Paul Pogba is set to enter the final six months of his contract at Manchester United and with no resolution to his contract situation in sight, speculation surrounding a potential exit is ramping up.
The 28-year-old signed a five-year deal in 2016 but the club activated their one-year extension clause last year, tying him to a deal until next summer.
Pogba has been reluctant to commit to fresh terms at the Old Trafford club in recent years but last week, there were claims that Manchester United had turned down the opportunity to extend his deal.
Now, former Liverpool star and legend Steve McManaman has talked up a move to Real Madrid, insisting it’s an ‘easy move’ for the European giants.
“It’s an easy move for Real Madrid to take him. You’re getting him on a free so you’re really not taking much of a gamble,” McManaman told HorseRacing, via The Metro.
“So you take into account what you have in the team – they’ve got Luka Modric who’s 36, Toni Kroos is into his thirties, Casemiro will be 30 in February.
“That’s what you’re looking at. Of course you’ve got a number of players in and around the squad as well. I don’t think it would be a big issue to bring Pogba in.
“Is he playing well enough at the moment? No, of course not. That’s an easy thing to say.
“He was poor when he came on against Liverpool, against Atalanta he was really slow and got caught lots of times so his form hasn’t been good enough to walk into a Real Madrid team.”
SN’s verdict on McManaman’s comments and Pogba’s future…
It’s becoming increasingly unlikely that Pogba will sign a new deal at Manchester United and with this season’s developments taken into consideration, it could prove to be a blessing rather than anything else.
United have struggled with Pogba on the pitch this season and the opening game against Leeds aside, he has largely been a bystander for the team.
Pogba started the 5-0 defeat to Liverpool on the bench and compounded his side’s misery when he was given his marching orders just 15 minutes after being introduced as a substitute – hardly the actions of a senior leader in the dressing-room.
Real Madrid have been strongly linked with a move for Pogba in the past and McManaman can be forgiven for being drawn into the speculation, a common theme that seems to follow Pogba around lately.
In truth, it would be a relief for many Manchester United supporters to rid the constant headache of reading about Pogba flirting with other clubs. His return to the club hasn’t gone as planned and perhaps a move to Real Madrid was always supposed to be the endgame.