Last week you couldn’t look at any English publication without seeing headlines about Paul Pogba going to Real Madrid. The way the newspapers were speaking, it almost seemed inevitable (hyperbole is one of the English media’s strong suits after all).
Over the past five days there’s been almost nothing written about Paul Pogba. That’s weird. He’s literally the media’s favorite person to write about, probably because he gets them the most clicks, so going silent for days is unlike them.
It was around the end of last week where I realized something. Paul Pogba isn’t leaving Manchester United. I have a theory as to why that is. No one is really that interested in signing him.
Let’s go back to the start of the season. Pogba was feuding with manager Jose Mourinho and every rumor was suggesting that Barcelona were going to try and sign him over the summer. Obviously reports stated that Pogba was “thrilled” at the chance to join the Catalans.
Fast forward six months to March. Pogba, who is playing some of the best football of his career, is with France on international duty. When asked about the prospect of playing for Frenchman Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, he responds that it would be a thrill.
Suddenly for the next two months the papers can’t stop talking about how Pogba and Real Madrid have their minds set on each other. A summer move is imminent. But there was no mention of Barcelona. No mention of the two clubs getting into a bidding war for Pogba’s services. In fact, Barcelona’s interest seemed to end right around the time that Jose Mourinho was fired.
Think about it. Players don’t want to play for Barcelona or Real Madrid. It’s almost always one or the other. On the other side, Barcelona and Real each have their own “type” of player. They rarely overlap.
Now suddenly both Spanish giants are interested in the same player during the same season but not at the same time? First Barcelona, then when Pogba was on fire for United nothing, then Real Madrid?
This all seems rather fishy and it can only mean one thing. The “reports” of Barcelona and Real’s interest were all leaked from Pogba’s camp.
That shouldn’t come as a surprise. Pogba is represented by Mino Raiola, probably the shiestiest agents in the game.
Pogba has wanted to a new contract all year. He wants that Alexis money, which he deserves. Raiola wants a new payday. He needs Pogba to get a new contract? What’s the best way to do that? Create interest from other big clubs and use that as leverage to get more money. It’s an age old tactic.
The problem is, what if United stand firm and what if Real don’t actually want him. It’s hard to believe any report that comes out of Spain but most of them are saying the same things.
Zidane wants Pogba. The club have to do a major rebuild and may not have enough money to finance that and bring in Pogba. Pogba’s wages could be a hinderance to getting a deal done. Florentino Perez prefers Christian Eriksen instead.
It’s not just possible, but it’s extremely likely that Pogba’s camp drummed up more interest from Real that ever existed. Sure they’re interested but that doesn’t mean a move was realistic.
In all likelihood Pogba will be staying at Old Trafford this summer. Is that a good thing?
Pogba is United’s best player but as I mentioned last week, the media have turned on him, which has caused a large part of the fan base to turn on him. Together they’re trying to run him out of town. It’s become a toxic relationship.
Like I said last week you can’t blame Pogba if he wants to leave. But what happens if he has nowhere to go?