Paul Pogba hasn’t enjoyed an easy ride side returning to Manchester United in 2016. The French midfielder, who left the club in 2012 after failing to break his way into Sir Alex Ferguson’s plans, enjoyed four successful years in Italy with Juventus before returning to Old Trafford for £89m two years ago. Injuries and Jose Mourinho’s restrictive tactics have certainly played their part, but Pogba has so far struggled to offer consistently world-class performances to back up that audacious transfer fee. Couple that with reports that the player and the club’s Portuguese manager are struggling to see eye to eye, and you have a recipe for transfer rumours.
That seems to be the basis on this report from The Sun, who have linked Manchester United with a cash-and-player swap for Paris Saint Germain’s Marco Verratti this summer. It’s an audacious suggestion, especially given that United would be exceptionally unlikely to countenance any deal that included Pogba in any way, let alone one that required extra cash on top of it.
There seems to remain a will to see Pogba succeed at United, despite the sharp media focus and criticism that the player has received. Given the amount of money that it took to prise the player back from Juventus, that’s certainly no shock; it would be quite an embarrassment should the club have to sell a player so quickly purchased for such an extravagant fee without getting the best out of him.
Should the club harbour a genuine interest in Verratti’s services, then the likeliest outcome is that United would only offer cash for the player, or perhaps work Anthony Martial into any deal. The Frenchman is believed to be unhappy at Old Trafford, and would potentially fancy a move back to his homeland with Ligue 1’s top club. Rrgardless, it seems highly unlikely that United would countenance any deal for any player that included Pogba this summer.