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REAL MADRID

Pogba: Real Madrid poised to step up pursuit of midfielder

Real Madrid's derby humiliation has made the signing of Paul Pogba a matter of urgency, while United are close to bringing in replacements.

Pogba: Real Madrid set to step up pursuit of Man United midfielder
Thananuwat Srirasant Getty Images

The fall-out from Real Madrid's 7-3 thrashing by Atlético Madrid has demonstrated beyond any doubt that, when it comes to the derbi madrileño, there is simply no such thing as a friendly. The defeat at the MetLife Arena, which at some points in the game threatened to be even heavier than it was, has set the alarm bells ringing among the Madrid fans and the members of the Bernabéu board. Judging by Zinedine Zidane and Sergio Ramos' post-match remarks in New Jersey, though, that doesn't seem to be the case within the dressing room.

Pogba signing has become a matter of urgency

As the Madrid hierarchy consider how to help resolve the difficulties being experienced by a team which, with the season proper not even underway, is already surrounded by question marks, the recruitment of Paul Pogba has now taken on a greater degree of urgency. The midfielder is the one signing that Zidane has expressly asked club president Florentino Pérez to make and, given the way that things have gone so far in pre-season, the midfielder's addition to the LaLiga giants' squad has begun to look like something of a crucial measure.

Real Madrid chiefs accept that the signing of Pogba will be difficult to get over the line - not least because of Manchester United's high asking price - and the club's plan has been to approach the deal with a degree of patience, following a similar wait-until-the-end-of-August strategy to that which, in recent years, has led to the captures of major targets such as Luka Modric and Gareth Bale. However, Los Blancos' first push for the player's signature may well come in the opening days of the month.

Real Madrid increasingly confident of signing Pogba

At Madrid, two separate developments have boosted their confidence that they'll get their man. Firstly, the fact that Pogba's brother, Mathias, has signed for Spanish club CD Manchego and will be living near to Madrid and, secondly, that United look well-placed to snap up midfield reinforcements ahead of the close of the Premier League transfer window on 8 August, in the shape of Sergej Milinkovic-Savic and Bruno Fernandes. Two new signings that would leave the Red Devils needing to bring in revenue to offset the outlay, and with an excess of midfielders on their books.

That could be Madrid's signal to go after Pogba with everything they've got...