Paul Pogba just about confirmed what everyone already knew: He wants out of Manchester United.
The French World Cup winner and (at the time) record signing spoke addressed the rumours while on his world tour in Tokyo, Japan, and confirmed that he thought it may be time for a “new challenge.”
“Like you said, there is a lot of talking and a lot of thinking as well,” Pogba said. “For me I have been for three years in Manchester and have been doing great; some good moments and some bad moments, like everybody. Like everywhere else.
“After this season and everything that happened this season, with my season being my best season as well … I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else. I am thinking of this: to have a new challenge somewhere else.”
Despite his poor attempt to be vague with his language, Pogba is only confirming what has been rumoured for the last year now. Ever since falling out with Jose Mourinho in the second half of the 2017/18 season there has been speculation that the Frenchman has wanted out. He was first linked to Barcelona, but is now heavily linked to either a return to Juventus or a Galactico move to Zinedine Zidane’s rejuvenated Real Madrid.
Despite being under constant criticism, Pogba had his best season at Old Trafford in 2018/19. He led the team in offensive stats, with his assists being particularly useful in a season of poor offensive production from the whole squad. He was even named in the 2018/19 PFA Team of the Season. He is the kind of player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants to build around in midfield, but it seems Ole may have to cash in on his star man before he gets a full season on the job.
Man Utd— Squawka Football (@Squawka) June 16, 2019
└ Premier League
└ Player stats
└ Most goals
└ Most assists
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Speculation that Pogba wanted a move to Madrid in 2016 has been given new life since Zidane’s return, and the club have spent a fortune rebuilding a side that was a shell of itself. However, United may also be reluctant to sell, and could wait another year before making the decision to sell:
When Mino Raiola advised Paul Pogba to rejoin United in 2016 it was on the proviso he would try to get him to Spain after three years. #mufc have been adamant they won’t sell Pogba. He has two years left on his contract and the option of a one-year extension rests with United.— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) June 16, 2019
Might be posturing on all sides but my understanding is that Man Utd believe Pogba will still be at Old Trafford next season.— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) June 16, 2019
Pogba’s value will have increased since his record £89m move 3 years ago, especially with the inflation of transfer value in general. United should only let him go if they can make a major profit. Pogba may not have been what United fans hoped for, but United’s midfield will be barren with him gone. They will need to spend a fortune to replace him and Herrera, not to mention find another holding midfielder to upgrade on Nemanja Matic.
A squad overhaul was reportedly in the works this summer, but it’s looking more and more like Solskjaer will need a near total rebuild. The futures of their two best players, Pogba and De Gea, are in serious doubt, and with Herrera gone and Mata’s contract expiration coming up, a significant number of first teamers and starters will need to be replaced ASAP.