According to The Sun, Manchester United are ready to begin contract talks with Paul Pogba amid interest from Real Madrid, although the midfielder is demanding an eye-watering £500,000-a-week to stay at Old Trafford.
What’s the word, then?
Well, the Frenchman returned to Manchester from Juventus in a then world-record deal worth £89m, and was put on wages worth £300,000-a-week which made him the club’s top earner before the arrival of Alexis Sanchez.
The Chile international earns a staggering £505,000-a-week, making him by far and away the Red Devils’ highest earning player.
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Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, is aware that United are desperate to keep their academy graduate at the club and is reportedly going to push to club all the way when contract negotiations do commence, which may leave the 20-time Premier League champions in a difficult position.
How should United go about this?
Sell him. Plain and simple. The World Cup winner’s demands won’t do anything to help the current salary crisis that the club are going through thanks to Sanchez’s astronomical earnings, which have seen David de Gea and Ander Herrera make extraordinary requests.
It has been reported that Solskjaer is plotting a huge transfer swoop this summer, with Callum Hudson-Odoi, Declan Rice, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Jadon Sancho at the top of his wishlist.
Obviously, these players are going to cost a lot of money. A lot. Chelsea turned down a bid of £35m for Hudson-Odoi back in January, and the player’s stock has certainly increased since then having made his England debut.
The reported fee that Real Madrid are willing to spend on Pogba is set at £125m, which would go some way to helping United acquire the aforementioned targets.
Additionally, getting him off the wage bill would free up more funds to spend on those targets’ salaries; United must cut their ties with Pogba for the sake of a much needed summer rebuild.