Manchester City had offered Paul Pogba the chance to swap red for blue in the summer transfer window but the Manchester United star sees his future elsewhere, with his contract set to expire in June
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The 29-year-old has reportedly rejected an offer from Pep Guardiola and co to ditch the Red Devils and become a Citizen, with his contract at Old Trafford set to expire in seven weeks’ time. The decision narrows down Pogba’s options, having snubbed the chance to extend his six-year stay at United by signing a lucrative new deal which was recently put on the table.
Despite being a staple of the rumor mill in recent seasons, the France international could find himself in a tricky position come the summer transfer window thanks to his eye-watering wage demands and injury-ridden past few campaigns. The midfielder has been ruled out for the remainder of the term with a calf issue, giving him the opportunity to think deeply about his next move under new representation after the tragic passing agent Mino Raiola.
With that mind, Mirror Football looks at Pogba’s five remaining options this summer.
Paris Saint Germain
Starting in his home nation, cash-rich PSG are the favorites to earn Pogba’s signature in a transfer that would more than suit their star-name-driven recruitment model. Having poached Lionel MessiSergio Ramos, Georginio Wijnaldum and Gianluigi Donnarumma on free transfers last summer, Pogba would be a logical addition to add some sparkle into their workmanlike midfield.
Reports emerged last month claiming that the man himself had met with PSG’s sporting director, Leonardo, to discuss a move to the Parc des Princes amid suggestions that Pogba also spoke to Nasser Al-Khelaifi ahead of last summer’s European Championships. More than capable of bossing Ligue 1 on a weekly basis, PSG would guarantee him both silverware and the kind of salary he demands, and potentially the opportunity to work under childhood hero Zinedine Zidane.
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How about a homecoming of a different kind? Pogba has already gone back to a former club once when he re-signed for the Red Devils in 2016, and since then there’ve been constant whispers about a return to Turin. Spending four years in Italy upon first leaving United, the mercurial talent made himself one of the world’s best midfielders under Antonio Conte and Massimiliano Allegri.
The latter is now back at the Allianz Stadium, although their makeup of Juventus ‘squad has changed significantly in the six years since his emotional departure. Always speaking fondly of his old stomping ground, the question would fall more into the financial department, with the Bianconeri not boasting the kind of wealth PSG do.
A club who don’t like to be second best in any category, real Madrid were the Red Devils’ closest competitors back in 2016 but conceded defeat when United shelled out £89million on Pogba, then a world-record fee. Los Blancos have kept their eye on him since, though, with former manager Zidane often the link.
However, Carlo Ancelotti is now in charge, a gaffer proven to possess the power required to get the best out of the biggest egos on the planet. Bidding almost £200million for Kylian Mbappe last summer, it seems landing Pogba is certainly possible should they so desire. Given that Toni Kroos and Luka Modric, still world-class operators, are aging out, the Champions League finalists need to refresh their midfield to stay on top in Spain.
With Mbappe expected to be in Madrid by pre-season and Edouardo Camavinga excelling after slow start to life in LaLiga, the more experienced Pogba could be the ideal figure to guide the two young Frenchmen to glory at the newly-renovated Santiago Bernabeu.
Speaking of LaLiga, the division’s other giant is slowing awakening from its slumber. Barcelona are on the rise under Xavi Hernandez, and while Bayern Munich marksman Robert Lewandowski appears to be their number one transfer target in 2022, Pogba has been linked with a switch to the Camp Nou.
Thanks to a loan from Goldman Sachs worth over £400million and a new sponsorship deal with Spotify, Blaugrana president Joan Laporta has declared that Barca are back when it comes to throwing their weight around the transfer market. With Frenkie de Jong rumored to be on the chopping block, a new playmaker in Pogba would fit the mould.
Have your say! Which club should Pogba join? Give us your choice in the comments section.
While all the signs point towards Pogba indeed waving goodbye to Old Trafford for the second time in his rollercoaster career come June 30, there is a slim chance that he could stick around. The Red Devils haven’t confirmed that their No.6 will soon be packing his bags, nor has interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
With incoming boss Erik ten Hag set to hold talks over Zoom with every United player prior to his arrival, there remains the possibility – however unlikely – that his story in Manchester isn’t at end.
Mind you, he’ll need adding back to the WhatsApp group.