Sir Alex Ferguson got a lot more right than wrong in his time at Manchester United, but his biggest mistake of all might not come and bite him personally in the backside, but may well take a chunk out of the team he left behind and more galling it may well be happening down at the Etihad if they sign up undoubtedely the best young player in Europe at the moment Paul Pogba . The ‘currently’ Juventus midfielder had a storming season helping his side to a fourth consecutive Serie A title (he has been involved in three of them), a Coppa Italia and a Champions League Final, where losing to a Barcelona team on fire is not something to be too down hearted about. For me his influence this season has been much more marked especially as Juve’s main midfield destroyer Arturo Vidal had an average season and Pogba took on the mantle and performed admirably – obviously the downside for the Italian champions is that he is now in big demand.
The main teams in the running are Barcelona and Manchester City though Real Madrid, PSG and Chelsea are keeping a close eye on the stuation. Mino Raiola has done a superb job as his agent, already securing him to a long-term contract at Juventus which then in turn allows his current club to ask for a massive transfer fee (somewhere between 50-80 million pounds dependent on what you read) whilst keeping the player happy with what was a huge pay rise – obviously a move will increase his wages even further (likely to be more than doubled). Some reports would tell you Barcelona are the favourites – they are the best team in Europe – but for me their transfer ban is a huge issue, Pogba would not be able to play for them until January 2016 – a long time to be without competive football and something I can’t see Pogba agreeing to. So that puts Manchester City in with a good chance and with French legend Patrick Vieira on their staff they may have an ace up their sleeve IF he was to leave this summer. Juventus’ hierarchy have said that whilst they accept he may leave, they would only sell if the player himself asked to go – something that has not happened and the rumours are he is happy to stay in Italy for next season.
REASONS TO STAY
Personally if he wants to stay then only money will be the reason to move this summer (though to be fair he wont be the first or last footballer to think like that). Why do I say this, well let me explain. Next summer looming over every French footballer is a European Championship in their home country. Manager Didier Deschamps has already commeted that to be considered for the squad you will need to be playing regularly for your club side. Pogba is settled at Juve, is a key player, a year older, a year faster and a year stronger. As mentioned earlier his wages are decent as we stand, as said unless its the money why leave where you know exactly what is needed and move to another country and club where no matter how good you are, you would need a settling in period and then at the clubs mentioned there is not necessarily a guarantee you will play all the key games. If he stayed where he is now the likelihood is that Pogba gets to Euro 2016 in the top of his form after a strong season, he could light up the tournament and then would have his pick of anywhere to go, his club would gladly sell for the then even more astronomical fee and his agent, well lets just say his wallet will be a bit fatter as he is doing very well out of the young French footballer anyway. Having said all that he does have the quality to demand a first team place in the majority of sides in Europe but plenty of top notch players have moved to a new country and struggled – just look at Angel Di Maria the season just gone as one example.
This saga is likely to go on for most of the summer, the resolution should be very interesting. One things for sure Sir Alex is now beginning to realise that when he had to make a choice it was clearly Pogba > Cleverley – though he did not see it that way.
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