By Romeo Agresti
Manchester United starlet Paul Pogba has decided to join Juventus on a free transfer this summer, Goal.com understands.
The France Under-19 international's current deal with the Premier League outfit expires at the end of the season but Red Devils boss Sir Alex Ferguson claimed last month that an agreement had been reached with the player's agent, Mino Raiola, over an extension.
However, Goal.com has learned that Pogba has now accepted a four-year contract offer from Juve worth an estimated €1 million per season, plus bonuses.
The Bianconeri had been growing increasingly impatient with the midfielder's reluctance to make a decision over his future and even issued him an April 30 deadline in order to bring the matter to a head. It seems that tactic has worked - albeit belatedly - and that the Old Lady has finally got her man.
Raiola's influence is said to have been key as the man who used to represent current Juventus director Pavel Nedved has excellent relations with the Bianconeri, having also persuaded Ajax youngster Ouasim Bouy to move to Turin during the January transfer window.
Pogba's imminent arrival at Juventus Stadium is likely to coincide with the departure of Luca Marrone, who will be sent out on loan for a season in order to secure the highly-rated midfielder more experience and game time.
Cagliari appears to be the most likely destination for Marrone, but Atalanta are also said to be keen, while a return to Siena cannot be discounted in light of the 22-year-old's impressive season-long stay at the Artemio Franchi last season.
In addition, Juventus are also hoping to complete the signing of Marco Verratti in the coming weeks. The deal has been mooted for some time now, with the Bianconeri having reportedly agreed to pay Pescara €3.5m for a 50 per cent stake in a player being described by some in the game as 'the new Andrea Pirlo'.
The deal has yet to be finalised, yet despite the alleged interest of Inter the 19-year-old has his heart set on joining the newly-crowned Italian champions.
Once the transfer goes through, Juve will then consider whether to allow Verratti to stay at Pescara for another season, given Zdenak Zeman's side are currently top of Serie B and pushing for promotion to the Italian top flight.
In that instance, the plan then would then be to bring Verratti to Turin the following year to team up with Marrone in the engine room of a Juve side being spearheaded by Pogba.