Manchester United are currently braced to lose Paul Pogba this summer with the Frenchman still yet to commit to a new contract at Old Trafford. An offer is understood to have been on the table for several months now but Pogba, who will have cost United £179.6million in transfer fees and wages by the time his contract is up, is keen to bide his time and see who arrives as the club’s next manager before rushing into any crunch decision.
Yet United are unlikely to decide on their next boss until the end of the season – when it will be easier to prize managers away from their current clubs.
Mauricio Pochettino and Erik ten Hag, who are both currently employed by Paris Saint-Germain and Ajax, are believed to be the board’s top two targets, although talks have not yet taken place.
Whoever arrives through the door will evidently have a huge task on their hands – not only because of United’s current position.
As many as four players are now set to depart in June when their contracts are up, including Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata.
There will be significant funds to play with but bringing in the right characters is not always as straightforward as it initially seems.
That’s why when Pogba is concerned, there may just be an internal solution to save the club millions.
Donny van de Beek has fallen by the wayside at Old Trafford but his quality was there for all to see on his first start for Everton on Saturday against Leeds, as the Toffees won 3-0 at Goodison Park.
The Holland international bossed proceedings, showing what a real asset he can be to his new side – and potentially parent club United.
His dazzling performance sparked further praise from ex-United defender Rio Ferdinand, who claims the display was no coincidence.
“I’ve been speaking to a few people at the club and they’ve said that he’s gone in there and lifted the levels, training-wise,” he said on Vibe with FIVE.
“[He’s a] great lad, first and foremost, but you can see a lot of them are going, ‘Wow, he’s this good, they must be unbelievable at Manchester United if he can’t get in’.”
While there have been question marks about whether Van de Beek can play with Pogba at United, a new manager with fresh ideas could hold the key to accommodate both midfielders.
Ten Hag, for instance, oversaw Van de Beek’s stark rise to the limelight during their time together at Ajax as they reached the 2018/19 Champions League semi-finals.
Van de Beek’s quality is clearly not the issue, more so the managers he has played under.
It may not work out for him at United but he is yet to receive a fair crack at the whip and until that happens, it would be wrong to write him off.
The 24-year-old, who is desperate to make Holland’s World Cup squad for Qatar, can operate as a No 6, No 8 or No 10.
That sort of flexibility and quality proves there are indeed ways of accommodating him in United’s side and if Pogba was to move out of the way, that’s one less obstacle to worry about further down the line.
When figures such as Frank Lampard and former England team-mate Ferdinand and subjecting you to praise, it’s clear there is plenty of ability in the player’s locker.
Should Pogba finally end his six-year stay at United, there could be a huge opening and opportunity to wipe the slate clean under a new manager.
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