Paul Pogba has been tipped to let his Manchester United contract expire to give him more options next summer.
United are keen to renew the 28-year-old’s deal but have not seen that same willingness from him, and there were concerns in June that Pogba’s hesitance in negotiations was largely due to a desire to leave for free.
Those fears have since been backed up by ESPN, who state that Pogba’s current plan is to let his deal wind down to encourage more suitors.
Long-term suitors Real Madrid and Juventus would both be all over Pogba if he became a free agent. The two sides don’t have the funds needed to lodge a bid for the Frenchman but would be more than happy to offer him some hefty wages next summer.
Paris Saint-Germain are also known admirers and the French side are actively pursuing Pogba this summer, although the cost of the operation and their preference to sign Rennes’ Eduardo Camavinga makes such a deal unlikely as it stands.
Interestingly, the report adds that Pogba’s willingness to let his contract expire is not actually a sign of his desire to leave, and the idea of inking a new deal with United next summer is very much still a possibility.
Instead, Pogba simply wants a better idea of the market for him. At the minute, his options are very limited because of the cost of signing him, but that would definitely change if he became a free agent. For United, it’s all about whether they would be prepared to lose Pogba for free or whether they believe they have a genuine shot at re-signing him next summer.
We saw a similar situation with goalkeeper David de Gea in 2019. The Spaniard was heavily linked with Real Madrid, but United stood firm and allowed the transfer window to close without selling him, eventually committing him to a new contract a few months later.
United look set to take that exact approach this time around as well, although whether they could be swayed by a big bid this summer remains to be seen.