Juventus 'fond of' Pogba as they continue to flirt with Man Utd midfielder

The former Red Devils striker says too much is being read into the World Cup-winning midfielder airing his admiration for a leading side in Spain

Juventus continue to keep rumours regarding a possible return to the club for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba ticking over, with sporting director Fabio Paratici admitting to being “fond of” the Frenchman.

The Bianconeri saw a popular figure head for the exits in Turin during the summer of 2016 as a record-breaking £89 million ($114m) transfer package was put in place.

That deal took Pogba back to England for a second spell at Old Trafford, but the World Cup winner has not enjoyed the easiest of times in the Premier League and is considered to be mulling over another retracing of his steps.

Juventus have stopped short of expressing an interest in re-signing the 25-year-old, but have done little to curb the speculation either by ensuring that the door at the Allianz Stadium remains open.

Paratici is the latest to have been quizzed on Pogba, with Sky Sport Italia told: “A return? We have already discussed this many times. He's a great player we've had before and are fond of, but now he plays for Manchester United.”

While refusing to rule a move in or out, with Pogba tied to a lucrative contract at a European rival, Juve are starting to piece together recruitment plans.

Goal revealed recently that Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic is among those on their radar, but he is one of several options being considered.

The reigning Serie A champions are aware of the need to continuously freshen up their ranks, with the club’s board working hard to identify suitable targets.

Paratici added: “We are the exploring the market, the president and Pavel Nedved, with the help of the coach [Massimiliano] Allegri.

“To improve the team we are always careful. We still have great players and we enjoy them. It will not be easy to always have so many strong ones.”

Juve, who added five-time Ballon d’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to their ranks over the summer, have already opened up an eight-point lead at the top of the Serie A table this season after going unbeaten through 14 games.