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Red Devils Advocate: Could the drawn-out Pogba saga benefit Manchester United?

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Red Devils Advocate is our weekly column which aims to spark discussion and debate by providing a point of view that is in opposition to the general feeling among Manchester United fans. This week: are United going to benefit from the long Pogba saga?

Portugal v France - Final: UEFA Euro 2016 Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

At this point, the whole Paul Pogba to Manchester United saga is getting pretty tedious. It makes perfect sense that a deal of such magnitude would necessitate some intense negotioations, and could well take a while to finalise. But it’s the whole circus surrounding the potential deal that grates.

The cryptic video released by Adidas, the player’s alleged hints via Instragram and his agent’s denials via Twitter; it’s all "blah, blah, blah" as they rightly point out, while simultaneously milking every last drop of publicity out of the situation.

It feels like every day for the past month, reports in the media have suggested that a £100 million deal is "hours away", or will be sealed "in the next 48 hours", while all the time, Real Madrid are supposedly waiting in the wings to snatch the talented 23-year-old away.

We’re all tired of it, yet we all still read the latest reports: clicking the click-bait and scanning Twitter for a hint of a suggestion of an intimation that Pogba is edging closer to becoming a United player once again; Our hopes fluctuate along with the betting lines.

It’s clear that Pogba and his agent, Mino Raiola, are enjoying have the football world on the end of a piece of string, but could United also stand to benefit from the ongoing saga?

There’s no doubt that manager José Mourinho would love to have a deal for Pogba signed and sealed at the earliest opportunity, as do the fans.

But the club itself — in particular the commercial department -- could reap the benefits of the attention this will-he-won’t-he process has garnered.

Obviously, Pogba is already a very well-known player with huge marketing potential. And a world-record transfer to United would see his profile raised yet further, even if the deal were to have been completed the instant negotiations began.

But Pogba’s star has never been higher than it is right now. Caught in the middle of a tug-of-war between arguably the two biggest clubs on the planet, and on the brink of a return to a former club for an astronomical fee: no matter which way you turn, you can’t escape the circus surrounding this potential transfer.

Pogba has gone from one of the finest young players on the planet, to one of the game’s most recognisable faces — to the point that it could reasonably be argued that only Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi could be considered more "famous" right now.

A £100 million return to Old Trafford was always going to draw eyeballs to Pogba, but now, the level of media attention has accelerated to a whole new level.

That could -- and no doubt will -- be parlayed into a multitude of extremely lucrative commercial opportunites for United. Sales of replica jerseys with Pogba’s name printed on them would have been through the roof regardless, but now, they might just go through the stratosphere.

The fact is, if United sign Pogba now — or next week, or the week after -- they will be acquiring a player with a significantly higher profile than if they’d signed him a month ago. Don’t think that fact will be lost on executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.