Although the expert noted that the only offer the Red Devils received for Pogba was ‘derisory – €30 million plus James Rodriguez’, he is adamant that a mistake was made, saying ‘United really should have sold him last summer’.
The reporter cites the small number of Premier League starts this season – five – and the Frenchman’s lack of commitment to the club, as reasons why he should have been offloaded sooner.
‘As far as Paul Pogba is concerned, nothing has changed … he feels he can do better than Manchester United, he feels that … he joined [United] under a false prospectus, he thought he was going to be part of a new team that would be challenging for the title’.
Solhekol notes that there are not many clubs capable of affording the transfer fee, superagent Mino Raiola’s commission and Pogba’s wages, which currently stand at £290,000 per week.
Looking at the best case scenario for the buying club, the figures are still eye-watering. If we were to assume that the Red Devils were prepared to let Pogba go for the same amount that they paid for him – £89,250,000, that the 26-year-old agreed to sign a 4-year deal with his new club on exactly the same salary as he currently earns at Old Trafford and that Raiola would demand his usual 20%, the total cost of the deal would be £167 million. And as for the worst case scenario, if United were to hold out for something around the £150 million widely reported and Pogba demanded a pay rise, the figure could even approach a staggering quarter of a billion pounds.
Of the clubs capable of mounting that kind of bid, Real Madrid are now less likely to return for the Frenchman, having already agreed a deal with Ajax’s Donny van de Beek. This potentially leaves Juventus as front runners although, as Solhekol notes, Maurizio Sarri is under pressure to keep his jon as Juventus manager and with uncertainty over who will be in charge next season, transfer business may be put on hold until the situation is resolved.
But the Sky man is still convinced, stating ‘I think he will leave in the summer … especially if he does well in the Euros for France’.
Odion Ighalo is set to make his debut for United in next week’s game against Chelsea. But how much do you know about Man United’s African players over the years? Take our quiz to test your knowledge!