Reports in Italy claim that Juventus forward Douglas Costa will be crucial in any negotiation to re-sign Manchester United star Paul Pogba.
The Brazilian has had a topsy-turvy spell in Turin since his arrival last year but he's increasingly becoming an important part of Massimiliano Allegri's plans, starting four of Juventus' last five games in Serie A since Christmas.
But Tuttosport claim that Costa could prove to be the difference in negotiations with Manchester United's Pogba, who has frequently been linked with a return to the reigning Italian champions throughout this season.
It's claimed that United submitted a €60m offer for the Brazil international which was quickly rebuffed by Juventus, with Allegri's side unwilling to consider selling the forward unless he asks to leave the club.
Tuttosport insists that even if Costa does push for a move away from the club that Juventus will set their sights on using the Brazilian as bait to lure Pogba back to Turin, rather than just cash in on the 28-year-old.
Paul Pogba is currently having the best goalscoring season of his career and has the most goal involvements as a midfielder in Europe but people still want him to “show his Juventus form”. It’s a myth. He’s exceeding that form and he’s not finished either.— The Man Utd Way (@TheManUtdWay) February 9, 2019
Manchester United fans, however, can take some comfort that Pogba's exit likely isn't on the cards and that any move away from Old Trafford won't be quite as straight forward as Tuttosport are making out.
That's because Juventus' sporting director Fabio Paratici has already admitted that it will be "very difficult" to bring Pogba back to the club, although he has refused to rule out the move altogether.
"Will Pogba will return? In football, you never know, but it is very difficult," Paratici told La Gazzetta dello Sport (via Calciomercato) earlier this week.
The World Cup-winning midfielder made 178 appearances for Juventus during a four-year spell with the club, before returning to Manchester United for a world record transfer fee of €105m in 2016.