(Reuters) - Former Manchester United player Paul Scholes has questioned whether the club should pay a world-record fee for Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba, saying the 23-year-old is not in the same bracket as the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.
United have been negotiating with Juventus over the transfer of Pogba, who is a top target for new manager Jose Mourinho, according to media reports in Britain.
Scholes was Pogba’s team mate when the latter was a teenager at United and feels despite his obvious talent, the France international has a long way to go before he can stake his claim as one of the world’s top players and command a record fee.
“He was a very talented young player, I played with him and I knew how good he was,” Scholes, who is playing in a futsal tournament in India, told the Times of India daily.
“I just don’t think he is worth 86 million pounds ($112.75 million). For that sort of money, you want someone who is going to score 50 goals a season like Ronaldo or Messi. Pogba is nowhere there yet.”
Scholes also praised Manchester City’s capture of Borussia Dortmund midfielder Ilkay Guendogan for a fee worth around 20 million pounds, according to British media reports.
“I think Guendogan is a really impressive player,” Scholes said. “I’ve seen a lot of him at Borussia Dortmund.”
“If he can stay fit, I think he can be a fantastic player. I also think he is great value for the money Manchester City paid for him. I think he is a bargain.”
($1 = 0.7628 pounds)
Reporting by Simon Jennings in Bengaluru; editing by Sudipto Ganguly