Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba’s future at the club is in serious doubt after he reportedly rejected a new contract.
The Mirror report he has snubbed a £350,000 per week offer. With just one year remaining on his contract, it is likely he ends up sold this summer amid interest from PSG.
Pogba leaving will have a big impact, and not all of it bad. Here is a look at three winner if United cash in on the France international…
Donny van de Beek
Pogba leaving is very good news for Donny van de Beek. The Dutchman was signed partly as insurance for Pogba’s eventual departure and now he will get more game time.
Last season he managed just four Premier League starts, frustratingly getting injured at the same time Pogba did. With the Frenchman gone, he will get a proper chance to show what he is capable of as United divide minutes across available midfielders.
Van de Beek can play in various midfield roles, like Pogba, and he deserves this opportunity to thrive. United paid a lot of money to sign him, with this scenario in mind. If Pogba had stayed this upcoming season then there was a risk the Dutchman’s second season could go similar to his first.
Instead we could now see Van de Beek unleashed, and in a couple of seasons time when he is 26 and Pogba will be 30, United may look back at this moment and be thankful the Frenchman left.
Can Van de Beek seize the chance and become the player United need him to? There are no guarantees, but at least this way he has a fair shot to try, and will get a proper opportunity.
The wage structure
Pogba signing a contract worth £350,000 per week would have had a dysfunctional knock-on effect for United.
Each and every time a player came into contract negotiations, Pogba’s high deal would set the bar. Over the past couple of years the club have tried to trim down an excessive wage bill. This season United managed to get the salary payments below Liverpool’s. A hefty deal for Pogba would have been a step in the wrong direction.
And then you look at Pogba’s age. He is 28 now. Will he really be deserving of £350,000 per week when he is 32? Even now there is debate over where he fits into United’s best XI.
We look at the situation with David de Gea, where even if United want to sell him, we cannot because of the excessive wages he earns and the very small pool of clubs who might be willing to sign him.
This situation is being played out across Europe, notably with Barcelona, who are desperate to offload high earners like Antoin Griezmann who is past his prime. United might just have avoided a similar scenario.
Manchester United fans
Make no mistake, Pogba’s exit will come as a relief to many United supporters. It is because this circus has gone on for too long.
For all Pogba’s good points, one of his flaws has been staying too silent and letting his brother constantly link him with moves away, and his agent Mino Raiola causing havoc. When Pogba did speak out, often it was during internaitonal breaks to flirt with the idea of a move to Real Madrid. United fans have been tired of the disrespect for a long while.
Raiola has publicly tried to push Pogba away from the club, criticised Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a manager who has gone further to protect the Frenchman from the media than his predecessor ever did.
Jose Mourinho was the architect of his own downfall in many ways, but Pogba was no innocent. He fell out with the manager and it became a simple choice between the two.
Solskjaer has done his best to indulge Pogba, and play him in both deep and attacking roles, surround him with talent like Bruno Fernandes and Edinson Cavani, and he still is not happy. If he wants to move on then let him.
United fans can look forward to new signings coming in to replace him, ones who actually want to be at Old Trafford.
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