Why signing Paul Pogba to a new contract could be Manchester United’s best piece of business for the season

Currently, the British transfer record for a Premier League player is held by Paul Pogba following his £89 million transfer fee from Juventus to Manchester United in the summer of 2016. Due to the current market inflations, Paul Pogba is valued by Manchester United at £150 million. With his current deal set to expire in 2021 (with an option to add another year), Pogba is attracting interest from some of Europe’s top clubs.

This has created a media frenzy focused on the narrative of Paul wanting to leave the club. Outlets have called Pogba’s impending exit the driver of apparent bust-ups and disharmony amongst the squad- none of which have been validated. By offering Pogba a new contract Manchester United can hope that the media frenzy surrounding his future will lessen and performances on the pitch become the priority.

Pogba’s importance to Manchester United cannot be ignored, with the recent pre-season match against AC Milan a clear example of a Pogba-less performance. One that lacks any real quality to break teams down or hold onto possession at important times in the game. It is necessary that Manchester United keep hold of Pogba this summer to challenge for a Champions League place.

If attention can be drawn away from his comments off the pitch to his performances on the pitch, then perhaps he can drive on this new Manchester United squad. Patrice Evra recently came out and said that Pogba ‘does not feel the love in Manchester’. His final day showing in the 2-0 defeat to Cardiff saw members of the Manchester faithful turn on Pogba, thinking he could give more for the cause.

Following this, a summer saga on Pogba’s future has been created. This saga was mainly centred around Pogba’s claims that he is looking for a ‘new challenge‘ whilst continuous comments made by Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has only intensified links with Real Madrid. It feels as if it is a case of when and not if Pogba will be sold. Manchester United is not a club that takes the demands from players who do not want to remain at the club (think Cristiano Ronaldo and David Beckham).

However, the current state of affairs has left the club badly needing the performances from their French World Cup winner. Similar to the Ronaldo- Real Madrid situation, if we can convince Pogba to stay for one more season then surely the chances of a top-four finish are increased by numerous folds. The issues of the continuous saga will dominate the season headlines. If he performs well, he will be auditioning for Madrid.

If he has a poor game, papers will read his heart is not in the club. To avoid the continuous carnival that will ensue around Pogba’s future, the club need to offer him a new contract. This will give them (the club) an opportunity to claim that he wants to be here, even if he is sold the following season. As for Pogba, Manchester United gave him the opportunity to drive this team back to greatness.

Something every academy graduate could only dream of. Pogba’s claims during the summer and the flirtations with Zidane have constructed a narrative focused solely on the player and his future. By signing this proposed contract, he would at least show some level of commitment to the Manchester United cause. It may be a smokescreen, but it may work.

Written by Adam Bermingham

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