There isn’t much doubting Paul Pogba’s ability but his time at Old Trafford looks to be up with his six-year contract set to expire this summer. Whilst there is still a chance the Frenchman could sign a new deal at Manchester United, it looks more likely that he’ll be plying his trade elsewhere come the new season.
His second stint with the Red Devils has brought limited success, with only the League Cup and Europa League added to his trophy cabinet. In a recent interview with Le Figaro, Pogba said “You have to be honest, the last five seasons have not satisfied me – really not at all.”.
Pogba, who will be 29 when his contract expires, could still give a top side at least five years of good service, but which club will benefit from his talent? Let’s take a look at the dream, realistic and wildcard options for the France international this summer.
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Pogba has played domestically in Italy and England, as well as spending much of his early years in the French youth system, but the midfielder has yet to test himself in Spain. A move to Real Madrid to become the latest ‘Galatico’ could be a huge lure to the mercurial playmaker.
Real Madrid are in a period of transition, especially in their midfield, with Luka Modric and Isco both out of contract this summer. Carlo Ancelotti could fancy bringing Pogba to the Spanish capital to bolster his midfield options as well as provide a guiding hand for Eduardo Camavinga, the highly-rated French youngster who moved to Real last summer.
The glamour and prestige of playing for Los Blancos would certainly fit with the image Pogba has carved for himself but with Real Madrid’s midfield already ageing, would bringing a player who turns 30 next year be the best move for both parties?
The most likely destination for Pogba looks to be PSG. They will certainly have enough money to tempt Pogba into signing a lengthy contract and Pogba is likely to be keen to return to his home country having left for England in 2009.
The lure of the Champions League would also be a draw for Pogba, who has yet to win the competition. The same can be said of PSG and a union between the two could end the barren spell for both parties. Domestic success is also a big draw with PSG the leading light of French football.
There is no denying that there is plenty of star power in the PSG front line, and their defensive stability looks good with Presnel Kimpembe and Marquinhos marshalling the backline, but they seem to be lacking something in the centre of midfield with the likes of Leandro Parades and Julian Draxler not quite fitting the bill. Adding Pogba to Marco Verratti in the middle could truly push PSG into the very top tier of European football.
Newcastle United will surely be looking for a statement signing this summer to spearhead their attempts to break back into the top clubs in England. With plenty of money available to manager Eddie Howe following the successful takeover of the club in October, could Pogba be the figurehead for the Saudi revolution in the North East?
Pogba certainly fits the bill from a commercial point of view, while on the pitch he’d also be a huge improvement on the current crop of players available to Howe. Pogba has proven that he shines brightest under the spotlight too and he’d certainly be the leading light at the club, at least in the short term.
A deal would certainly hinge on Newcastle beating the drop to the Championship this year but if they offer enough money, and can persuade him to join their project, the suggestion of a move to St. James’ Park for the World Cup winner is no longer the farfetched proposition it once would’ve been.
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Pogba has seemingly ruled out a move to Man City, after reports linked his with a switch across Manchester. A move abroad looks most likely with PSG, Real Madrid and Juventus all being heavily linked to the Frenchman.
That quote from Rangnick might be the most telling thing when it comes to the chances of Pogba being in the Red Devils squad next season though. If he was committed to the cause, would he already have put the speculation to bed and signed a new deal?