Real Madrid: Pogba keen to open negotiations with LaLiga club
The French midfielder feels increasingly exasperated at how Manchester United are going backwards and is keen to move on, hopefully to join up with Zidane.
Three defeats in the last five games have left Manchester United’s chances of European football next season looking slim if nonexistent and Paul Pogba contemplating a future far from Old Trafford. The French midfielder, who broke the world transfer record when he returned to the club from Juventus just under three years ago, is already considering moving on. According to reports in England today, Pogba is keen to see what Real Madrid would be willing to offer him. Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane is a long-term admirer of the 26-year-old and has made no secret of the fact that he is a priority on his wants list as he prepares the daunting task of rebuilding the squad this summer. But Zidane’s blueprint for the new-look Madrid is at odds with what club president Florentino Pérez thinks the team needs. Florentino is not really a big fan of Pogba and ultimately, he will have the final say.
Allure of Champions League football
Zidane is hoping to clear out the dead wood at Real Madrid and turn what effectively is a cup-winning team into one which can stay the pace of LaLiga and challenge Barcelona for the title – something which they have not been able to do during the past two seasons. Last year, Madrid finished third - 17 points behind the champions and this year they are in an almost identical position – third and trailing by 15 points. They are almost mathematically guaranteed of qualifying for the group stage of next season’s Champions League and that's something which United cannot promise Pogba.
Players on their way out at both clubs
Madrid have had an awkward relationship with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola in their previous dealings with him although much of that is water under the bridge now. He will be the one to instigate talks with the Spanish club if Pogba requests to leave and United agree. Raiola reportedly back out of a meeting scheduled with United officials last week to discuss his client's contract and future.
And while not directly related but in a parallel case, it will also be intriguing to see how Gareth Bale’s situation unravels this summer. Bale, once a United target, is out of favour at Real Madrid but has another three years to run on his contract and insists he’s happy at the club. His market value is more or less on a par with Pogba’s but Madrid would be more likely to prefer a direct sale than a part exchange. In the meantime, Zidane has to convince Florentino that Pogba is one of the missing pieces of the jigsaw.