Manchester United is nearly set to sign Borussia Dortmund’s Henrikh Mkhitaryan, and it seems a deal looms largely for big Swede Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Both of these players represent quality, world class signings in the top bracket of football for United, but it seems Jose Mourinho’s quest to add top-tier footballers has not yet concluded. Mkhitaryan and Ibrahimovic will likely join on cut-price deals for contractual situations, but the same cannot be said of Paul Pogba, the 23-year-old French starlet lighting up world football every week for Juventus. It has been somewhat of a war in Juventus’ race to keep Pogba, and now they’re ready to go to extremes. It is believed that at this point Juventus is willing to make Pogba their highest-paid player ever.
Pogba is an exceptional talent, but much has been exaggerated when speaking of him as a finished product. His potential to improve is tremendous, and the statements claiming he’s already one of the best out there are probably true. However, Juventus has been blessed with tremendously talented players over the years, including the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Gianluigi Buffon, Zinedine Zidane and Arturo Vidal. To pay Pogba more than these players would be a signal of intent as much as it would be one of desperation in a bid to keep a player who may want to leave.
I speak about Juve’s contractual situation with Pogba because the situation United would be in to pay £100 million or more after releasing him logically represents a similar predicament. United is looking for a world-class talent in midfield, but there is something to be said about work ethic and how to carry oneself in a business. Signing Pogba isn’t necessarily wrong, that is up for debate, but something it would be is very controversial.
Juventus’ extremes do seem to be working to some extent unlike United’s, or at least they are according to striker Paulo Dybala, who stated in the media that Pogba would be at Juventus next season for sure. Dybala is convinced that the four (consecutive) time Serie A champions would have a greater chance of making it five with Pogba, and he told Gazzetta dello Sport that Pogba would be staying in Italy for sure.
“It’s certain that [Pogba] will stay. I talked to him and, for me, he’ll stay with us. We didn’t talk about football, but it’s what I feel.”
As implied earlier, Pogba doesn’t have the greatest association with Manchester United, as he was famously allowed by Sir Alex Ferguson to leave on a free transfer in 2013. In some ways, this would leave a sour taste in Pogba’s mouth, but in other ways, he would be proud to overcome the rejection and arguably go on to prove that one of the greatest football personalities in the history of the game made an error. Pogba’s failures at United could be his route to history, though it is debatable whether or not he will make history at United.
One thing is for sure, however, a signing of Pogba’s calibre would improve United’s stock tremendously. Pairing up with Morgan Schneiderlin in midfield, Pogba would have the freedom to roam forward and the perfect base for some fantastic attacking football would be made. With Pogba feeding the likes of Ibrahimovic, Mkhitaryan, and Anthony Martial, there is little doubt Manchester United would be one of the greatest forces in the Premier League and in Europe, and it would not be long before United reached the levels they once called average. Purely from a footballing perspective, United would be on the right track going after a player like Pogba, and based on United’s recent transfer record, that is a huge start.