Manchester United may feel they made a statement in rejecting Barcelona’s bid for Paul Pogba yesterday; however, reports today suggest the club should brace themselves for a saga from now until Thursday.
The Mirror are reporting that Pogba has already agreed a deal with the Spanish champions ahead of a move, saying that Mino Raiola has negotiated a £100m deal over 5 years, which would work out at a staggering £380,000 a week.
If that number seems remarkably close to Alexis Sanchez’s reported wage at Old Trafford then it is worth pointing out that some sections of the press have questioned the timing of the leaked information; Raiola is keen to broker the best deal he can for his client and would surely know that at this late stage in the window United are unlikely to encourage talk of a transfer for one of their major stars, even if there is truth to the suggestions that all is not well between manager and player.
Still, it is not likely to ingratiate Raiola to Mourinho; the United boss used the controversial agent when he first got the job to sign a number of high-profile players at a time when the club were out of the Champions League. However, Raiola must have become more of a frustrating presence to the United boss, who has already moved on Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Zlatan Ibrahimovic; Mourinho is sure to be annoyed that Raiola (and Pogba) are putting pressure on the club at a time when he is trying to convince Ed Woodward to bring in players.
Barcelona’s opening offer, if they are serious about signing Pogba, was in the ballpark of ‘derisory’. They would surely have to match the £126m they paid to Liverpool for Philippe Coutinho in January if United are going to be encouraged to negotiate, particularly at this late stage.