Newcastle United and Aston Villa have emerged as shock contenders in the race to sign Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba on a Bosman summer move.
According to The Sun, Newcastle and Aston Villa are eyeing an ambitious free transfer swoop for Paul Pogba. The 29-year-old’s contract expires at the end of the season, and there have been no signs that the Frenchman is close to pen fresh terms to remain at Manchester United.
The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner has reignited the fires of speculation over his future in an interview with French outlet Le Figaro, suggesting he has practically wasted five years at Manchester United. It seems as though the Frenchman’s time at Old Trafford is over.
There were big expectations from Pogba when he returned to Manchester United in 2016 for a then world-record £89 million fee. But the 29-year-old has largely flattered to deceive and has been incredibly inconsistent throughout his second spell at Old Trafford.
A tally of 39 goals and 51 assists from 222 appearances across all competitions for the Red Devils is far from a terrible output for a midfielder. But the unnecessary off-field controversies involving agent Mino Raiola, falling out with former manager Jose Mourinho, among other factors, have hampered him from achieving his full potential at the club.
Pogba has had another difficult season at Manchester United, who are struggling to clinch for a top-four Premier League finish and recently exited the UEFA Champions League. Amid his attractive contract situation, a host of top clubs all across Europe, including Juventus, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain, are interested to secure the 29-year-old’s signature.
Sky Sports revealed that two Premier League clubs are also interested in the Frenchman this summer and have contacted the player’s entourage over a potential move. The Sun has now claimed that the two interested parties are cash-rich Newcastle and ambitious Aston Villa. They are both keeping close tabs on Pogba’s situation ahead of putting forward a formal contract offer this summer.
Following a strong run of form that has seen Newcastle pull themselves out of a relegation scrap, all eyes will be on the excitement of the summer transfer window and the sort of splashy business the Magpies will do.
The presence of super-rich billionaire owners mean Newcastle will be one of very few clubs that could satisfy Pogba’s eye-watering wage demands. And the signing of a household name as Pogba would be a certain statement for the footballing world should they be able to convince the French midfielder to commit to their project.
Aston Villa, meanwhile, appear to be an intriguing transfer link, and like Newcastle, they are another club not short of cash. They will be looking to build on after experiencing a revival under Steven Gerrard. They would be keen to announce themselves with an audacious swoop for Pogba, but the blockbuster signing could smash their current wage structure in place.
Pogba has recently stated his desire to win major trophies and will most likely want to be involved in Champions League football next season, something that Newcastle and Villa would not be able to offer anytime soon. Whether Newcastle or Villa will secure the French international’s services against all odds this summer remains to be seen.