Date published: Saturday 2nd May 2020 1:10
Manchester United have become so frustrated by Mino Raiola’s attempts to move Paul Pogba on this summer that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would happily cut his losses on the midfielder, claims a report.
The France international has had an up-and-down time since his return to United from Juventus in 2016, and Old Trafford fans would more than likely be happy to see him move on.
And with just one year left on his current contract, the midfielder has been strongly linked with a return to Juve, amid claims the Italian champions had already been in contact with the Red Devils to offer them two players in a three-way swap deal.
Pogba has also been mentioned as a potential target for Real Madrid, but, according to AS, United are yet to be contacted by the Spanish giants and there is a growing feeling that much of the speculation around the midfielder comes off the back of attempts by Raiola to move the 27-year-old on.
And as per the Spanish publication, United boss Solskjaer would have no objections to letting Pogba leave, so fed up has the Norwegian become of Raiola’s antics.
Any final decision over Pogba, however, will likely come down to United’s money men, who could be faced with a difficult decision this summer given the World Cup winner’s deflated transfer value, owing to the downturn in the market and the fact that the star has only featured eight times for United during an injury-hit campaign.
The club also holds a one-year option on his deal and could decide to trigger that to protect his value and in the hope his valuation could be inflated next year.
As such, another Spanish publication, Sport, via Sport Witness, claims United’s board have overwhelmingly decided that Donny van de Beek is their No 1 candidate to replace Pogba in their midfield and that the Ajax star is ‘very much appreciated’ by their coaching and scouting staff.
As per the report, United’s board have already held talks over a prospective deal to sign the Netherlands international, who is expected to be made available for a fee of €60m (£53.2m) this summer.
Furthermore, they state Van de Beek is their ‘ideal substitute’ to replace Pogba in their midfield and has all the attributes to succeed in the Premier League.
Sport also mentions both Everton and Newcastle as holding a strong interest in Van de Beek, but adds that the player needs an ‘attractive sporting project’ to leave Ajax for and neither those two would fit his criteria. There is also no mention of Real Madrid for whom Van de Beek has also been previously linked.
However, the report indicates that United will only move for Van de Beek should they be able to move Pogba on, with much in the way of talks with the France star set to determine his long-term future.
Pogba names two biggest career influences
Pogba, of course, made his way in the game through United’s academy and he said he learned first from Paul Scholes and then Andrea Pirlo at Juventus on what was necessary to become a top level midfielder.
“You learn a lot and you look at them,” Pogba told the United Podcast. “I really learned and have been learning. It was unbelievable for me, seeing them training like that, and it pushed me.
“Okay, I have to work hard and have a lot more to do. Pirlo and Scholes, those are midfielders who control the game, the players to look at, and I learned from them, a lot.
“I started as a striker and then a number 10 and then a number six. Thank God, I didn’t go to centre-back! It was because I wanted to touch the ball too much.
“I was the striker and dropping too much, so one coach told me: ‘Okay, play the number 10 and touch the ball more.’ I still loved the ball too much and had too many touches, so he put me at number six.”
In other United news, Solskjaer is also very much in the hunt to sign a new striker, with Saturday’s Paper Talk claiming a deal for a £60m France striker could be on.