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Zidane weighing up alternatives to Pogba: Matic, Verratti...

With the French midfielder on the cusp of returning to Manchester United, Madrid's coach must now consider other options for the holding midfielder role.


Zinedine Zidane has set about looking for alternatives to Paul Pogba, who is on the point of returning to Manchester United (for a cool 110 million euros). Verratti, Matić, Sissoko and Matuidi are just some of the options which Madrid are considering.

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The 40 million euo-rated Verratti has been linked with Real Madrid several times in the past; a player with great vision and technical apptitude whose incorporation would please Zidane. The 23-year-old has been on Madrid's agenda since Carlo Ancelotti's time at the club but Real Madrid never made a serious play for the midfielder as Florentino Pérez didn't want to create any problems with PSG chairman, Nasser Al-Khelaïfi. Also, Verratti is under contract until 2020 and Unai Emery views him as a fundamental piece in his project, regardless of the fact that the French club would not be willing to sell.

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Nemanja Matić, 27, and valued at 38 million euros has been a regular feature in Chelsea's midfield since he joined from Benfica, but the recent arrival of N'Golo Kanté could mean the Serbia international won't get the kind of playing time he would expect next term. In recent declarations to, Matić said: "I have another three years to run on my contract with Chelsea but anything can happen in football". Antonio Conte blocked the player from moving to Liverpool and sent out a hands-off message to other suitors, saying, “He's one of the best midfielders in the world and he's not for sale". Matić's qualities includes his acute tactical awareness, his vision and timing when playing long-balls up-field as well as his commitment when dropping back to defend.

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Moussa Sissoko's impressive Euro 2016 with France has placed in him the orbits of a number of Europe's top clubs - including Liverpool, Everton and Borussia Dortmund. And with Newcastle dropping down a division, the player himself is keen to move on. Newcastle would expect to rake in between 25 and 30 million for the 26-year-old, and in a hypothetical move to Real Madrid, he would act as understudy to Casemiro, Kroos and Modric.

PSG's Blaise Matuidi would cost Madrid around 30 million euros and like the others, he has also been linked with Los Blancos in past seasons. His transfer to the Bernabéu would be easier to pull of than Verratti's and now that Emery has Grzegorz Krychowiak on board, the 29-year-old Matuidi could be surplus to requirements. His performances over the past five seasons at PSG (4 goals and 6 assists last season in Ligue 1) have been enough to convince Madrid's directors and Zidane. Out of all of the midfielders which the coach has in mind,  Matuidi has the most experience in European competition, having taken part in several Champions League campaigns with PSG.


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