Manchester United may reportedly face some risk of losing Paul Pogba on a free transfer to one of their Premier League rivals this summer.
The France international certainly doesn’t seem likely to have a future at Old Trafford after allowing his contract to run down to its final few months, and it had long looked like a move abroad made most sense for the former Juventus man.
It would be fair to say that Pogba hasn’t really set the Premier League alight during his six-year spell in England, and many Man Utd fans won’t be too bothered to see him move on.
It could be a different story, however, if Pogba ends up joining one of their rivals, with the Telegraph surprisingly reporting that the 28-year-old would be open to offers from other Premier League clubs.
Given Pogba hasn’t really been at his best in his time with United, we suspect someone like Chelsea won’t be rushing to snap him up when they already have several top midfield players, while the rivalry with MUFC perhaps means Liverpool and Manchester City can be ruled out as well.
That surely only leaves Arsenal, Tottenham and Newcastle as realistic options? Read on to see our analysis on why each club may or may not want him…
Mikel Arteta could do with a midfielder, and the Gunners would probably relish the chance to poach this big name on a free transfer.
Still, does Pogba and Arsenal seem like a match made in Heaven? Not exactly. The Frenchman is not the leader that Arteta’s side needs, and it’s easy to imagine he’ll quickly become frustrated with the north Londoners if they fail to win silverware. After struggling to collect the big trophies at Old Trafford, it doesn’t make much sense for Pogba to then move to the Emirates Stadium to fill those gaps in his CV.
Having said that, Arsenal have a history with French footballers, and that might prove attractive to Pogba. And then there’s the lure of living in London, which seems ideal for this player’s lifestyle.
Our verdict? Don’t bet on it happening, but don’t entirely rule it out either.
Again there’s the London factor, but again there are the issues with the lack of silverware and possible lack of Champions League football.
One thing in Tottenham’s favour, however, could be the presence of Antonio Conte, who got the best out of Pogba at Juventus all those years ago. It could well be the best thing for the France international to link up with the Italian tactician again in order to get his career back on track.
Pogba certainly seems like he’d add something to this Spurs squad, and even though his wages would be an issue, perhaps his status as a free agent could persuade Daniel Levy to cough up for this ambitious deal.
Finally, there’s cash-rich Newcastle United, who could surely be in the running for Pogba’s signature under their wealthy new owners.
The Magpies’ Saudi backers would surely love a statement signing like this to get their new era at St James’ Park up and running, and Pogba could surely be won over by being made the focal point of this exciting new project.
Then again, Pogba is about to turn 29 and hasn’t won much recently, so will he be patient enough to join Newcastle at this very moment in time? There’s no doubt they’re going to be a force to be reckoned with at some point in the near future, but they’re battling relegation this season and it will take some time before they’re even serious contenders for the top four.
Newcastle’s resources perhaps make this more likely for Pogba than Arsenal or Tottenham, but overall we’re not hugely convinced by any of these options. Perhaps we should expect Pogba to be heading abroad after all…