Arsene Wenger believes Paul Pogba’s proposed £100million (€118m) move to Manchester United represents the “complete madness” of the modern transfer market.
France midfielder Pogba is reportedly set to join United for a nine-figure sum and Arsenal manager Wenger, who is currently in Los Angeles with the Gunners ahead of a pre-season friendly meeting with Chivas, suggested he would not pay over the odds for any player.
Quoted in Tuttosport, he said: “It’s complete madness when measured against real life, but we live in a world in which everything that happens is geared towards moving money around.
“It’s complete madness but it seems that if you can afford to do it, you can justify it. Football has become a global competition and that is why clubs are chucking these kinds of sums around.
“Does it make sense because the player can deliver a return on that investment? I don’t think anyone can make that call.
“Since I’ve been in the game I’ve always thought there would be a limit to how much clubs could spend on a player but it looks like I’ve been proved wrong.
“Maybe in a few years’ time we’ll be talking about fees of 200 or 300million...”
Meanwhile England striker Marcus Rashford expects to learn a lot from Zlatan Ibrahimovic even if the Swede’s arrival at Manchester United might limit his first-team opportunities.
Rashford burst onto the scene last season, with the 18-year-old emerging from the youth ranks to earn a place in the first XI and an unexpected trip to Euro 2016.
But new United boss Jose Mourinho has strengthened his hand with the signing of Ibrahimovic, who scored with a bicycle kick four minutes into his first appearance against Galatasaray on Saturday, leaving Rashford to scrap for game time.
Time will tell how that works out, and the teenager believes simply sharing a dressing room with someone of Ibrahimovic’s stature will help him advance.
“We can definitely all learn from him while he is here, so we all need to take that chance,” Rashford told MUTV.
“It’s a massive help to be with him every day and it’s great to see what he is like on and off the pitch. There is a lot to learn from him and hopefully I can bring some of his game into mine.”
Rashford’s rise might have come at a dizzying pace earlier this year, but he is happy to slow things down again as he looks to establish himself in the Old Trafford set-up.
“I’m preparing for the new season now,” he said. “There’s no need to rush into anything - I’m taking my time, taking it steady.”
Mourinho has spoken of his concern at United’s readiness for the new season, due to the number of players given extended breaks following Euro 2016 and the unsatisfactory nature of their tour to China, where a match against Manchester City was cancelled due to poor conditions.
But Rashford is looking ahead with excitement after a full-strength United side — in terms of personnel if not fitness — came from 2-1 down to see off their Turkish opponents.
“It’s really important to get that first win together as a group, it’s great for us in the build-up to the season,” Rashford said.
“The manager wasn’t concerned (about being 2-1 behind at half-time) and just told us to push and close the space, something we did really well in the second half.
“There’s a lot of optimism, as that is only our second pre-season game as a full squad — it was the first game for some players. It is very exciting for both fans and players.”
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