Manchester United have made the move to tie down French midfielder Paul Pogba beyond this season after triggering a clause in his contract which states that the club could further extend his deal by a year.
Prior to that action, the former Juventus star turned Manchester United returnee had entered the final year of his contract and could as early as next January start talking to foreign clubs about a potential bossman transfer but with this move, Manchester United have put themselves in good stead for some profiting should he eventually secure that move away.
When reports of the new deal frittered in, a lot of fans and pundits queried the action, claiming it is a wrong step in all ramifications. It is not a surprise that a lot of people are thinking in that light, Pogba has not really reached the high standards expected of him following his world record fee move to Manchester United in 2016, a club he left for pittance in 2012.
After a decent first season, he fell out of favor with former boss, Jose Mourinho, suffered strings of injuries and poor form perhaps owing to open flirtations with Spanish giants, Real Madrid.
For a while now, Manchester United have fought hard to keep their prized but it seems their prized asset is not so keen on being their poster boy for long and has never hidden his desire to join Real Madrid with the presence of compatriot, Zinedine Zidane, an added attraction.
Not all deals go as planned and it looks like the Pogba deal is one of such that just does not work out and it is high time, Manchester United cut their losses on him. On the field, he has not lived up to the billing of his prodigious talent and off the pitch, he has continued his open flirtations towards Real Madrid.
It should be crystal clear to the Old Trafford outfit that they cannot get good value for him as he is no longer the player he was when he joined them years ago.
Manchester United’s recent acquisitions over the last two transfer windows (winter and summer) show that they are already preparing for life after the World Cup winner. Bruno Fernandes is a box to box midfielder who could not only play alongside him but also in his stead. Besides his famous penalties, he has also contributed fair share of goals from open play and assists too.
In the just concluded summer transfer window, the Red Devils signed Ajax star, Donny Van De Beek, the Dutchman is yet another box to box midfielder. All these should be pointers to the imminent departure of Pogba.
Keeping him for another season beyond the current one could be counter productive for Manchester United. It does not seem like Pogba will further extend his current contract beyond the one triggered without his tacit approval and it is also unlikely that any club will fork out big money to sign him.
With the extension, Manchester United are just extending the stay of an unhappy player and sadness could be infectious.
On the other side, that further extension has swung the pendulum briefly in Manchester United’s favour as they have been able to buy themselves some more time to decide his future and profit a bit from that decision. Poor and injury riddled form coupled with less than 2 years left on his contract means they cannot demand a premium for him but they can at least get a decent offer for him.
It is not too early to start preparing for life after Paul Pogba and In Bruno Fernandes and Van de Beek, Manchester United seem more than prepared.