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Florentino-Raiola dispute killed Pogba's move to Real Madrid

Paul Pogba, con Francia.

FRANCK FIFE

AFP

Zidane personally asked for Paul Pogba to be signed by the Spanish giants in the summer of 2016, but he ended up going to Manchester United.

Zidane back coaching at Real Madrid and it didn't take long for a statement from Pogba to appear. The French player was on the point of a move to the Bernabéu before and it's well known at the moment that Real Madrid needs a profound squad refresh. Pogba, with the France squad for the the international break, didn't hesitate to make his feelings known: "Real Madrid is a dream for anyone, and with Zidane as the coach..." With that the Manchester  United player has likely opened the door to a move, one which was close to happening before.

Pogba close to Real Madrid in 2016

Pogba y Mbappé, objetivos del Real Madrid.

It was the summer of 2016. Zinedine Zidane had just won his first Champions League as coach of Real Madrid having taken over from Rafa Benitez. He felt empowered to ask club president Florentino Pérez for a player he really wanted and focused his efforts on convincing him to sign Pogba. Juventus had decided to sell him and he was exactly the player Zidane wanted. A box to box to midfielder with both skills and strength to back up the BBC. It was a long summer. Pogba hid out in Miami while the negotiations continued back in Europe, though he was clear that he wanted to wear the white of Madrid and play under Zidane.

Pérez - Raiola relationship prevented move

But there was a problem. The poor relationship between Florentino Pérez and Pogba's agent Mino Raiola - bad blood between the pair that goes way back. And that would prove to be the road block that put an end to Pogba's potential move to the Spanish capital.

"In my opinion, Manchester United is stronger with Pogba, Real Madrid wouldn't be" said Raiola that summer, after United ending up paying 120 million euros to Juventus for the player. "Zidane wanted him, there were another five or six teams interested. Zizou was a great player and Real Madrid is a massive club, but, in my opinion, Manchester United is stronger with him", said the agent.

Months later, the Football Leaks papers revealed that Raiola had picked up a 49 million euro commission overall for the deal to move Pogba to United from Juventus.