Paul Pogba has issued a statement denying media reports claiming he has recently been offered a new contract by Manchester United.
Pogba is out of contract in June and is free to talk to overseas clubs about a deal, with United set to lose him for free for the second time.
Yesterday we featured a report from The Sun claiming that United had offered Pogba a new contract worth £500,000 per week, including a basic salary of £400,000.
This appeared to be an increase on the package reported previously which approached a total of £400,000 per week, which would have made the Frenchman the club’s best paid player.
But in an unusual twist yesterday, a spokesperson for Pogba has denied that a recent contract offer has been made.
‘To clarify media reports, Paul has not been offered a new contract in recent months,’ The Mail was told.
‘Paul is fully focused on his recovery from injury with the aim of helping the team as soon as possible.’
The words ‘in recent months’ are key in the statement.
Does this mean that United have not improved an older offer that has been left on the table since the early part of last year? Or does it mean that there is no offer on the table at all?
We must assume the former, as it would seem unconscionable for United to have not made any offer at all at any stage, although leaving a similar offer until too late was the cause of losing Ander Herrera for free in 2019.
If the offer remains around the £375,000 plus bonuses mark, it would still appear to be a very generous one in the current financial climate. It seems unlikely that any other club – except perhaps PSG – would be able to match it.
However, player contracts at United usually have a clause reducing salaries by 25% if Champions League qualification is not achieved. This could reduce the deal to around £280,000 next season – a figure that he could more realistically achieve elsewhere.
This may be part of the reason why Pogba’s agent, former pizza chef Mino Raiola, has indicated that a decision would not be made until at least April, as they wait to see whether United manage to get into the top four and clinch one of those Champions League places.