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Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, the club’s record signing at 89 million pounds and previously the world’s most expensive player, wants to leave Old Trafford next summer, according to his agent, Mino Raiola. He stated that his client is unhappy and needs a change of scenery.
Pogba hasn’t lived up to his expectations since his return to United in 2016, all too often when it matters most and has spent most of the past 18 months injured or not in top form for the game. He obviously has the talent to be one of the best in the world, but it just hasn’t happened.
But whether there is a market for him is another matter entirely.
United risks losing the player as a free agent in the summer of 2022 if he doesn’t sell, and his value will only fall as the end of his contract nears.
The problem they will face is that the biggest clubs in Europe either can’t afford it, don’t need it, or are going through a transition phase of their own and can’t guarantee the success or the silver that United hasn’t delivered … or a combination of all three.
Here’s a rundown of the top seven clubs Pogba could join, and an assessment of how likely each one …
This really has to be a non-starter because Pogba isn’t the type of player to sign Bayern Munich.
Reigning European champions are no strangers to spending money, but their biggest investments in recent years have been in younger players they can develop long-term, such as Lucas Hernández, Benjamin Pavard and Leroy Sane.
The oldest and most established players, which is the group that the 27-year-old Pogba now falls into, who have signed in recent seasons have been loan deals: James Rodríguez, Philippe Coutinho, Ivan Perisic and Douglas Costa, for example.
That situation may be suitable for Pogba, but definitely not for United, who will lose him in a free transfer in 2022 if he passes the 2021/22 season on loan.
Transfer probability: 1/10
Barcelona were strongly linked to Pogba in the summer of 2018 when the player appeared to be at the height of his discord with former United manager José Mourinho. At one point, even a report in Italy claimed that he had reached a five-year agreement with the Catalans.
Despite concerns about whether he is the right type of player for Barcelona and his style, this is surely not a fan.
Barça’s already precarious finances have been badly affected by the coronavirus pandemic, forcing another large pay cut in recent weeks. There wasn’t even enough cash flow in the summer to spend on much-needed center back Eric Garcia, or securing Ronald Koeman’s primary target, Memphis Depay.
Presidential candidate Víctor Font recently described the financial situation at the Camp Nou as ‘critical’, highlighting 400 million euros of debt and warning that no one running in the January elections who promises to make big signings in the near future can be taken really.
Transfer probability: 2/10
Inter have become the club that has received a series of rejections from elsewhere in recent months, notably eliminating players deemed to be in excess of the requirements of Premier League teams.
There have been success stories like Romelu Lukaku, but also failures like Christian Eriksen. Alexis Sánchez has been much better for Inter than for United, while Ashley Young also continues to play fairly regularly for the Nerazzurri a year after his transfer.
Relations between Inter and United are clearly good for three high-profile transfers to occur in the past 18 months, but the budget will make a deal with Pogba more difficult to strike.
Although Antonio Conte would likely seize the opportunity, Inter could find it difficult to pay Pogba’s salary and would have to remove deadwood in order to afford an approach.
That could always be possible if Lautaro Martínez is to go ahead in 2021, but there has to be a suitable buyer for the Argentine and that is also not clear in the current circumstances.
Transfer probability: 3/10
Raiola hasn’t had the best relationship with AC Milan in recent years, especially when it comes to hometown goalkeeper superstar Gianluigi Donnarumma. But he was on good enough terms to work out a deal to bring veteran forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic back there last January.
Ibrahimovic’s presence at the San Siro would be an advantage for Pogba, having enjoyed playing alongside him during their brief time together in Manchester.
Milan are also on the rise, looking to end a decade-long wait for Serie A glory and finally return from years in the wild.
The reality when it comes to Pogba is that central midfield is not a priority for the Rossoneri. Your budget is unlikely to cover anything more than a disposal fee, while the most pressing business matter for the next few months is resolving Donnarumma’s contract with Raiola.
Transfer probability: 3/10
Pogba made a name for himself at Juventus after leaving Manchester for the first time in 2012, but the grass may not be greener in Turin if he’s seriously thinking about returning to his old club.
The cracks are showing at Juve. Andrea Pirlo was once Pogba’s teammate, but the rookie coach is struggling to get results and has far less managerial experience than even Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Pirlo’s Juve team remain undefeated in Serie A, but have drawn half of their matches so far, are fourth in the table and are already six points behind starting leader Milan.
Juve have also not won the Champions League since 1996 and have been regressing in top European competition since reaching the second of two finals in three years in 2017.
Then there are finances. It has been widely rumored that Juve wants to sell Cristiano Ronaldo because his salary is too much of a burden, while the club has been constantly trying to unload Paulo Dybala to anyone who will listen in recent seasons. Spending at Pogba doesn’t add up.
Transfer probability: 4/10
Real Madrid is a ‘dream’ for both Pogba and Raiola.
Pogba has said more than once that his ambition is to play for Real Madrid at some point in his career, while Raiola wants to negotiate a permanent transfer for one of his clients, having previously only arranged a loan for substitute goalkeeper Alphonse. . Areola.
Aside from the appeal of the club as a whole, the presence of French icon Zinedine Zidane is believed to be a huge draw for Pogba. But the reality of the situation now is that Zidane is under increasing pressure at the Bernabéu after a poor start to 2020/21.
The Whites are in a transitional phase, with the team that won four Champions League titles in five years gradually aging and separating. But the younger talents on board have yet to step up.
Real have also been badly burned by their latest marquee signing, but the fruits of a € 100m investment in Eden Hazard, now fast approaching 30, are yet to be seen.
If Kylian Mbappé is available next summer, Real will not be able to afford both and the sensible money is in prioritizing the youngster.
Transfer probability: 5/10
By the process of elimination, Paris Saint-Germain could be the only suitable club for Pogba among the European elite. However, even that is not a clear path.
There are a number of advantages. It would represent a homecoming in Paris, the guarantee of at least national silverware, and joining a club that is determined to finally get over the line in the Champions League after reaching the final for the first time in 2020.
Pogba could even lean on himself to make a difference and become a PSG legend. But there is a possibility that he will not even be the top transfer priority for the club next summer when there is a chance to sign Lionel Messi, who is expected to leave Barcelona.
Even PSG does not have the resources to sign Messi without a financial commitment and has been inclined to ditch Mbappé and Ángel Di María to make it possible, which would likely mean additional agitation to make room for Pogba on the Parque de Parque’s salary bill. the princes.
Time in a limited window then becomes a factor, while there is a risk that too many interruptions will occur and player turnover will have a negative impact.
Transfer probability: 6/10