Paul Pogba could give Manchester United a new transfer window option
Paris St-Germain are reportedly keen on Man Utd midfielder Paul Pogba and could look to do a deal in this transfer window.
If Paris St-Germain firm up their interest in Paul Pogba then Manchester United might have a decision to make.
The midfielder has reminded everyone of his qualities during France's brief appearance at the European Championship, but Pogba's club future is as unclear as Didier Deschamps' tactical plan for Les Blues' last-16 defeat to Switzerland.
Pogba has a year left on his contract at Old Trafford and at the moment there is no sign of a renewal. The 28-year-old said publicly in 2019 he wanted a new challenge and while United are beginning to show they could give him that, Pogba hasn't said anything that would contradict that view of two years ago.
Watching him dazzle in Euro 2020 might have left more than a few United fans conflicted. His midfield performances were majestic and while his spell of form for United in 2021 has been his most consistent at Old Trafford, he hasn't regularly hit the notes he does for France when on club duty.
There's no doubt Pogba enhances United, but the system under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is built around Bruno Fernandes, so while Pogba is the conductor for France, he's just part of the orchestra at United and he doesn't even have his favourite instrument.
Pogba was decisive for United in the final six months of last season, usually from a left-wing role that at least gets him closer to the opposition goal. He thrives in a three-man midfield for France but with Fernandes dazzling as a second striker, the only possible central role Pogba can fill is in a two-man midfield, a set-up that doesn't suit him in the Premier League, where he doesn't get the time on the ball he's had in international football.
Towards the end of the season there was a sense United would be better served keeping Pogba this summer, even if that meant losing him on a free transfer in 2022. A fine European Championship should only have strengthened that desire, but PSG could yet provide a different option.
The biggest difficulty for Pogba in trying to engineer an exit from United is that his ideal suitors, in Real Madrid and Juventus, can't afford him. They'll have none of those difficulties in Paris, with the Qatari-backed club already making a splash in the transfer window. They look determined to capitalise on the financial weakness of their rivals.
Speaking in May, Solskjaer made it clear he wanted another year with Pogba when asked if he would want the club to cash-in this summer.
“No, of course not. I have always said with Paul that I enjoy managing him, I enjoy coaching him, I enjoy talking to him and I also enjoy challenging him because he is a winner. He wants to be better and that’s why he listens. You can see he’s enjoying himself here as well," he said.
“He has a smile on his face. It’s important we treat each other with respect and I try to treat everyone with the same amount of respect. But there are some players you have known since they were young lads and that’s the case with Paul: the longer you have known them the easier it is to have a bond with them.”
But if United can't guarantee the same quality and consistency of performances from Pogba that France get, is there a temptation to sell after all if an acceptable offer comes in?
That looked unlikely until Paris St-Germain's interest became public. United have already agreed a £72.9million deal for Jadon Sancho and they want to sign Raphael Varane from Real Madrid. A central midfielder is also on the radar, with Rennes' teenage sensation Eduardo Camavinga a possibility, but to really achieve what they want this summer United might need to raise some funds of their own.
There are squad players who could be sold, but if PSG were to dangle £50million in front of United for Pogba it could give them even more options in this transfer window. It would be a risk to sell a player as talented as Pogba, but United and Solskjaer might believe you've got to speculate to accumulate. It will be a difficult decision to balance.