Paul Pogba is relaxed about his future and prepared to stay with Manchester United for at least another year if a summer transfer fails to materialise.
The Manchester Evening News understands United value Pogba, 28, at £80million as he approaches the final year of his contract but the Frenchman and his family are happy in Manchester.
Pogba and his wife, Zulay, have settled in Cheshire with their two young children and sources say Pogba’s partner is particularly happy in the area.
United sources have lauded Pogba’s professionalism in the last two years, despite his open interest in joining Real Madrid. Pogba outlined his desire for ‘a new challenge’ in the 2019 summer transfer window.
Pogba has not currently shown any willingness to sign a new deal with United and his brother, Mathias, warned the club in February they risked losing Pogba on a free when his contract expires in 2022.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has managed Pogba tactfully and kept his counsel amid a number of outbursts by the France international’s agent Mino Raiola.
Pogba was dropped by Solskjaer earlier in the season and, ironically, his form improved after Raiola claimed it was ‘over for Paul Pogba at Manchester United’ in an interview with Tuttosport in December.
“I’ve managed Paul the same way all through,” Solskjaer said after United thrashed Roma 6-2. “He knows my feelings for him and about him, he knows how important I think he is for the team.
“We create an environment here, same as I spoke about Edinson [Cavani], we want to create an environment where players want to play, they want to come into work every day.
“The coaches are unbelievable, the way they prepare for games, the environment they’re cr
United players closest to Pogba have been of the opinion he should be allowed to leave as they believe it is in the best interests of the player and the club.
Only a handful of overseas clubs could afford to sign Pogba if United try to hold out for £80m and the midfielder’s most desirable options – Real Madrid and Juventus – have severe financial issues.
Juventus, coached by Pogba’s former teammate Andrea Pirlo, have posted losses of £104m over the last three years and are the highest spenders and highest payers in Italy. The fourth-placed Serie A side have a debt of €357.8m and are in danger of failing to qualify for the Champions League next season.
Real Madrid’s debt was recorded as €354.3m in the year to last June and the club’s president Florentino Perez insisted last week ‘there will not be big transfers this summer’ without the Super League.
Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane has lobbied Perez to sign Pogba on a recurring basis over the last five years but United outbid Madrid in 2016 to sign Pogba for £89m and outpriced them in 2019.