Manchester City are reportedly interested in launching a stunning swoop for Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba. The Red Devils flop is out of contract this summer and due to leave Old Trafford on a free transfer, and despite the bitter rivalry between the sides, he is supposedly willing to consider a prospective offer from Pep Guardiola’s side.
Many United fans will be happy to see the back of Pogba at the end of the season, with the Old Trafford faithful often criticising the World Cup winner for a lack of work rate and a poor attitude. His talent is undeniable, however, and Guardiola supposedly feels as though he could nurse him back to form at the Etihad.
The Daily Mail claim that City are ‘exploring’ the possibility of launching an ‘explosive’ summer pursuit. Pogba is expected to weigh up all offers on the table, with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain also set to throw their hats into the ring, before making a decision on his future.
But promisingly for the Sky Blues, the 29-year-old would not immediately dismiss the prospect of trading red for blue.
City boss Guardiola is believed to be scouring the market for a new midfield option ahead of the summer window. The Spaniard was recently taken by surprise when a journalist informed him that Fernandinho was planning to depart, which will leave a vacancy for a talented player to fill.
Pogba commanded a world record transfer fee of £89m when United signed him from Juventus in 2016, four years after letting him go as a youngster. The Red Devils will be dealt a kick in the teeth by receiving nothing for him this summer, and it could be made even worse if he opts to head across town to join up with the Sky Blues.
Many feel as though the enigmatic Frenchman has bagged of untapped potential, and that his prime years have been sub-par at Old Trafford. He supposedly pockets £290,000-a-week with United, and it remains to be seen how City’s offer stacks up to the competition.
City have a major disadvantage in that they cannot submit a formal offer to Pogba until the end of the season, while interested parties from overseas have been able to negotiate since January. But if the switch did go ahead, it would send shockwaves throughout the Premier League in the same way Carlos Tevez’s move from United to City did back in 2009, accompanied by the infamous ‘Welcome to Manchester’ billboard.
Tevez went on to score 73 goals in 148 Man City games at a better scoring rate than he managed under Sir Alex Ferguson. It remains to be seen whether Guardiola is able to coax the same improvement out of Pogba, or whether he will get the chance.
The midfielder is among a host of Red Devils stars who are set to leave the club for free in a few weeks’ time. Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata will each follow suit as incoming boss Erik ten Hag faces a daunting rebuild job to make up ground on their competition.