Paul Pogba could have been a Real Madrid player this season, but for the influence of Cristiano Ronaldo, according to a new report.
Pogba moved to Manchester United for a world-record £89 million last July, but Diario Gol in Spain claims Ronaldo, 31, “vetoed” his arrival at Santiago Bernabeu.
United and Madrid were believed to be in competition for Pogba’s signature. The 23-year-old spent part of his youth career at Old Trafford, before moving to Juventus in 2011 and winning four Serie A titles with the club.
Cristiano Ronaldo, left, with Paul Pogba at Stade de France, Paris, July 10, 2016. Ronaldo reportedly blocked Pogba's move to Real Madrid last summer. Dan Mullan/Getty
Ronaldo’s influence in the Spanish capital benefited his former club, with Pogba completing his transfer back to United to play under Jose Mourinho.
Diario notes that the same situation may be occurring now, with Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane keen to bring in Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Marco Verratti, but Ronaldo worried that another big name may steal his limelight.Try Newsweek: Subscription offers