Man Utd placed in risky situation as promising new midfielder plan emerges – with a catch

Bruno Fernandes, Paul Pogba and Anthony Martial, Man Utd, January 2021

Paul Pogba can still envisage a long-term future at Manchester United, even if he is unlikely to sign a contract renewal this summer, it has been claimed.

Man Utd are currently in a perilous position regarding the future of Pogba, their all-time record signing. He is in the final year of his contract and they do not want to lose him for free for a second time in his career. Thus, they may have to sell him this summer.

Agent Mino Raiola has previously told United they have little chance of keeping his client, whom he has reportedly even offered to rivals Liverpool. But Pogba’s form picked up in the second half of last season and he sent another reminder of his quality at Euro 2020.

Truth be told, United have not been able to enjoy that quality to the extent they would have hoped for when re-signing him from Juventus. Pogba has sometimes struggled for consistency. However, on his day, he remains among the world’s elite.

It would thus be beneficial for United to keep him – although they must work out whether the wage rise that would come with a new deal would be deserved.

Recent reports have backed up a hesitancy from Pogba to sign a new deal, which puts further pressure on United. However, according to the latest update from Sky Sports News, there is still a chance of him staying.

According to Sky, Pogba can imagine staying at United for the long term. Despite this, he remains unlikely to sign a new deal this summer.

Paul Pogba, Man Utd, 2021

He wants to weigh up all his options before committing to what should be the last big contract of his career.

There are two potential factors that could convince Pogba to stay put: his positive relationship with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and his excitement about the signings of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane.

But even so, he will likely wait until after the transfer window closes before exploring a new deal with United. It would put the club in a risky position, as they may miss out on their chance to cash in while hoping in vain for him to renew.

His representatives are still in contact with United over a new contract. In this situation, the player has all the power due to his contractual situation.

He has admirers at Paris Saint-Germain, which is a move he would not be against. Even so, he is biding his time to see if other offers come in. Among those later options could be a new, improved contract offer from United.

Pogba decision to impact United business

Pogba’s delayed decision could have further repercussions on United, who are basing their transfer strategy this summer around whether he will stay or go.

United’s spending could look different in either scenario. They will need to sign a new midfielder if they let him go. But if they are confident he will stay, they may have other priorities.

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For example, they remain keen on signing a more attacking right-back such as Kieran Trippier of Atletico Madrid.

But a recent report suggested they could still be in the market for a new defensive midfielder before then.

That could be independent of Pogba’s future, too, because he thrives in a freer role.

Even so, United would surely prefer some form of clarification from the 2018 World Cup winner as soon as possible.

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