The Paul Pogba saga is not letting up midway through the summer. We opine as to why a swap deal for the Frenchman does not make sense for Manchester United.
The speculation surrounding Paul Pogba’s future at Manchester United is growing like wildfire. And, the saga is only getting murkier as the days and weeks pass as following the Frenchman comments pointing towards wanting a new challenge.
The pot was stirred further when, in a recent interview with The Times, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola said that his client is determined to leave Manchester United this summer. With the noise continuing to grow, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has had to issue a gagging order by saying that the Red Devils do not need to sell any of their players.
Meanwhile, the rumour mill does not stop dishing out pieces of gossip and there have been several suggestions that Pogba’s suitors are weighing up swap deals to either do away with his staggering price tag, or bring it down by offering a player as part of the deal.
What’s (Who’s) on offer?
The first of these speculations surrounded Juventus, with one of Douglas Costa and Paulo Dybala mooted to be on offer. Since then, however, there has been very little development over the rumour, especially following the Bianconeri’s capture of Adrien Rabiot on a free transfer.
The next rumour surprisingly concerned PSG, who have had flitting links with Pogba, with Neymar shockingly being offered to Manchester United. And, the latest ones have claimed, in separate reports, that Isco/Gareth Bale could be part of a player-plus-cash deal that sees Real Madrid land Pogba.
Should Manchester United entertain such offers?
The simple answer is no. We reckon Manchester United would be better off rejecting any and every such deal that are reportedly in the works, even if they take the decision to cash-in on what looks like a disgruntled superstar. And for good reason.
As far as the rumours concerning Juventus players are concerned, someone like a Douglas Costa could perhaps go a long way in solving the long-standing right wing troubles that Manchester United have been experiencing for years now.
But, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer places an emphasis on having a correct attitude on the pitch along with prime fitness levels. This is where the Brazilian international fails to fit the system at Old Trafford, considering his poor fitness record as well as a tendency to get embroiled in controversy.
As for Dybala, his style of play clashes with the one that Solskjaer usually uses, with the high press style not suited to how he goes about on the field. All in all, neither swap deal would make sense for Manchester United.
As for the Neymar rumour, the suggestions looked far-fetched in the first place itself. Manchester United reportedly knocked back the offer quickly as well, and it does make sense, even though they have rejected a player of the Brazilian’s calibre.
Manchester United’s wage structure is already all over the place following their capture of Alexis Sanchez last year. The effects of Sanchez’s deal are being felt to this day, with United struggling to tie their best player, David de Gea, down to a long-term contract.
Bringing in Neymar would only further disrupt their wage structure, which would create a dangerous precedence going forward for the Red Devils at a time when they need to get back to basics on all fronts.
Add to it the Brazilian’s disruptive nature, which has been evident over the last two years, and having him in the dressing room would leave them prone to having a toxic atmosphere in the dressing room. Finally, moving on to the potential Real Madrid swap deals.
Gareth Bale has been a long-term target for Manchester United ever since the days of David Moyes. But, while he was an attractive prospect half-a-decade ago – and even during Jose Mourinho’s time at Old Trafford – he no longer has that allure associated with him.
If the last two years have taught anything, it’s that the Welshman has almost become a liability for Real Madrid, not just with his frail fitness but also due to his alarming drop in form. Bale’s recent performances indicate that he has lost that cutting edge in his game as well, meaning he is unlikely to be a solution on the right wing either.
As for Isco, the Spaniard, like Dybala, will find it hard to fit into Solskjaer’s high intensity system, while his recent fitness struggles also raise a red flag. All in all, none of the players would nearly be able to fill the void left by Pogba in one capacity or another.
More importantly, each of the contenders for the swap deals are in their primes and cannot be moulded in Solskjaer’s image. With that in mind, a cash deal makes the most sense for Manchester United as that would allow Solskjaer to sign a player who specifically fits his requirements instead of having to adjust his game accordingly.
With Manchester United adopting a changed approach in this summer transfer window and looking towards young and hungry players, accepting any of the aforementioned swap deals would only see them take a step back and bring in another superstar instead of a young blood that has something to prove.
In conclusion, if Pogba indeed makes his way out of Old Trafford this summer, a situation that might not be completely ideal for Manchester United, it should be for a straight cash deal instead of one that involves some player making his way to the Premier League. But, considering his stature and importance, they might still be better served keeping hold of their talisman.