Should Manchester United cash in on Paul Pogba for the right offer?
Background photo: André Zahn, CC-BY-SA 2.0
Will Manchester United be desperate enough to keep Paul Pogba beyond 2019/20? Their resolve will surely receive a series of tests from Europe's biggest spenders in the transfer market.
You don’t need to be an expert to discern Pogba doesn’t mind leaving United for the next big club that comes calling. In his own words, he wants “to have a new challenge somewhere else”. Apparently, United didn’t take that statement too seriously. Rather than listen, they’ve staunchly rebuffed any bids for their star man.
Comments like Pogba’s, from a man his calibre, usually triggers a series of reactions from top teams on the prowl: The super agents are alerted, and before long a bid is tabled. It didn’t happen any differently for Manchester United.
The crazy offer
Before the 2019's summer transfer window slammed shut, a mouth-watering bid was reportedly placed on the table for Pogba. The bid came from Turin. Ostensibly, Juventus wanted their star man back. They craved him so much, they were willing to swap three players for him. Not just any three players – we’re talking Mario Mandzukic, Blaise Matuidi and the phenomenal Paulo Dybala. Crazy? Yes, it is. But that outrageous piece of information was featured on nearly every reputable online media outlet in the UK. If no smoke goes without fire, truth definitely lay somewhere within that hullabaloo.
Should United have taken serious consideration for the offer?
Details from the story claimed Juve sent renowned agent Mino Raiola, accompanied by Juventus vice Chairman Pavel Nedved, and Sporting Director Fabio Paratici to ensure the deal wasn't met by a wet blanket.
From the above rhetoric, Juventus threw caution to the wind in their pursuit of Pogba. Will they eventually get their man? Remember, anything is possible in an inflated transfer market.
Manchester United now has a big decision to make.
Time to reflect
Before saying no to all bids for Pogba, Manchester United must reflect thoroughly on the negatives of letting him stay.
Despite being among the best midfielders of his generation, forcing his way into the last PFA Team of the Year and showboating all the way through; Pogba has a volatile personality. Like Diego Costa, he’s a match-winner but you never really know what to expect from him the next minute. He’s got a loudmouth, a bloated ego and enough talent to tie it all together.
Should United continue to tolerate a Pogba in their dressing room?
The sensible way out
Manchester United should quit being stubborn and start considering the mouth-watering offers they’re getting for Pogba.
In the early days of the transfer window, United reportedly rejected Real Madrid’s offer of James Rodriguez plus cash for the coveted controversial Frenchman.
The recent offer from Juve was nothing short of preposterous.
The swap deal involving Dybala and Romelu Lukaku fell flat due to the Argentine’s wage demands.
Still, striking Dybala off the Pogba deal doesn’t water down an offer involving Mandzukic and Matuidi. Both guys are experienced and technically gifted performers. Their inclusion in United’s squad would definitely give the Red Devils a huge lift in 2019/20. More than Pogba can do single-handedly.
There are questions regarding the age of Mandzukic and Matuidi – both are well over 30 and gradually approaching the twilight of their careers, but they can still actively help United for the next two-three seasons.
Even if the Turin deal never sees the light of day, there's no ruling out Madrid perpetual interest in the player. Los Blancos could still launch another improved bid for Pogba. Perhaps another world record. If that happens, Manchester United should be shrewd enough to bid farewell to the World Cup winner...