Mino Raiola is at it again with talk about Paul Pogba’s future, or lack thereof, at Manchester United.
The French midfielder has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford for years now, since a public fallout with then manager Jose Mourinho after he won the World Cup with France in 2018.
Pogba has spoken publicly about his ‘dream’ to play for Real Madrid, while Italian giants Juventus have also publicly spoken about their wish to bring him back to the club after his departure in a £89m move back in 2015.
Since then, he has struggled to live up to the expectations placed upon him in a red shirt. While many of the problems he’s faced haven’t been entirely in his control or of his own fault, he hasn’t helped himself.
Now, on the eve of Manchester United’s biggest game of the season so far, Raiola has come out once again and this time declared that “Paul Pogba – Manchester United: it’s over”.
With 18 months remaining on his contract, Pogba’s time at Old Trafford is coming to a head. There were suggestions this summer when no club came forward with a bid for him that Pogba was now happy at the club and open to renewing his contract beyond 2022.
The club were reportedly open to extending his deal too if a deal could be reached, but it seems now he’s likely to leave sooner rather than later.
It hasn’t quite worked out for Pogba at Old Trafford and now with 18 months left on his contract and January approaching, Raiola has made his move to get Pogba out.
While a January move is highly unlikely, next summer is very possible. It would be the last real opportunity that Manchester United have to make any money on the player but with the COVID-19 pandemic still rife, there is no guarantee that they will get a substantial bid for the player.
With Bruno Fernandes and Donny Van de Beek at the club now, United are definitely in a better position than previously to deal with Pogba’s departure. Despite that, they would need to replace him in the squad because despite his flaws and poor showings in recent times, his quality is undeniable.
If you put Pogba on a pitch doing drills, he can do everything. If you put him in a team of working parts, he shines – just ask Didier Deschamps and the French national team. But when the team is in disarray as Man United have been since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement way back in 2013, Pogba becomes as much of a liability as he is an asset.
Many of the fans have had enough of him, the pundits have very rarely been on his side and the media have had an agenda against him since the minute he returned to England. That said, his performances on the pitch haven’t helped to sway those negative feelings and situations like this one just make it all worse.
The best option for all parties at this point is quite clearly to say goodbye and for everyone to go their separate ways.
Pogba will shine at a different club that is prepared for his arrival, likely Juventus, where there is already a clear winning strategy and formula and he is coming in to play his part. United will make some money back and hopefully invest it into a replacement with quality who can do the job they needed him to do to begin with.
It’s time to say goodbye, but United fans will be hopeful of one more thing to cheer when he leaves at the end of the season other than his departure.