We’ve all heard rumours about how much Manchester United want for Paul Pogba, with various figures having been cited. But what is the Frenchman’s real market value?
The enigmatic World Cup winner has been widely reported to be unhappy at Old Trafford and a transfer is looking increasingly likely in the summer. United’s previous robust stance in terms of selling price has reportedly softened as a result.
Recent articles in both the English and Italian media have claimed that the Red Devils have reduced their asking price, but the figures coming out of the two countries have been poles apart. The Italian media believe the asking price is now £75 – £84 million whereas the English press believe it is £150 million.
Whoever is right, the real question is how much will clubs be prepared to pay for the 26-year-old in the summer?
Those bastions of football knowledge Transfermarkt have Pogba’s market value set at €100 million (£85 million). That is slightly less than the €105 million (£89 million) that the Red Devils paid for Pogba in 2016.
This places Pogba as the 18th most valuable player on the planet, behind the likes of N’Golo Kante, Bernado Silva and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
Whilst United’s executive vice chairman Ed Woodward and the player himself would feel that figure is way too low, the potential buyers – Juventus, Inter Milan and Real Madrid – might argue that it is too high.
Right now, those buying clubs are looking at an indisputable talent, but one with few recent matches, complicated injury problems and, let’s be honest, some rather erratic form that preceded the injury layoffs.
They are also looking at a player who is known to be unsettled at his current club, whose contract is entering its final year (albeit extendable by a further year) and whose presence in the dressing room is reported to be having a detrimental effect on team morale.
All those factors could see Pogba’s value drop significantly.
It should also not be forgotten that Real Madrid’s bid for Pogba last summer was €30 million plus James Rodrigues, whose own market value is €40 million, making los Merengues’ valuation of Pogba one year ago – before all the form and injury troubles began – just €70 million (£60 million).
That was likely an opening gambit that was soon quashed by the astronomical counter offer than would have emerged from Old Trafford, but it is unlikely that a year later los Blancos will go much higher, especially with the impressive form of Federico Valverde and the agreed deal to sign Donny Van de Beek giving them plenty of other options in midfield.
Juventus and Inter don’t normally push the boat out as far as the Spanish side and would probably need to either sell players, or offer a player-plus-cash deal, to reach anywhere near the kind of figure that the Red Devils are hoping for.
Of course, transfer prices have escalated in the past 12 months which would more than compensate for the 26-year-old’s depreciated value.
Also, Pogba’s commercial value should also never be underestimated – Pogba the brand is worth a lot to whichever club secures his services. But is that worth as much to clubs like Real and Juventus, who boast a plethora of other big stars, as it is to United? Maybe, maybe not.
A lot will now depend on Pogba’s performances once he returns from injury and especially those for France in Euro 2020. A good showing in both competitions could persuade his suitors to move hell and high water to sign him and even draw other cash cows such as PSG into the fray.
But right now, it is fair to say that based on previous offers and subsequent developments, United would be struggling to recoup what they paid for Pogba and that Transfermarkt’s £85 million figure could even be on the high end of what is achievable. Whether Ed Woodward would be prepared to sell him for that sort of figure remains to be seen.
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