Manchester United have been warned they must meet Federico Valverde’s release clause to lure him from Real Madrid. The 20-year-old midfielder has emerged as a target for the Red Devils as a potential replacement for Paul Pogba. Pogba is wanted at the Bernabeu by Zinedine Zidane.
The Frenchman is expected to force a move away from Old Trafford at the end of the season after only making eight appearances this campaign.
Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola has been locked in a war of words with United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer about the World Cup winner.
Raiola recently added fuel to the fire by admitting he “would like to bring a big player to Madrid” this summer.
Pogba is about to enter the final year of his contract but United are likely to trigger a 12-month option to increase his value on the market.
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Reports in Spain suggest the Premier League giants are already looking at possible replacements, with Valverde among their top targets.
Valverde has established himself as a key player at the Bernabeu this term.
The 21-year-old has scored twice and provided four assists in 22 La Liga appearances.
Valverde is currently under contract until 2025, after signing a new deal at the end of last year, which contains a €500million (£453m) release clause.
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And, according to Diario Madridista, Real have no interest in selling the Uruguay international and have informed interested clubs including United that they will be demanding his release clause paid in full to secure his signature.
It appears highly unlikely Ed Woodward, who plays a major role in the club’s transfer business, would sanction such an excessive deal which would shatter the world transfer record.
Valverde has been tipped to become one of the world’s best midfielders by team-mate Casemiro.
Speaking to Libero Magazine last month, Casemiro said: “I said he’s going to be one of the best No 8s in the world in two years.
“I think I was wrong because he’s quickly moving up the ladder.
“He’s having an incredible season, he’s one of the most important players for us and he’s growing in every game.
“He’s doing a phenomenal job, but he’s 21, he has to go easy and we can’t put so much pressure on the kid.
“I’ve been 21 and I know what’s going on in his head, but what I like most about him is that he’s a quiet person who likes to listen.
“He’s shown with all these good games that he’s a very important player and he’s still just as calm.”
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