SOCCER | REAL MADRID
Real Madrid on red alert for Manchester United's Paul Pogba
Manchester United are determined to avoid losing Paul Pogba for free while Real Madrid are to step up their attempts to lure the Frenchman to the Bernabéu.
Manchester United are increasingly concerned that Paul Pogba might leave Old Trafford on a free transfer next summer and are making moves to try and persuade the France international to stay amid interest from Real Madrid in acquiring his services for free in June. While the Bernabéu board are confident that if Pogba decides on a change of scenery the Spanish capital will be high on his list, United are going to pull out all the stops to retain their club record signing.
However, United are going to be forced to play a waiting game given that Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has said that he will not be discussing the future with his client until at least April. That will benefit Madrid and other clubs that may be interested in the midfielder, who will be free to talk with non-Premier League clubs from January. It is also a tactic to see what happens with Pogba’s position at Old Trafford in the medium term. There seems to be little chemistry between Pogba and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Frenchman’s role in the side has been placed under question following the arrival at Old Trafford of Cristiano Ronaldo.
“Pogba is a problem because his coach doesn’t believe in him,” former United midfielder Paul Scholes told BT Sport. “It’s clear that he has talent, but he needs someone to be constantly telling him where he should be on the pitch.”
Pogba reluctant to sign new Old Trafford contract
Pogba has shown little inclination to sign a contract extension at Old Trafford and although he has been in decent form this season, providing seven assists so far, his current situation is unlikely to lean him towards extending his stay. Ronaldo has taken the limelight away from the Frenchman and Solskjaer has been playing him in an unfamiliar position to accommodate the midfield fulcrum of Scott McTominay and Fred. Furthermore, he found himself on the bench for the comeback win against Atalanta in the Champions League.
Madrid have been keeping an eye on the situation and could reignite their interest in a player who has long been linked with a move to the Bernabéu. When Zinedine Zidane was in charge he asked for his compatriot to be signed and now, if Pogba refuses to sign a new contract, it would represent a golden opportunity in the market for Florentino Pérez. The fact that Pogba is good friends with Kylian Mbappé has also probably not escaped the Madrid board.
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