italian champions' preferred replacement is Matic, who was a colossus during Chelsea's Premier League-winning campaign of 2014-15.

The Serbia international suffered an alarming dip in form last season - but he was not along in this regard, as the Blues put up a dismal defence of their domestic crown.

Furthermore, Juve believe that the Serb would prove an imposing addition to their squad.

The Bianconeri are also buoyed by Matic's present predicament, with the 27-year-old seemingly having fallen down the pecking order at Stamford Bridge following the summer signing of N'Golo Kante from English champions Leicester for €35.8m.

New Blues boss Antonio Conte has also stated that he is keen to keep Matic. Consequently, Juve are also considering both Axel Witsel and Moussa Sissoko as viable alternatives.

Witsel has long been linked with a move to Serie A, having previously been pursued by AC Milan, but the Zenit midfielder's €40m fee has always been seen as prohibitive.

However, in the event of Pogba's sale, it would not be an issue for Juve, who were one of a number of clubs, including Napoli, to have been taken with the Belgian's performances at Euro 2016.

As for Sissoko, he is also readily available at the right price - with the Frenchman's club, Newcastle, having been relegated from the Premier League last season.

Elsewhere, Marcelo Brozovic is of interest to Juve, whose relationship with long-time rivals Inter has improved following Hernanes' relatively amicable transfer from Milan to Turin last year.

Valencia ace Andre Gomes is still under consideration but there is an acceptance at Corso Galileo Ferraris that it would be more difficult to land the Portugal international, who is also being courted by Real Madrid.

For now, Juve's focus is on their talks with United, but moves are already being made to ensure that the Bianconeri have a quality replacement lined up should Pogba depart - particularly as they will be without the injured Claudio Marchisio for the start of their bid for a sixth successive Scudetto.