Gary Neville says he still expects Paul Pogba to leave Manchester United next summer
Pogba pulled the strings as United beat Leeds 5-1, showing he can produce his international form at club level, and then some.
There has been speculation all summer regarding Pogba’s future, with United treading a dangerous line with the midfielder’s contract.
Pogba’s deal expires next summer, and The Mirror claimed last month that he has rejected a new one. While there has been no further development on those reports, the midfielder is yet to sign a new deal.
On the pitch United continue to make him feel valued, and his performance on Saturday shows he is enjoying his football.
Former United defender Gary Neville spoke to Sky Sports after the weekend’s action and says he still expects Pogba to leave next summer.
Neville said: “Manchester United need one outstanding season from Pogba because he is going to leave next summer. I think Pogba will be excited by the team United are building but he has a decision to make: does he want to commit his future to Manchester United?
“If it’s a new contract, it will be for three or four or five years and that means the best years of his career will be at Manchester United. I think Paul Pogba has an ambition to play somewhere else – and that’s been clear for the last couple of years. His agent has told us that and I think he will take that opportunity.”
Can Pogba be persuaded to stay?
Pogba’s connection with Bruno Fernandes on and off the pitch will at the very least tempt the Frenchman into staying put.
Pogba wants to win titles, which is understandable, we all want United to do so. This United side looks capable of going close this season, perhaps all the way.
Some silverware may be enough to convince Pogba to stay put, or it could clean his conscience to say his job is done and he can leave with his head held high. It depends on his mindset and his desire for a new experience.
While he will be a free agent next summer, very few clubs will be able to afford his wages. Former side Juventus will be keen of course, but it is Paris Saint-Germain who will be the favourites.
The prospect of linking up with Neymar, Lionel Messi and Kylian Mbappe is understandably very appealing. United may not be able to compete with that. If he plays with Messi, his assist numbers could soar.
United can try and show Pogba that staying in a more competitive league can be more rewarding for him, and his decision could be made on how United fare in the Champions League this coming season.
Pogba looks set to stay for now, and in a similar scenario two years ago, David de Gea renewed his contract in September, after the window was closed, months before he could speak to clubs about joining as a free agent the next summer.
If it gets to January and Pogba is able to negotiate with other clubs, this could become a big distraction for United and become a negative on the pitch and behind the scenes, even if he is putting in 100 per cent effort every week. That’s why the club must do everything possible to try and close a contract renewal before the calendar turns to 2022.
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