Paul Pogba began Euro 2020 in spectacular style. A man of the match performance against Germany saw him widely praised.
The big winner here was not just France, it was Paul Pogba. And sadly the happiest man of all will be his agent, Mino Raiola.
Pogba has been waiting for this tournament to showcase his talent.
When he was out injured from September 2019 to his return in June 2020 (barring two appearances in between), chatter about Pogba’s future began to increase.
The feeling was at the time that Pogba was not commited to United and that he was waiting until the Euros to showcase himself and earn a big money move.
In 2018, 2019 and 2020, Pogba was linked with an exit. No no club came close to meeting Manchester United’s asking price.
Even this summer in 2021 it has felt like Pogba may be overpriced considering he has just one year remaining on his deal. United would want in excess of £50 million still.
Pogba is showing interested clubs that he is worth the money. Even if they have to pay £50 million to get him, this will be a shrewd investment.
There appear to be only three clubs likely to make a move. Paris Saint-Germain are most likely especially with his reputation soaring in France with his recent displays.
Juventus will be tempted to bring him back too and Real Madrid are long term admirers who Pogba has publicly flirted with in the past.
At a push Barcelona are a fourth club who could try, but they are so badly run at present it is hard to see them winning a big money move like this.
Falling into place
Last season Pogba will have been panicking. His fitness was a genuine concern and even if he had played at the Euros, he would not have been at his best level.
So Euro 2020’s postponement has actually worked out well for Pogba. He has played at a high level throughout 2021 and been a big player for Manchester United over the past few months.
The problem is, it seems Pogba does not want to stay. Or at least, he is keeping his options open.
Pogba’s plan seems to have been all along to play well at Euro 2020, and see what big offers come in for his services.
This can potentially attract big bids for him. Or it can be the start of a long discussion with interested clubs before he signs for free in 2022.
He could still stay put…
Pogba may also decide he wants to stay at United. But he will be considerably better financially for waiting it out.
If he has told Raiola he prefers to stay, his agent’s advice will have been to delay negotiations until after Euro 2020. At this point he will be more in-demand than ever.
This will allow Raiola to extract maximum wages from United in his new contract and ensure Pogba remains one of the club’s highest paid players.
A strong tournament keeps all the doors open for Pogba. It may even help United if he goes, with a high fee secured. Or even a top swap deal like Raphael Varane or Cristiano Ronaldo.
It doesn’t mean he will leave though. If he does stay, he will be better paid for waiting it out and not agreeing a new contract before Euro 2020.
Pogba’s plan is falling into place, for better or worse. United could be winner or losers from it, dependent on if he stays or goes and how the money is spent if he leaves. But the Frenchman looks set to be a winner whichever way you slice it. Unfortunately so will Raiola.
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