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Could Manchester United have sold Paul Pogba even if they wanted to?

Manchester United finished third in the league amid an above-average season. The second half of the season saved the Reds’ ship after the arrival of Bruno Fernandes in January. Since the restart, Pogba and Fernandes’ partnership yielded sweet results but things were different pre-lockdown. 

Paul Pogba’s future at Manchester United was uncertain. His agent, Mino Raiola was very vocal about the Frenchman’s desire to move away from the Manchester club. His brother, Mathias Pogba shared the same view. United’s club-record signing didn’t turn out as it was supposed to. 

With Fernandes’ arrival and Fred’s resurgence in the middle of the park, United no longer missed him. He turned 27 earlier this year and was on his way out.

There were very few clubs who can afford to pay Pogba’s transfer fee, wages, and manage him. Barcelona’s poor finances refrained the Cules to sign him up. PSG could’ve really used him but they would have caught FFP’s eyes after Manchester City were recently found in the middle of an investigation. Real Madrid and Juventus were front-runners to secure his services. 

The Blancos’ midfield looks solid. Breakout star Fedrico Valverde shows there’s no point of shelling out tons of money to land the French World-Cup winning midfielder at Santiago Bernabeu. Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos arrives from loan next season and will be looking for regularity. Toni Kroos and Casemiro are undisputable starters.

Sure, Pogba will improve the Galacticos but not significantly. A wiser option would be to stick with the younger options they have and help them develop. This transfer would also mean deviation from Real’s recent shift in the transfer policy to harbor the best youngsters in the world.

Juventus could’ve really used a midfielder like Pogba right now. Manager Maurizio Sarri faced heavy criticism as the Old Lady lost 0-1 to Lyon in the Round of 16 1st leg. They lacked creativity from the midfield. Players like Paulo Dybala and Cristiano Ronaldo need service to net goals. Gone are those days when the Portuguese talisman used to dribble from the halfway line and score bangers. He is much more of a #9 now. It is a no brainer.

Dybala’s role changed too. The Argentinean needs the ball at his feet in the final third to make the final move. With a midfield consisting of Sami Khedira, Aaron Ramsey, Adrien Rabiot, Blaise Matuidi, Rodrigo Bentancur, and Miralem Pjanic, Juventus has no standout performer who can take the matters in his hands and run the show. 

Khedira and Matuidi are pure d-mids. Pjanic, Ramsey, and Bentancur create but it is not enough. Rabiot’s attacking potential is not being fulfilled as Sarri’s style is opposite to his directness. Sarri’s unable to figure out the perfect combination for his midfield.

On paper, Pogba fits in perfectly. He calls Turin his second home. Who doesn’t love a homecoming? His natural attacking flair and wide range of passing skills with acute vision solve the crisis. Combining him with Ronaldo will produce loads of goals for Juventus. 

However, they cannot afford him. Ronaldo’s acquisition caused amortization costs to go up by 50%, totaling €150m last year. Matthijs de Ligt and Dejan Kulusevski’s arrivals expect the same to increase by 70% making it a sum total of €265m. Their earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) saw an 82% deduction from €39m to €7m. The Portuguese impacted the finances of the club but they still recorded a €40m loss last year.

They pay high wages to their players who sign them on free transfers as a method to lure them with finances. Offloading the current midfield batch is a tougher job than it looks. 

Other clubs who can afford him already have their hands full. In no universe, United will let go of Pogba bearing a loss. Reports suggest that the Reds value him at €150m. 

This left him with only one solution- to bond and move forward. And that’s what happened. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer loves Pogba. In his early days, it was visible the duo gelled together and he became the key player in the Norwegian’s plans. He’s picked up successive multiple injuries which hindered his career.

However, all’s done is done. As we speak, United are looking forward to renewing Pogba’s contract. What once seemed like he’d leave the club, Pogba will be a key cog in United’s road to glory for the upcoming seasons. 

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Stewart

    August 8, 2020 at 6:04 pm

    Pogba could be a vital cog in the Utd team, the problem is his attitude. He seems to lose interest easily, a great performance in one game and then several mediocre performances in the next 5. Would any team pay 150 mil for him? Not one with any sense, he’s good but not that good. It’s ironic really. Utd value Pogba that highly but don’t want to pay the price for players who will be more consistant. Personally I’d rather see a top class holding midfielder with Fernandes as the link to the attack. As for Pogba, make him earn his place in the team.

    • Vedansh Nathani

      August 8, 2020 at 7:56 pm

      Pogba role has become more of a distributer. United do need Matic’s replacement though. Let’s see if we sign anyone on this window.

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