Pogba talks off as Man United concern grows
Manchester United remain confident they can convince Paul Pogba his long-term future is at Old Trafford but have shelved plans to open talks over a new contract while the Frenchman is unsettled, sources close to the club have told ESPN FC.
Pogba is two years into the five-year deal he signed when he returned from Juventus in 2016.
United had hoped to hold preliminary negotiations with Pogba and agent Mino Raiola in September after the 25-year-old’s successful World Cup but had not banked on their record signing returning to the club unhappy with his situation in Manchester.
Sources have told ESPN FC that Pogba will not push for a move away in January but could be tempted by Barcelona next summer if the Spanish giants reignite their interest.
United had hoped to start contract talks early, partly because of the complicated nature of negotiations with Raiola — famous for getting the best possible terms for his clients — that became a theme of Pogba’s world record £89.3 million move from Juventus two years ago.
Sources have told ESPN FC that, after initial talks this month, the plan was to step up discussions at the beginning of next season before putting pen to paper in early 2020.
The schedule for those negotiations will now be put back.
United, according to sources, are still relaxed about the situation, in part beacause they have a one-year option to fall back on which could keep Pogba at Old Trafford until the summer of 2022.
The club remain confident they will have made a breakthrough before then.
Sources close to Pogba have insisted the uncertainty surrounding his future has not been designed to elicit a pay rise from United.
He would have joined Barcelona in the summer had executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward not refused to listen to any offers.
He is happy to work with manager Jose Mourinho this season but has repeatedly refused to rule out a move away in the future.