Manchester United will not sell Paul Pogba in January and are prepared for the midfielder to leave at the end of the season for free when his contract expires.
A senior club source said he “did not see why we would consider” trying to sell Pogba midway through the campaign even though it would mean they could recoup some of the £89m (€105m) they spent on him in 2016.
In a reference to Pogba’s representative, Mino Raiola, the source added that United were always aware when they entered into the deal that “some agents like free transfers and we are always open-eyed about that”.
Pogba, of course, left United in the first place in 2012 when he allowed his contract to run down before joining Juventus with the club awarded just £800,000 in youth development compensation. When Pogba signed his five-year deal, United factored in that it could be the only contract he signs at the club. Several attempts to discuss a new contract have been made, but talks have not progressed and they are now said to be relaxed about the situation.
The source said that there could still be a “twist” before the season ends, suggesting Pogba may agree new terms, but it appears that the 28-year-old will not stay.
Real Madrid, Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain have previously expressed interest in Pogba but are highly unlikely to make an offer in January knowing that he is available for free next summer and with the World Cup winner’s wage demands to factor in.
However, they could negotiate a pre-contract agreement in January, given he is in the final year of his contract and that none of them are Premier League clubs.
United believe they are under no financial pressure to sell Pogba in January, feeling that they are better employed keeping him as a squad member until next summer while they line up his eventual replacement.
While uncertainty over manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future has not helped, Pogba’s performance in the 0-5 defeat against Liverpool has added to the feeling his time with United is nearing a natural conclusion. He received a red card after just 15 minutes of coming on as a substitute, earning a suspension for the next three league games (against Spurs, Manchester City and Watford). Pogba has been dropped to the bench for the past two matches.
Telegraph Media Group Limited