Six weeks ago it looked like it could be the end of the line for Paul Pogba and Manchester United.
Even despite his talent, the constant aggravation caused by his agent Mino Raiola, couple with Pogba’s silence, led most supporters to feel that cutting ties with the midfielder would be in everybody’s interests.
Fortunately Ole Gunnar Solskjaer felt differently, and had the benefit of first hand day to day dealings with Pogba to feel confident in the Frenchman’s commitment.
Pogba has become an integral part of the United team again, to the point he is undroppable. The FA Cup game against Liverpool had seemed like a match he may have been rested with the option to concentrate on the league. But once again he was in the starting line-up and played all 90 minutes.
Make it feel less temporary
Right now we should be determined to enjoy this while it lasts. Pogba is in a stretch of form this month which is as good as any during his 4.5 years at United so far.
Pogba has played in multiple positions during this time, wide right, wide left, centrally in a four, as part of a pivot in a three, and each time he has excelled, also scoring two crucial winning goals.
But we also wonder if this is just part of Pogba’s long goodbye. His contract will have just one year remaining in the summer, and it is very possible his improved level of performances are because he is playing for a move.
United need to strike while the iron is hot and Pogba is enjoying his football, to approach the topic of a contract extension once again.
United are giving Pogba what he wants
All Pogba has ever wanted at United was to play in a title challenging team and win trophies. The Jose Mourinho experiment flamed out and the manager was unable to get the best out of him.
Now after two years, Solskjaer has put United back on top, and this title challenge looks sustainable for the rest of this season and into next.
Pogba may be tempted by a return to Juventus or a long discussed move to Real Madrid, but neither club are top of their respective leagues right now. There are no shortcuts to success in football.
New deal possible
A new deal for Pogba is possible. The Mirror reported last week that Pogba is beginning to believe he can win silverware by staying put at United.
The report states: “United bosses are becoming increasingly confident the 27-year-old will not leave this summer and may even sign a contract extension.”
United’s summer business helped surround him with winners, with Cavani, Van de Beek and Telles all bringing title winning experience in respective leagues, boosting the mentality of the squad.
The longer United keep winning, the more Pogba will open his eyes to what is going on around him and decide to stay put.
Bigger than any transfer
United appear to have backed away from the transfer market this month. Activity will be based around outgoings rather than incomings.
A contract extension for Paul Pogba should be United’s top priority, whether it happens this month, or sometime between now and April.
This will help United to plan heading into next season. At present, United’s transfer plans for the summer are clouded by the Pogba uncertainty.
How much money will there be to spend? Which positions will we be able to strengthen? Does Pogba’s sale need to happen before we sign certain players?
With the European Championships currently still scheduled to go ahead, there will be no quick and easy answer to a Paul Pogba transfer saga.
Signing a player this month would be nice. But it’s hard to find anybody on the same level as Paul Pogba right now.
His recent improvement would certainly warrant a new deal. He just has to want it.
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