Manchester United open talks with Paul Pogba over new contract - reports
The French midfielder, who has been consistently linked with Juventus and Real Madrid over the past few years, will be out of contract at Old Trafford next summer. Manchester United are fearful of losing Paul Pogba as a free agent and have started discussions with the 28-year-old over a contract extension.
The 28-year-old has been linked with a move away from United for a number of years, with Juventus and Real Madrid both consistently mentioned as potential destinations.
A one-year extension in Pogba’s contract was triggered by Manchester United last year to give themselves more time to sort out the midfielder’s future, but there has been very little movement on either side in terms of talks.
Mino Raiola, Pogba’s agent, stated in December that his client was “unhappy” at United, seemingly opening the door for the midfielder to join another club.
“Paul is unhappy. He is no longer able to express himself as he would like and as expected of him,” Raiola said. “He has to change teams; he has to change the air.
He has a contract that will expire in a year and a half, but I think the best solution for the parties is to sell him in the next market.
Since Raiola’s comments, though, Pogba has enjoyed much better fortunes at Old Trafford, overcoming injury to become a key figure for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side as they finished second last season.
Leicester City's Nigerian midfielder Wilfred Ndidi (R) vies with Manchester United's French midfielder Paul Pogba (C) during the English FA Cup quarter-final football match between Leicester City and Manchester United
Image credit: Getty Images
However, when asked about his furture in a pre-Euro 2020 press conference, Pogba refused to confirm or deny rumours of a protential new deal.
"I have one year left in my contract," he said. "And everybody knows it. I know that the club made no concrete proposal.
We finished the season with the Europa League and after that we had our holidays. I didn't have the chance to speak with the manager (Ole Gunnar Solskjaer).
I am still a Manchester United player, obviously. But the only thought I have about my future is the Euro.
"It's about the Euro, it's about focusing on the competition because I don't want to hear people say 'ah, he is not focused on the Euro because he's thinking about his club, his future.'"
12 months ago, it appeared best for all parties concerned that Pogba and Manchester United part ways. However, a lot has changed since then with the Frenchman finding his best form for the club in the second half of last season.
It’s therefore understandable United are making moves to keep Pogba. Having endured five years of frustration and unfilled promise, they can’t allow their £89m man to leave just when something appears to have clicked.
Pogba might feel it’s time to embrace a new challenge, but he has yet to complete the one he took on by returning to the Premier League in 2016.
What’s more, would the 28-year-old really be better off at either Juventus or Real Madrid given their recent struggles? At least Manchester United seem to be on the right path. Pogba might be best staying put.