Manchester United want to sign 'a global icon' amid commercial unrest

Manchester United want to sign ‘a global icon’ in the event Paul Pogba is sold, The Mail report.

This is in response to concern from sponsors about the commercial damage losing Pogba could do to United.

Pogba is described as ‘central to United’s worldwide strategy’, and this has led to the club exploring potential replacements on the same stature who have the same pull, although, “there are concerns that the club will not be able to attract the sort of global icon they are looking for.”

A sale of Pogba is a possibility – although as we have outlined, he needs to play, and perform, to meet the club’s high asking price.

Under pressure

The Mail report United are feeling the pinch off the pitch. Sponsors are agitated by the club’s poor form.

Players are reportedly backing out of commercial appearances, worried it will reflect badly on them, with the team struggling.

Sponsors are not feeling like they are getting value for money on or off the pitch.

This feeds into claims from The Evening Standard that the Bruno Fernandes transfer fee will come from the summer transfer budget.

United are currently trying to find new sponsorship deals, with Avram Glazer leading a nine-man United delegation at the World Economic Forum, The Telegraph reported.

Photo by TF-Images/Getty Images

How to sign a ‘global icon’?

United want to sign a player capable of matching Paul Pogba’s commercial pull in the case he leaves.

It won’t reflect well on the club’s promises to new sponsors if he is sold, and a replacement not brought in.

But as The Mail‘s report notes, United are concerned that missing out on Champions League football for a third consecutive year will make it impossible to sign the calibre of player required.

One possible target might be Jadon Sancho. He has international recognition, his best years are ahead of him, and he’s supremely talented.

But without Champions League football, it’s unlikely United will be able to bring him in.

United might go the other route, and pay over the odds for an already established star.

This has not worked in the past, with Angel di Maria and Alexis Sanchez, as the players sign for a pay day, not caring about the lack of Champions League football, and not aiming to progress their careers.

This stance has failed, but it might be a quick fix. And it would represent United going backwards and taking a diversion from the ‘rebuild’.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

None of this might matter if Pogba performs poorly, and no clubs want to pay the money required. For this summer at least.

But that’s kicking the problem over to another year.

United still need to find a way to replace him eventually, and settle the reportedly increasingly agitated sponsors.

A lot rides on Champions League qualification, which could ironically all depend on Pogba himself.

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