Gianluca Di Marzio reports Juventus are working on a deal to bring Paul Pogba back from Manchester United.
It was not the update we wanted when it comes to United transfers. It is one we feared.
Pogba had an up and down season. Sadly the final memory was him walking off at Old Trafford being abused by a supporter.
What does Pogba want?
Pogba could make life very difficult for United by demanding a transfer.
He can be temperamental on the field at times. How much worse would it get if he openly says he wants to leave. The fans would turn further, and it could get toxic.
Pogba needs to buy into United’s plans if it is going to work for him at Old Trafford. Does he want to? Are the club doing enough to keep him?
United’s transfer plans this summer are so far all rumour and no action. You can understand Pogba’s frustration.
United have a lot on already without having to replace Pogba. Up to two midfielders are already needed.
The club have no wingers, a deficiency at centre-back and right-back. No back-up left-back, and an outgoing striker may need replacing.
Having to replace Pogba too would be an extra mammoth task to undertake.
Let’s sign a few players first, and see if the ambition shown can help influence Pogba’s plans.
Selling him would not seem such a disaster if players have been signed, including a couple of top quality midfielders.
3 Reasons to doubt
There are reasons to doubt a Pogba sale is going to happen right now.
- Juventus are looking to sign Lazio’s Sergei Milinkovic-Savic. They won’t be able to afford both and have already added Aaron Ramsey in midfield.
- Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is currently banned from business, in a sanction imposed by Italian football authorities. He may find a way around it elsewhere, but moving a major client to Serie A is going to be tricky.
- “He will be as far as I can answer.” Those were the words uttered by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in late April when asked if Pogba will stay at United this summer, via Sky Sports. To sell him would be to undermine the manager and leave him in a difficult position.
There’s no smoke without fire and Pogba’s future is going to be the subject of speculation all summer.
Yet United have no financial need to sell him, and so there is no rush.
Solskjaer is a big fan of the Frenchman and sell him this summer would be poor from the board. Doing so quickly would be even worse.
Let’s concentrate on signing players instead of selling our best ones first.
Once we get a few fresh faces in and pre-season gets underway, only then should United consider a sale if Pogba refuses to turn up and decides go on strike in order to force a move.
If he leaves, it’s on him, but the board must do all they can to keep him put for now, starting with showing some ambition.