Every summer transfer window there is always one huge money rumour, whether it happens or not is another matter, and often these rumours involve Real Madrid and Manchester United. James Rodriguez in 2014/15, Angel Di Maria in the same year, Toni Kroos from Bayern Munich, in 2013/14 it was Gareth Bale and of course the transfer of Cristiano Ronaldo back in 2009. This year it is the largest of them all with £100 million on the table and Paul Pogba the player in question. The 23-year-old French international has been possibly the best midfielder worldwide over the last 18 months with some amazing performance for Juventus and more recently for France. After being released by Manchester United in 2012, Juventus snapped up the young athlete and eased him into their already powerful midfield with the likes of Claudio Marchisio, Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal. The decision to release Pogba is widely regarded as one of the biggest mistakes Manchester United have made in the Premier League Era, but will we see him back at Old Trafford next season?
Well as with most of these big rumours there are a number of conflicting reports as to whether Pogba will stay at Juventus, or head to either Manchester United or Real Madrid. However, the biggest talking point is the massive fee it would take to make Juventus let the player go, ONE HUNDRED MILLION POUNDS. This is undoubtedly the biggest transfer fee in history and also shows the over-inflation of money in football these days, where players like Christian Benteke is worth £32.5 million and Raheem Sterling is worth £49 million. Going on those two transfers alone, you could easily argue that £100 million seems fair, but not according to Mirror columnist Stan Collymore. Following his solid performances in the European Championships and the rumours flying around, Collymore writes:
“Paul Pogba is a great player and someone I rate tremendously.
“He’s the epitome of the modern midfielder: athletic, covers the ground well and very tactically aware.
“But, for £100 million of anybody’s money, I’d have to say, ‘No way!’
“That’s the figure Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho is reportedly willing to pay Juventus to take the 23-year-old back to Old Trafford and I just don’t see where the value is.
“In fact, I don’t even think he’s worth £70 million or £75 million, if I’m being honest.”
Most people would argue that the money side of football has got so over the top that £100 million for someone who is without a doubt one of the world’s best players at only 23, isn’t actually that much, especially for a club like Manchester United who turnover £500 million revenue. However, Stan Collymore does provide a suggested alternative for what Manchester United should spend under £100 million on, Pogba’s French teammates N’golo Kante and Dimitri Payet. He justifies this by claiming United need players who can provide the instant success rather than the guarantee of success in a few years time or so.
“Because what United need is to be good in the here and now of this season and, while I have no doubt Pogba could become one of the best midfielders on the planet in time, I don’t think he’d guarantee the immediate success in the way those two would.
“Kante, in terms of the way he breaks down play and his own athleticism, would be a better signing and if you bought Kante and Payet, you’d probably still have £20 million to £40 million left for another signing.”
N’golo Kante has proved an instant success at Leicester and for France when he stepped in this season, dominating the midfield, sitting tight and with his unbelievable stamina has aided his rise to fame. Dimitri Payet was a better-known entity before this season began after success with Marseille but again I’m not certain anyway expected Payet to perform the way he did at West Ham this season. Pace, trickery, power and terrific dead ball ability. They would certainly be great additions to any side but are they better suited for United than Paul Pogba would be? We’ll have to wait and see what the outcome of this rumour is, but one thing is for sure, the transfer market won’t be the same again if Pogba does move for £100m.