When Paul Pogba left Manchester United as a 19-year-old youngster, very few had thought he would become a world class midfielder within such a short time.
At 22, he is a regular international for the France national team, and one of the first names his manager thinks of while preparing the team sheet. He has played 23 matches for France so far, but the way he carries himself in the international arena, it gives the impression as if he is a veteran. He is that good.
Juventus should also get their due credit for Pogba’s burgeoning development. The Turin club have given him a solid platform to mature as a footballer. Since his departure from United, he has won three league titles for the Bianconeri, and took part in the Champions League final last season, where Juventus lost to Barcelona.
He has become one of the sought after players in Europe, and big European clubs are vying for his signature.
French club Paris Saint-Germain, La Liga giants Barcelona and Real Madrid, Premier League clubs Chelsea, Manchester City and Manchester United – all have shown strong interest in signing him.
Juventus are in no hurry to sell him at the moment, however, the Serie A champions do understand that it won’t be too long before big European clubs would submit lucrative offers for their golden boy. Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola probably is pushing too hard to get the transfer done. He has been talking with top European clubs trying to sort out the best possible deal for his client.
Raiola has spoken to almost all the big clubs around Europe who have the financial power to sign Pogba. He regularly met with officials from PSG, Barcelona and Real Madrid, while recently, he spoke with Chelsea to let them know that his client wants €10m salary after tax. Juventus likewise would demand around €80-90m for Pogba, if not more.
While the interest in Pogba is genuine, big European clubs are still reluctant to spend such a high transfer fee on him.
New Real Madrid manager Rafael Benitez, for instance, is happy with the current set-up at Madrid and the Spaniard isn’t too interested in spending big on Pogba. Spanish newspaper Marca, who have a close association with Madrid, reported few days back that Los Blancos are currently not interested in making a move for the Frenchman. De Gea remains Madrid’s prime target this summer, while putting an end to the Sergio Ramos transfer saga should be on the priority list as well.
If the reports are to be believed, Manchester City are ready to meet Pogba’s transfer fee and his wage demands. The Citizens are under pressure to comply with the FFP rules, and therefore spending a huge chunk of money on one single player, when the squad requires a major overhaul doesn’t make sense.
Furthermore, City are keen to sign Liverpool’s highly rated winger Raheem Sterling in the summer. The Manchester club have had two bids rejected for the Englishman, as Liverpool stand firm on their £50m demand for Sterling. Reports suggest, City are willing to meet that amount and are preparing a third bid. It looks practically impossible for City to spend another €70-80m for another player, after they had signed Sterling. And Pogba isn’t too keen to return to France at the moment, hence a move away to PSG can be easily ruled out.
Also, Pogba would not fancy a return back to Manchester United, who didn’t treat him fairly (he thinks so) in the first place. The Times, another major newspaper in England, claims that United have earmarked Bayern Munich’s Bastian Schweinsteiger as their prime midfield target for the summer. French midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin has been linked with a move as well, with L’Equipe even claiming the Southampton midfielder has already made a personal deal with the Red Devils.
Chelsea have a better chance of all the English clubs to sign Pogba. The problem is the Blues cannot spend €80-90m on him this summer. They would rather wait for another season when his price drops down or tempt Juventus to enter a negotiation with the player plus cash exchange offers.
Juventus boss Max Allegri is fond of several Chelsea players like Oscar, Mohamed Salah and Juan Cuadrado. If Chelsea can somehow manage to involve either of these players into a deal for Pogba, the Turin club may be tempted to do a business.
Chelsea could face a strong competition from Barcelona, who are planning to sign Pogba now and send him back to Juventus for an year until the summer of 2016. Sounds good but hardly convincing. Barcelona’s transfer ban will be lifted in January. They won’t be able to send Pogba on loan, because, they cannot register him before that. Will Pogba risk six crucial months on the bench ahead of Euro in one year time?
Secondly, Barcelona won’t be paying the full money now. Juventus would be the worst sufferer as they need the money to make sufficient replacements. Barcelona’s on going election problems would also slow down the transfer dealings, while any ‘Gentleman’s agreement’ proposal should be avoided, as it involves a huge risk.
There is every possibility that Pogba may rule out any move and stay at Juventus for one more year. He may prefer to continue his progress at the club where he feels most comfortable and focus on the preparation of Euro 2016.