Manchester United are growing increasingly confident of extending Paul Pogba’s contract – but look set to do so on their terms only after a crafty move from his agent Mino Raiola reportedly backfired.
Pogba, 28, is in the final year of his contract with Manchester United. The club understandably wish to tie the Frenchman down to fresh terms. However, Pogba is yet to make a final decision and is seemingly content to weigh up his options amid widespread interest from the continent.
Real Madrid, PSG, Juventus and Barcelona have all been credited with interest. If the lure of signing a top class performer wasn’t already strong enough, the potential absence of a transfer fee has heightened his appeal.
Indeed, Pogba will be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs come January. That would then lead to a free agent switch in the summer.
As such, a report on Friday claimed Raiola has been in contact with Barcelona over a prospective free-transfer move.
However, as per Sport, Barcelona have reportedly informed Raiola they see the signing of Pogba as ‘inviable’.
Amid their financial issues, the struggling Catalan giants insist they cannot afford the type of salary Pogba would demand.
In addition, they believe Pogba’s only true intention is to stay at United and extend his deal.
Furthermore, Barcelona fear they are simply being used as a tool to force United to increase the package they are offering the midfielder.
Paul Pogba has decided to sign a new contract
Paul Pogba has reportedly decided to sign a new contract at Manchester United, with more news on a full-back shortlist for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and forward Edinson Cavani. - TT
As such, Raiola’s game-playing in making United wait on an answer is, reportedly, the sole reason behind the delay.
And while PSG and Real could satisfy his reported £400,000 a week wages, his only intention is, reportedly, to stay.
As a result, United are now reportedly ‘wise to Raiola’s tactics’ with the Red Devils now feeling they hold the ‘upper hand’ in talks.
And it’s hoped that his new deal will be announced in the coming weeks and well ahead of their ‘Christmas deadline’.
Raiola also teasing about return to Juventus
Barcelona are not the only club Raiola is purpotedly using to boost Pogba’s income.
Indeed, the agent recently hinted that a return to Turin with Juventus is also something the midfielder is ‘seriously considering’.
“Pogba’s contract expires next year. We will talk to Manchester (United) and see,” Raiola said last month.
“For sure Turin has remained in his heart and he cares a lot about these things. The possibility of returning to Juventus is there but it also depends on Juve.”
Pogba too also appears ready to play the game, with comments made after France’s recent Nations League success.
When asked directly about the Juventus links, Pogba said: “I like Torino [laughs]!
“I always speak with former Juve team-mates like [Paulo] Dybala. I’m in Manchester now, I’m under contract until June.
“Then let’s see. I want to complete this season at my best level, then we will see.”