The desire of Manchester United to sign Paul Pogba can be seen in the amount of money the Red Devils are committed to paying for his services – a world record 110 millions euros transfer fee plus 1m euros per month salary.
However, on Friday there was another episode to this long running saga.
Again, media were briefed that the transfer was imminent, but the status quo remained just that, with no deal closed.
There’s little doubt that the transfer will happen at this juncture, but it could be hours or even days away.
Once the finer points of the transfer are agreed, it will be announced but perhaps it’s worth noting that the 12m euros that the Frenchman will earn annually would increase if Pogba hits certain targets, thereby triggering bonus clauses in his contract.
That, and other complexities of the deal, plus United wanting to ensure value for their purchase, has to play some part in the delay.
It was even announced on Friday that the player had passed a medical in Los Angeles, but Mino Raiola, the player’s agent, poured cold water on what had been assumed by the media in Italy and in England.
“Journalists are parrots, the signing is not closed between the clubs,” he said.
“This has become a game between the Italian press and the English to see who can announce the transfer first … and to see who is worse.”
United, meanwhile, still await Pogba’s arrival.
Jose Mourinho’s side, reinforced with the signings of Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic, hope to add another trophy to their cabinet on August 7, during the Community Shield against Leicester City at Wembley.