Manchester United superstar Paul Pogba has reportedly been told to hand in a transfer request if he wants to force through a move to Real Madrid.
If the report by The Sun is to be believed, Manchester United have laid down the terms for Paul Pogba to leave the club in the summer transfer window. The French superstar is keen on joining Real Madrid, but will have to submit a transfer request in order to complete a move.
The summer transfer window is going to be crucial for many clubs, but all eyes will be on two fallen giants of European football. Both Manchester United and Real Madrid endured embarrassing falls from grace this season, finishing their respective campaigns without a major trophy to boast of.
Manchester United, in particular, have a huge rebuilding phase in front of them after failing to secure Champions League football for the third time in the last five years. And, it has been widely believed that Pogba would be the player around whom Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would build his team.
But, a spanner in the works was thrown by the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner, who said two months ago securing a move to Real Madrid would be a dream come true for him. Manchester United though, are adamant that they will not let their talisman leave in the summer.
Real Madrid too, are set for a squad revamp this summer, having finished a staggering 19 points behind champions and bitter rivals Barcelona. Having seen the superstars in his squad falter in the second half of the campaign, Zinedine Zidane is now set to chop and change quite a bit.
Midfield is a major issue for the Real Madrid boss, with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos being pale shadows of themselves over the course of this season. With Modric approaching the end of his career, the time is right for someone else to come and take the mantle of being the leader in the middle of the park, which has seen Zidane turn his sights towards Manchester United.
Pogba has shown, for both Manchester United and France, that he can be the player who does not let heads drop and takes added responsibility, at times. And, considering the goals he can bring to the side, the 26-year-old can be a valuable addition to the Real Madrid first-team squad.
A big-money summer move has thus, been mooted in recent months. But, Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward does not want the club to sell Pogba at any cost, as he fears a sale would damage their image, amid an already difficult period.
If push comes to shove though, Solskjaer is prepared to cash-in on the Frenchman, although the only way it will happen is if he submits a transfer request. So, it looks like a move to Real Madrid will only be possible if Pogba were to go for the last resort of forcing through a transfer.
It now remains to be seen if the midfield superstar is that desperate to join Real Madrid, or if he stays put at Manchester United, where he will miss Champions League football but can continue to be a central figure. The coming weeks hold the key.