According to the Daily Mail, Paul Pogba is determined to force a move away from Manchester United this summer to join Barcelona.
Pogba in fact came through the Red Devils’ academy but was let go by then-boss Sir Alex Ferguson in 2012. The club later bought back the Frenchman in the summer of 2016 for a then-world record fee of £89 million.
However, since returning to England two years ago, the 25-year-old has divided opinion, with some claiming that the midfielder doesn’t fit the system Jose Mourinho has in place at Old Trafford.
According to the aforementioned report, the relationship between the manager and Pogba is strained and a recent falling out between the two could be one of the catalysts for the player’s desire to move.
In the event that Pogba does stage an Old Trafford exit this summer, United should already be putting plans in place for how to replace the World Cup winner.
If Pogba departs this summer, United will have to wait until at least January to bring in a replacement as the transfer window has already shut in England. When the time comes though, the man who should be brought in to take up Pogba’s mantle is Adrien Rabiot.
The PSG midfielder has refused a new contract with the French giants, as reported by L’Equipe. The 23-year-old is already in the final year of his current deal, and if he doesn’t sign new terms, will be available on a free transfer next summer.
In January, United could either sign Rabiot for a cut price fee or secure his future services as a free agent via a pre-contract agreement.
Whilst Rabiot is by no means a midfielder in the same mould as Pogba, he is a more natural fit for Mourinho’s preferred style of play. The presence of the PSG man would give the Red Devils a more solid midfield base to build upon and greater defensive security in that area of the pitch.
Rabiot’s brilliant passing range and accuracy would also be great news for the likes of Romelu Lukaku, Marcus Rashford, Alexis Sanchez and Anthony Martial, who will be expected to thrive upon the midfielder’s service.
Rabiot might not be as eye-catching a buy as Pogba was, or half as well-known a name, but his acquisition makes perfect sense.