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REAL MADRID

Real Madrid eye Pjanic as alternative to Pogba and Eriksen

AS has learned that Zidane has approved of a move for the Juventus midfielder should Real Madrid fail to secure Paul Pogba or Christian Eriksen.

Real Madrid have their eyes set on signing Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, a priority for Zinedine Zidane, and Tottenham striker Christian Eriksen.

But the club are also closely monitoring Bosnian midfielder Miralem Pjanic, who would serve as an alternative option. And according to what AS has learned, Zidane has approved of a move for the Juventus midfielder, who is also highly appraised by general director José Ángel Sánchez, should the club fail to secure Pogba or Eriksen.

Juventus willing to let Pjanic go

Juventus, who are yet to sign a new manager after the departure of Massimiliano Allegri, are understood to be willing to allow Pjanic to leave, despite the fact that he renewed his contract until 2023 just last season. Money generated from the 29-year-old’s sale would help to fund the club’s renewal plan this summer, which includes names such as Chelsea’s N’Golo Kanté and Tanguy Ndombélé of Lyon.

The Italian giants would demand a figure of between 80 to 100 million euros for Pjanic. Though Madrid would likely not offer more than 70 million euros for the central midfielder, who is also of interest to PSG and Manchester United.

Miralem Pjanic of Juventus in action against Parma.

Pjanic’s qualities

However, Juventus’ plan could change should current Chelsea boss Maurizio Sarri be named as the new manager. The Italian coach, who has been heavily linked with the job, has always veered towards players with Pjanic’s qualities and could demand that the Bosnian not be sold.

A versatile player with the ability to adapt to different systems, at Madrid Pjanic could be viewed as suitable back up for Casemiro, as well as for Toni Kroos or Luka Modric. The Bosnian international – creative, tactically astute, a precise passer (boasting a 92-percent accuracy rate) and dead ball specialist – has long been on Madrid’s radar.

Los Blancos have looked into signing him in previous summers, but this summer the move could become a reality should things not work out with Pogba or Eriksen.