With news emerging on Thursday evening that Paul Pogba has turned down a new contract at Manchester United and is set to leave the club, a 2016 quote of his has reemerged – one which outlines three things the midfielder has failed to achieve during his time at the club.
With a promising young squad around him, Pogba’s impressive performances gave hope to fans that perhaps he might play a key role in returning United to the top of English – and indeed European football.
Seemingly more content last term than ever, talk was rife that Pogba was poised to ink a new deal at the club – an idea that would have been incomprehensible at previous points of his United career.
The hope of Solskjaer and co, would have been to persuade Pogba to sign a new contract, and to subsequently assemble a squad that was ready to mount a Premier League title tilt in 2021/22.
With Jadon Sancho, and possibly even Raphael Varane on board, that dream seemed closer than ever. However, the 28-year-old’s excursions with the French National Team this summer looks to have thrown a spanner into the works.
Almost immediately after Les Bleus’ exit from Euro 2020 was confirmed, where the reigning world champions lost to Switzerland, reports questioning Pogba’s future at United began to re-emerge.
In years gone by, Real Madrid and Juventus were viewed as natural destinations for Pogba if he did decide to leave England. Fast forward to 2021, and Paris Saint Germain appear to be in the driving seat for his signature.
After two spells at United, a second exit would surely be the end of Pogba’s Manchester adventure. If we have already seen the graceful playmaker’s final game for the club, he will leave Old Trafford having failed to achieve any of the three targets he set himself during his first interview with club media following his move from Juventus back in 2016.
“I still want to win the league, first time with United, because I didn’t win the league when I left,” Pogba told MUTV in 2016.
“Champions League of course, and personally, one of my dreams, is to win the Ballon d’Or, but that will come with time. Hopefully it will come but first I want to win the Premier League, which I’ve never done.”
The Paris native has gotten close to top honours before at United, having finished runners-up in the Premier League on two occasions in the past five years.
Rather frustratingly for Pogba, United’s inability to even reach a Champions League Semi-final during his time there has made a Ballon D’Or win virtually impossible.
If reports are to be believed, PSG are preparing a £45million bid for Pogba, one which will surely test United’s resolve – who are unlikely to let him leave for anything shy of £50million.
Pogba’s value to United over the course of the next year could well be £50million if the talisman can help carry his side to domestic and European glory.
By contrast, now could be the ideal time for the club to raise some much-needed funds, and press on ahead with a core of players who are hungry for success in Manchester.
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