Manchester United are set to initiate contract talks with key midfielder Paul Pogba as they look to build a title-winning side.
What’s the story?
According to ESPN, the Red Devils will begin negotiations with the 28-year-old amidst fears that he could leave on a free transfer next summer.
Pogba has just 12 months left to run on his current deal with United, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is desperate to retain the World Cup winner’s services.
Fans will be buzzing
The upcoming transfer window will be the last opportunity for the Old Trafford outfit to receive a substantial fee for their record signing.
However, the report claims no solid contact has been made regarding the French international’s services from any interested party.
It goes on to state that Paris Saint-Germain would be interested if Pogba was available for free in a year, with foreign clubs able to negotiate a pre-contract agreement from January.
His controversial super-agent, Mino Raiola, has previously declared that his client will not put pen to paper on a fresh deal at Old Trafford, although it’s believed that United have not given up hope over extending the former academy graduate’s stay.
After an inconsistent spell with the 20-time English champions, Pogba enjoyed one of his most successful seasons in 2020/21.
A string of impressive performances saw the former Juventus man score six goals and provide nine assists for his teammates in 42 appearances, achieving a highly respectable WhoScored rating of 7.06 in the process.
He played a crucial part in United’s second-place finish in the Premier League but was unable to lift his second Europa League crown with his boyhood club as Villarreal came away victorious following a dramatic penalty shootout win.
Pogba’s growing importance to Solskjaer’s side has been clear for all to see, and the news that the Red Devils’ hierarchy are attempting to tie him down to a new contract will surely have the supporters buzzing as he is, on his day, a truly elite footballer.
Upon his return to the national team at the end of last year, Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris praised his compatriot’s array of qualities.
“Very present, he wanted the ball. He put on his voice. He is a leader, and we felt it,” revealed Lloris.
At a time when United are attempting to reel in their local rivals and return to the summit of English football, keeping hold of their star players and key leaders is essential.
Losing Pogba, especially for free, would be a huge setback to the progress made under Solskjaer and could leave United further away from a league title than they’ve ever been under the Norwegian’s reign.