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Manchester United: £100m Galactico move on horizon; Chelsea nearly secured Pogba; defensive changes

After a number of marquee signings this summer, the club are said to be putting the initial steps into motion for a ‘mega-bucks’ move for Real Madrid and Wales sensation Gareth Bale next summer. The Manchester Evening News claim that Jose Mourinho wants to build a new Galacticos side, akin to that of Real Madrid in the early noughties, and Bale is the next part of that plan alongside this summer’s key signings, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba.

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The Welshman is likely to cost the club at least £100 million if any deal can be agreed with Real Madrid, which seems unlikely given the 27-year-old is in negotiations over a new deal with the club. However, United have proved this summer that they know how to get what they want and will certainly do their best to land the winger who they enquired about last summer and were said to be tracking when Bale was still an 18-year-old left-back at Southampton.

At such an early stage, it is hard to speculate on the likelihood of a move, but cynics suggest that it is just a ploy to boost his wage in a new contract, as has happened with Sergio Ramos and Neymar in the past.

Agent Mino Raiola has revealed that the club nearly missed out on their biggest ‘Galactico’ to date as Paul Pogba nearly signed for Jose Mourinho when the Portuguese manager was in charge at Chelsea last summer. The Mirror claim that the Frenchman rejected a move to Stamford Bridge as he felt that the move came at the wrong time in his career, and after Euro 2016 final defeat this summer, he decided on a move to Manchester.

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Given the astranomical growth enjoyed by Pogba in the last 24 months or so, you do have to wonder how Chelsea’s fortunes would have been improved by having the French colossus in their ranks. Perhaps, it could have been enough to save Mourinho’s job last term, meaning United fans could in fact never have witnessed the Portuguese maestro at their club.

United know the importance of the signing of Pogba as it has become symbolic of the club’s return to the top level of European football having struggled to get the results to match their stature and consequently have found it hard to attract the world’s best players, until this summer. Commercially it has also been a huge boost, and for Mourinho, Pogba could be the first of many in a new project.

Some of those additions could be in defence as the Daily Record claim that despite speculation to the contrary, Mourinho is preparing to offload two defenders in order to bring in Monaco right-back Fabinho and Southampton captain Jose Fonte. Every other major source has suggested that a deal for Fonte has been abandoned, but the Daily Record are usually reliable with United related rumours.

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Fabinho seems a far more likely prospect, given his past relationship with Jose Mourinho at Real Madrid and reports that Monaco would be open to negotiations for the Brazilian. With right-back a problem position for Mourinho, who is not fully confident in Antonio Valencia, Fabinho will be one of the club’s top priorities going into the final stages of the transfer window, but the deal could be reliant upon outgoings before a move can take place.

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