Manchester United could launch a January raid for a midfield destroyer if Paul Pogba refuses to respond to a deadline he has been set, per multiple reports.
Pogba, 28, is in the final year of his Old Trafford deal. The dynamic Frenchman made a historic start to the new campaign, bagging seven assists in his first four outings. Though much like the rest of his Manchester United team-mates, his form has since tailed off.
Nonetheless, the Red Devils remain hopeful he will commit his long-term future to the club. Indeed, a recent report indicated the club had set a pre-Christmas deadline for Pogba to make up his mind.
Pogba will be free to negotiate a pre-contract agreement with foreign clubs come January 1. The likes of PSG and Real Madrid have shown interest.
Furthermore, the report in The Sun claimed PSG are also ready to top United’s contract offer. The Ligue 1 giants are apparently readying a package worth £510,000 a week to move to France.
Whether Pogba remains in Manchester, only time will tell. But if Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side do not receive Pogba’a assurances before Christmas, a move for Serie A enforcer Franck Kessie could be targeted.
Like Pogba, Kessie is also in the final year of his deal. The AC Milan midfielder, 24, is known for being a tough tackling and no-nonsense performer. As such, he could help remedy what many believe to be Man Utd’s greatest weakness – a flimsy midfield.
Italian outlet Calciomercato declare the Red Devils’ interest in the Milan general. Furthermore, it’s expressly stated he could be a direct replacement for Pogba.
Whether a January transfer would be targeted or talks opened ahead of a free agent acquisition is unstated. A raid on the revitalised Italian powerhouse isn’t likely to be straightforward, however.
Tottenham and PSG are also credited with interest, while Liverpool were previously mentioned in September.
Ferguson tells Solskjaer of Ronaldo misstep
Meanwhile, Solskjaer has seen his handling of Cristiano Ronaldo questioned by Manchester United legend Sir Alex Ferguson.
Ronaldo was surprisingly chosen to start from the bench in their disappointing draw with Everton. He was seen trudging down the tunnel at full-time after Everton’s roared back to secure a draw. That left Gary Neville fearing for Solskjaer with it speculated Ronaldo was unhappy with his benching.
Now, per the Guardian, another Manchester United figure has questioned Solskjaer’s decision – former boss Ferguson. Citing a video which emerged on Twitter, the newspaper claim the Scot was heard stating Ronaldo should’ve started.
Ferguson was in the director’s lounge speaking with former UFC fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov. It’s declared Ferguson said: “I also think that when they saw Ronaldo wasn’t playing …”
He was then interrupted by the Russian, who pointed out: “He came on in the second half.”
Ferguson followed that up by stating: “I know but you should always start with your best players.”