Report: Pogba wanted to sign long-term extension in 2020 and board denied him

Paul Pogba’s release from Manchester United was confirmed by the club, ending a long-standing back and forth over whether he would sign a new deal.

The Frenchman’s departure feels like the right time, with Manchester United content to let him walk out the exit door after six years at the club.

It has felt like Pogba checked out a while ago, with his refusal to commit to a new deal, a key reason why fans have struggled to get behind him over the past couple of seasons.

A report in The Athletic has detailed how at one stage, Pogba really was enthusiastic about signing a long-term contract, only for United to back down.

Photo by Tom Purslow/Manchester United via Getty Images

Pogba wanted to sign long-term extension in 2020

The report states Pogba was pushing for a long-term extension in 2020 after the end of the lockdown season.

Pogba had returned to the side in June and was a key player in a successful run, forging a new partnership with Bruno Fernandes.

The Athletic stated: “Under Solskjaer that he sent his manager text messages in the summer of 2020, after United had rallied to a third-place finish in the Premier League, asking for a new contract. Solskjaer replied that he was pressing the board but ultimately all United did was trigger the extension in Pogba’s existing deal, worth £290,000 per week.

“That outcome left Pogba deflated, so when United did present a new, improved contract following the 2020-21 campaign — when the midfielder had scored crucial goals in a brief challenge for the title — he wanted to wait rather than sign.”

The Sun had reported in July 2020 that Pogba was waiting for an offer and United were preparing to hand him a five-year deal.

Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Board made the right call but got lucky

Ultimately it looks like United made the right move not to hand Pogba the deal, although you never know how the security of a long-term contract would have influenced his performances, and fan opinion of him.

The board don’t deserve too much credit for refusing to hand him a long-term deal, because they actually did offer him a new contract the following year, at the end of 2021.

It is only thanks to Pogba’s intention to run his contract down, that the Frenchman is now leaving.

On extremely high wages, Pogba would have been hard to shift. Even as a free agent, it is not like he is overloaded with clubs chasing him, at the age of 29.

The Pogba chapter is nearly completely closed, thankfully, drawing an end to an unsuccessful six year experiment. There was no need for it to go on any longer, for the sake of the club and the player, and we thank him for recognising that and running down his deal.

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