Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Paul Pogba transfer news: Man Utd end close with ‘gentleman’s agreement’ cited by suitor’s CEO

Man Utd midfielder Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba is edging closer to discovering where he’ll play once leaving Man Utd if the comments of Juventus’ CEO and manager are anything to go by.

The 29-year-old Frenchman looks on course to leave Manchester United for the second time this summer. Pogba will become a free agent on June 30, something that has allowed him to open talks with overseas suitors since January 1.

There had been talk of a late bumper contract extension at Old Trafford in the works. However, that – along with speculation linking him to Man City – no longer appears relevant.

Indeed, Pogba seems destined to either return to France with PSG or sign for Juventus for a second time. Moving to PSG may actually be of great benefit to Liverpool.

However, a report from the Mirror has now suggested Juventus will likely win the race when all is said and done.

Talks between Juventus and Pogba’s new agent, Rafaela Pimenta, reportedly took place on Monday. Pimenta has taken over among Pogba’s team following the passing of Mino Raiola in late-April.

Pogba’s salary demands may have been on the agenda, which the Italian press recently indicated could pose a problem in Turin.

Indeed, La Gazzetta dello Sport claimed Pogba will be offered an annual wage of £6.3m (€7.5m) by Juventus. Add-ons would take the sum over £9m-per-year (roughly £170,000-a-week).

Juventus CEO, manager speak on Paul Pogba

That is far below the reported £350,000-per-week Pogba currently pockets in Manchester, though Juventus’ desire to secure his signature was made evident last week.

The Serie A giant reportedly requested Pogba’s camp make them aware of any proposals he received from rival suitors, specifically PSG.

But the latest comments of Juventus CEO have done little to dampen the speculation. Far from it, Maurizio Arrivabene referenced a “gentleman’s agreement” when speaking to Sky Italia about their plans.

“He is a Manchester United player,” said Arrivabene (via the Mirror). “We respect them, and we would have to inform them first due to a gentleman’s agreement.

“He has the same agent as Moise Kean and Luca Pellegrini, so talking is routine. He was not the main topic.

“I agree that we could use a top-notch midfielder, and we are making our evaluations. We need the right balance across every role.

“The squad has to be financially sustainable, and we want the right combination between youngsters and veterans.”

While Arrivabene was remaining coy on the possibility of signing Pogba, manager Max Allegri’s jovial response to his own probe was rather more telling.

Paul Pogba will have to take a huge pay cut if he wants to return to Juventus

Manchester United’s Paul Pogba will reportedly have to take a sizeable pay cut if he wants to rejoin Juventus this summer.

“Pogba? Who is Pogba? I don’t know him,” chuckled Allegri when speaking to DAZN (via Fabrizio Romano).”Is it an English word, maybe?!

“I forgot about Paul Pogba, it was too many years ago.”

The fact both figures are speaking openly about Pogba would suggest there is no smoke without fire.

Man Utd correct to ditch Pogba?

While Pogba remains a key figure for France, his time at United has been far from smooth sailing.

United will enter a new era under Erik ten Hag this summer and they may be wise to rid themselves of those who have characterised the last half-decade of underachievement.

The Red Devils don’t often lose players to rival clubs unless they actually wish to see them leave. While it’s true that Pogba has rejected several contract offers, if United truly wanted him to stay, they would likely have found a way.

A return to Juventus looks on the cards and that is where Pogba enjoyed his greatest success in club football between 2012-16.

A move back to Turin may be best for Pogba and both United and Juventus too.