Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba wants to leave Old Trafford this summer and is determined to push for a move even if the club refuses to sell him, sources have told ESPN FC.
Pogba, who joined from Juventus for a then-record €100 million three years ago, is under contract at United until June 2021, with an option for an extra year which could be triggered solely by the club.
However, sources have told ESPN FC that, with United failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League and in need of a rebuild following a shambolic end to the season, the 2018 World Cup winner wants a new challenge, with his agent, Mino Raiola, likely to begin talking to the United hierarchy once the Premier League season is over next week.
United’s stance publicly is that the Paris native is not for sale at any price, though they have privately valued him at €160m in case they ever open the door for a move. Real Madrid, who are the only club Pogba is considering joining, will try to lower a potential transfer fee to around €120m, sources add.
The 26-year-old midfielder said back in March that he dreams of playing for the Spanish giants but said he was happy at United. However, things have turned sour since.
A possible move to Barcelona last summer was thwarted by United executive chairman Ed Woodward, who, sources say, still doesn’t want to lose Pogba who is seen as instrumental in the club’s marketing plans and on the pitch. But the fear for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is in keeping a top player who doesn’t want to be at the club.
United’s form has dipped dramatically in the league, culminating in their failure to finish in the Prem’s top four. And their 1-1 draw at Huddersfield at the weekend was one of their worst performances of the season.
Pogba’s displays have equally hit a low in the past two months after a superb revival following Jose Mourinho’s dismissal and Solskjaer’s appointment in December. His frustration bubbled over last month when, following United’s 2-0 Manchester derby defeat to City, he refused to speak to French media for fear he might say something he’d regret.
News of his desire to leave comes two days after his brother, Florentin Pogba, told Spanish newspaper AS that “things will happen in the summer” regarding his brother.