The Bianconeri are bracing themselves for the departure of midfield talisman Paul Pogba and have drawn up a shorlist of replacements which includes Chelsea star Nemanja Matic. 

 

The transfer of 23-year-old French midfielder Paul Pogba from Juventus to Manchester United appears to be moving closer with each passing day. The Red Devils lost Pogba on a free transfer four years ago, but are now ready to cough up a world record transfer fee believed to be around €120 million to get him back. After an initial reluctance to sell, I Bianconeri are now seriously considering the sale of their coveted midfielder in light of the persistence shown by Man United as well as Pogba’s wish to take on a new challenge.

Juventus are now preparing for the eventuality of Pogba’s departure and have drawn up a list of players that they will target to replace him, according to the Daily Mail. The list includes two targets playing in England — Moussa Sissoko of Newcastle United and Nemanja Matic of Chelsea — along with Marcelo Brozovic from Serie A rivals Inter Milan and Axel Witzel of Zenit St Petersburg. Portuguese midfielder Andre Gomes was also on the list, but the Valencia star has signed for La Liga giants Barcelona.

Newcastle United's French midfielder Moussa Sissoko (L) vies with Chelsea's Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge in west London on February 8, 2014. Chelsea won 3-0. AFP PHOTO / IAN KINGTON RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or live services. Online in-match use limited to 45 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. (Photo credit should read IAN KINGTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Newcastle United’s French midfielder Moussa Sissoko (L) vies with Chelsea’s Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic during the English Premier League football match between Chelsea and Newcastle United at Stamford Bridge in west London on February 8, 2014. Chelsea won 3-0.  (Photo Credit: Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images)

Juventus have long been interested in Chelsea’s 27-year-old Serbian midfielder Nemanja Matic. However, the Blues are refusing to let him move until they have sufficiently strengthened their midfield. The signing of N’golo Kante may hasten his departure, but as of now, neither Matic nor Antonio Conte have given any suggestion that a move could be in the offing.

The most likely transfer is that of Moussa Sissoko. The Frenchman was brilliant at the Euros and looked a completely different player to the one who struggled for the Toons this past season. Newcastle United do not have much to tempt him to stay after being relegated under new manager Rafael Benitez, and Juventus could snap up the midfielder for the right price.

Another viable option is Belgian midfielder Axel Witsel, who has expressed a desire to move to a more competitive league and is rumoured to be on the wishlist of Napoli and Chelsea. Inter Milan would be loathe to lose Brozovic to their Serie A rivals though and a deal for the Croatian would be extremely difficult to successfully negotiate.

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