The player has reportedly made up his mind to join Real Madrid in the summer — but his agent has to sign off on the deal!
That is the latest “sensational report” emanating from the Spanish capital about Paul Pogba, whom Manchester United signed after beating off competition from the likes of Madrid noses in 2016, in the process breaking the transfer record with an £89m agreement with Juventus. The player’s agent Mino Raiola, considered by many as one of the most powerful men in football and a “super agent”, had been key to the transfer talks with all suitors.
Real had assumed that everything was in place for a final deal, but then refused to meet Raiola’s demands, even as United were ready to break the bank to re-sign their former youth star. Pogba arrived back at Old Trafford with plenty of expectation on his shoulders, but three years on, he has had a mixed time and failed to lift the Red Devils to their former glories.
The latest reports in Spain, from AS, now claim that he wants out of Manchester, and Raiola’s demands are crucial to any move. The Frenchman has already fluttered his eyelashes at the Spanish giants — admitting during the ongoing international break that it is his “dream” to play for Madrid — but that he is happy in Manchester.
Yet Spanish newspaper AS claims that the World Cup winner wants to try and force a move to the Bernabeu come the summer. As per the report, Pogba ‘wants to leave United this summer’ and has his eyes on Spain or a return to Serie A. Pogba apparently ‘thinks he has reached an end and wants to return to Italy or play in the Spanish League’, according to AS writer Marco Ruiz. But the issue is, as explained, Raiola.
The super-agent is key to where Pogba will end up, and as has become the norm, will demand a huge fee for his services during any transfer discussions. Real have previously refused to do business with the Dutchman, with club president Florentino Perez not a big fan. And if Real refuse to play ball with Raiola, the agent could persuade Pogba to forget about joining the La Liga giants yet again.
Another possibility, adds the report, is Pogba going back to Juventus. The midfielder’s current contract runs out in the summer of 2021, so Ole Gunnar Solksjaer and Co can relax for now, as there is no immediate danger of Raiola holding the Red Devils to ransom over any transfer threat. But is has been repeatedly reported that Pogba has already rejected a contract renewal, as he wants ‘time to think’ about his next step.
This also means that this summer could tricky for United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward. Interim manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is the front runner to get the role full time come end of the season — and the Norwegian will want backing in the transfer market.
If United do sell Pogba — who has been superb since Jose Mourinho was sacked — then Solskjaer’s task will become much more difficult. AS adds that Juventus don’t mind bringing the 26-year-old back to Turin, but have to contend with Real’s financial muscle to do so.
The Italian champions already burnt a £105m-sized hole in their pockets when signing Cristiano Ronaldo from Madrid last summer — and will pay the Portugal superstar £106m in wages over four seasons. To be noted is the fact that the deal only went ahead thanks to support from Italian car manufacturer FIAT, which means Juve finding more cash for Pogba appears slim.
Given these factors, Real — with Zinedine Zidane back in charge — appear favourites to sign Pogba if he decides to leave United.