Manchester United announced on Wednesday that Paul Pogba will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June.
By Tafadzwa Mpofu
Pogba, started his senior career at United in 2011, returned to Old Trafford in 2016 after a four-year stint with Juventus. He recorded one goal and nine assists across 20 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils on his debut season.
“Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Paul on his successful career, and thank him for his contributions to Manchester United,” the club wrote in a statement. “We wish him all the best for the next steps on a remarkable journey.”
Rumours are reporting that Juventus is “leading the race” to sign the 29-year-old French international once again, though Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are also involved.
Pogba hinted at his frustration while playing for France in March, telling media that United’s failure to contend for trophies led to “difficult times.”
“I want to win titles, I want to play for something,” he said. “Whether it be this year or even the previous ones, we haven’t won anything. That’s what’s sad, in the end.”
United fell well short of competing for a title in 2021-22. It finished sixth in the Premier League and failed to make a deep run in any knockout tournament—the UEFA Champions League (round of 16), FA Cup (fourth round) or EFL Cup (third round).
It’s likely to cause several squad changes over the summer as the Red Devils prepare to begin a new era under manager Erik ten Hag, who arrives from Ajax.
With Pogba’s departure confirmed, rumours are stating that United has opened discussions with Barcelona’s midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
De Jong tallied three goals and three assists in 32 La Liga matches for Barca this season.
Meanwhile, the interest from three high-profile clubs like Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid shows belief Pogba can reignite his career with a transfer.
The playmaking midfielder has still shown glimpses of being a high-impact performer during his stints with the French national team, but those kinds of performances were few and far between with United.
If he does land with a marquee club, he’ll likely need to showcase more consistent top form to remain a regular first-team selection in 2022-23.