Paul Pogba joined Manchester United from Juventus in 2016 for a reported fee of around €100 million. The huge expectations which usually follow a big-money move like that have so far remained largely unfulfilled – United still haven’t managed to regain the status of genuine contenders for the Premier League title, or to make a significant mark in the Champions League, despite several other expensive signings made since.
The France international and the 2018 World Cup winner has been linked with departure on several different occasions, mostly with Real Madrid. His own statements did little to quash those rumours as he admitted he feels playing for the La Liga champions would be a ‘dream’. Real’s arch-rivals Barcelona have recently been credited with interest too, as have Juventus in bringing him back to Turin.
However, United put themselves in a strong position in this matter by exercising the option to extend his contract until the summer of 2022. And according to ESPN, they are keen to keep hold of the 27-year-old midfielder’s services and have him lead the team in the foreseeable future, but they’ve made it clear he is not to expect a pay rise too big when the next contract is put on the table for him to sign; certainly not anywhere in the region of the amount Alexis Sanchez was earning before leaving to join Inter Milan.
If this report is true, it will be interesting to see how the player and Mino Raiola, his agent, react to this ‘warning’. If he refuses to sign a new deal by the end of this season, United might be forced into a sale to avoid losing him for free in two years’ time.