The premier League giant Manchester United Might sell Paul Pogba in the summer. The club valued the World Cup winner at £180m just under a year ago but would now be lucky to get half that figure due to the economic crisis
Ed Woodward’s admission that it would not be “business as usual” for Manchester United during the next transfer window should come as little or no surprise to anyone.
The club will find itself in a better position than most when the market reopens but the impact of Covid-19 on the global economy is undoubtedly going to have an effect on football’s finances
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said earlier in the month that he hopes to “exploit” the transfer market to strengthen his squad and financial experts are of the opinion that United will be one of the few clubs in a position to spend.
However, certain deals are already being ruled out due to the biggest financial crisis the game has ever faced.
“Nobody should be under any illusions about the scale of challenge facing everyone in football and it may not be ‘business as usual’ for any clubs, including ourselves, in the transfer market this summer,” the executive vice-chairman said.
“As ever, our priority is the success of team, but we need visibility of the impact across the whole industry, including timings of the transfer window, and the wider financial picture, before we can talk about a return to normality.
“On this basis, I cannot help feeling that speculation around transfers of individual players for hundreds of millions of pounds this summer seems to ignore the realities that face the sport.”
Those realities are unavoidable, even at United. It’s now possible that the club will entertain ideas that would previously have been dismissed out of hand.
Last summer, United valued Paul Pogba at £180 million ($224m). However, with so much uncertainty now surrounding the market due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the World Cup winner would now be lucky to fetch even half of that figure.
Pogba’s present contract expires in 2021 but United have the option to extend it for a further year. They have yet to do so, though, and the Covid-19 crisis leaves them with a trickier decision to make this summer than they were expecting.
Cash in now before Pogba’s value falls even further? Or trigger the extension and hope that prices return to something resembling their previous levels next year?
Pogba has already made it clear he wants a challenge away from United and his agent Mino Raiola has been doing his best to try and engineer a move for the 27-year-old France international.
So, does Solskjaer even want to retain a player that isn’t committed to his rebuilding project? If not, then selling the France international this summer, even at a knockdown price, would make sense, as it would still generate a considerable amount of money for new signing
So, if United offload players they deem surplus to requirements, such as Pogba, it may be possible to land a top target after all.