Juventus may use the money saved by reducing Paul Pogba’s salary to bankroll a 2024 move for Arsenal midfielder Thomas Partey, according to reports.
Pogba, a former Manchester United midfielder, came to Turin for a second time last summer after his Red Devils contract ended, but his terrible return to the Bianconeri appears to be coming to an end.
Pogba tested positive for non-endogenous testosterone during a random drugs test after August’s opening Serie A triumph over Bologna, following an injury-plagued 2022-23 season in which he played just 10 games.
The French World Cup winner was suspended indefinitely pending a counter-analysis, which showed abnormally high levels of the hormone, and he now faces a possible four-year suspension.
Pogba’s punishment has not yet been established, and his contract with Juventus is set to expire in the summer of 2026, although the Bianconeri are largely expected to terminate his contract in the aftermath of the controversy.
Pogba is thought to have agreed to an annual salary of €8 million (£6.9 million) when he returned to Juventus last summer, but news of his positive B sample has reduced his earnings to €2k (£1.7k) per month.
With Nicolo Fagioli also serving a seven-month ban for illegal betting, Juventus are set to look for a midfielder in January and have been heavily linked with a move for Partey.
According to The Mirror, the Bianconeri intend to spend the money saved from Pogba’s massive wage cut on Partey, who is said to be unhappy with his playing time under Mikel Arteta.
Last season, he put his injury issues aside to forge a solid midfield partnership with Granit Xhaka, enabling the Gunners finish second in the Premier League after 248 days at the top.
Xhaka has now left for Bayer Leverkusen, but the additions of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz have boosted competition in the engine room, while Partey’s fitness issues have returned.
The former Atletico Madrid man has only appeared five times this season and has not started a Premier League game since August 26 due to a groin injury incurred before the first international break of the new season.
Partey was able to play 15 minutes in his team’s 1-0 win against Manchester City on October 8, but he suffered a new muscular ailment before last week’s Champions League triumph over Sevilla and will be out for several weeks.
The 30-year-old’s contract with Arsenal expires in June 2025, but according to a separate report from Tuttojuve, he is looking for a way out, with Juventus exploring a loan deal for the midfielder in January.
Arsenal would apparently demand €30 million (£26.1 million) to allow Partey depart permanently, an amount that Massimiliano Allegri’s side has no intention of paying, but they might try to negotiate a buy-back option for the summer of 2024.
Partey has five goals and four assists in 104 appearances for Arsenal, who vetoed his departure in the summer amid allegations of interest from Juve and Saudi clubs.