Juventus’s big spending a sign Pogba will leave? Man United “my first family”

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A resolution to the Paul Pogba transfer saga is coming soon. It has to be, given Europe’s major leagues are all set to kick off in just under a month’s time.

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Will he remain at Juventus? Or, will he depart for any one of Manchester United, or Manchester City, or Chelsea (they’ve since landed N’Golo Kante, for less than half the price of Pogba), or Real Madrid, or Paris Saint-Germain? That’s the question that’s dominated headlines all summer, and it remains the first domino in a series of moves sure to follow the Frenchman’s decision, no matter which way he decides.

Whether their star man returns for a fifth season in Turin, or moves to arguably greener pastures, one thing is for certain: Juve have already, and are reportedly set to continue (they’re reportedly close to beating out Arsenal for the services of Gonzalo Higuain, at close to $100 million), shopping aggressively this summer. Some — hopeful Manchester United fans, no doubt — have concluded “they’re spending the Pogba money because they know he’s gone.”

Believe that if you must, but the checkbook balance sheet tells a different story: Juve spending and continuing to spend big is hardly an indication that Pogba will leave this summer. Last summer, the Bianconeri spent $137 million on transfer fees, while receiving just $70 million from outgoing players, for a net spend of $67 million — hardly child’s play in the transfer game, especially for a side that was already a four-time defending league champion.

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Two summers ago, Juve spent $30 million with just $15 million recouped in outgoing deals, for a net spend of $15 million. All of that to say, the kings of Italy hardly have to sell in order to buy. UEFA Champions League money pours into the club’s accounts year after year and the allure of playing for a five-time defending champion does the selling for them. At present, Juve’s net spent this summer stands at just $4 million ($38 million outgoing, with $34 million received). There’s money to be spent with or without the $100-million fee Pogba would command.

So, Man United fans, be hopeful because Pogba called your club “[his] first family” — it’s an institution which clearly means something to him — but don’t you dare forget failure after failure of that same club trying to sign a whole host of world-class players since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson three summers ago.