Pogba has had a varied career at Manchester United, inconsistently flashing his immense talent
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Manchester United are anticipating an approach from Paris Saint-Germain for Paul Pogba before the close of the transfer window next month.
Pogba has entered the final 12 months of his £290,000 a week contract at Old Trafford and United have been given no encouragement that the France midfielder is prepared to sign a new deal.
Mino Raiola, Pogba’s agent, is understood to have been in discussions with PSG about personal terms as the French club lay the groundwork for a move.
United – who announced the £72.9 million signing of England winger Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund on Friday – paid a club record £89m to Juventus for Pogba in 2016, four years after he left the club for Turin for £800,000 in compensation.
With Pogba seemingly unwilling to sign a new contract, United face the prospect of losing the Frenchman as a free agent for a second time if they do not cash in on him this summer, provided PSG’s interest is substantiated.
PSG, whose manager Mauricio Pochettino has just signed a contract extension to June 2023, believe a bid of up to €50m (£43m) for Pogba could be enough to persuade United to sell. Pogba’s future at United has been the subject of debate since the summer of 2018, when he wanted to move to Barcelona, and he has subsequently been of interest to Real Madrid and Juventus.
Despite France's early exit, Pogba was one of the player's of the tournament at Euro 2020
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Juventus had hoped to re-sign Pogba before the onset of the coronavirus pandemic scuppered those wishes although the Italian club are thought to have enquired about Pogba in January.
United are believed to be in the process of sounding out a number of midfielders but it is unclear at this stage if they plan to sign a direct replacement should Pogba go or use any funds from a prospective sale to bring in a defensive midfielder, a position manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would like to bolster. Eduardo Camavinga, of Rennes, is widely admired at United.
Donny van Beek was signed from Ajax last summer, partly in anticipation of Pogba leaving in this window, but the Holland midfielder has yet to convince after enduring a tough debut season in England. Jesse Lingard impressed on loan during the second half of last season for West Ham but it is still unclear if he will be sold this summer.
United’s more immediate priority is to try to complete a deal for the Real Madrid centre-half and Pogba’s France team-mate, Raphael Varane.
PSG have already signed midfielders Georginio Wijnaldum and Danilo Pereira from Liverpool and Porto respectively this summer, as well as right back Achraf Hakimi, centre-back Sergio Ramos and goalkeeper Gianlugi Donnarumma.
Achraf Hakimi is among the litany of stars to move to Paris this summer
Credit: Michel Euler
Pogba signing would add another huge salary to a soaring wage bill but there is appetite at the club to buy the midfielder, who was born in the eastern Paris suburb of Lagny-sur-Marne and was one of France’s best performers at the European Championships this summer, despite the world champions’ shock last 16 exit to Switzerland on penalties.
Sancho, meanwhile, will wear the No. 25 shirt at United next season after signing a five-year contract with the club until June 2026 with the option of another year. Edinson Cavani will continue to wear the No. 7 jersey.
“This is a young and exciting squad and I know, together, we can develop into something special to bring the success that the fans deserve,” said Sancho, 21, who posted an emotional address on Instagram thanking Dortmund for their work and support over his four years in Germany.
Solskjaer said Old Trafford would give Sancho “the platform he needs to release his untapped talent and perform at the highest level” but expects the Premier League to be a step up for the winger.
“I think he made a good decision going to the Bundesliga, it was probably the right step for him, the right level and the right club,” the United manager said. “I think Dortmund have shown so many times what they can do for young talent and in the Bundesliga what that can do.
“The Premier League is a different animal, though. I don’t want to sound disrespectful to the Bundesliga but I think the Premier League is a step up. It’s shown it’s the place to be and that’s where Jadon wanted to be.”