It truly is an extraordinary saga when a club makes so many mistakes regarding one player that it is difficult to pinpoint the exact moment it all went wrong.
It is even more spectacular when that club had been run so consistently well for the best part of three decades.
Such is the existing situation with Paul Pogba at Manchester United, though. Was the mistake letting him go on a free transfer in 2012?
Or was it bringing him back in 2015 for just shy of £100million? Or was it not finding him a midfield partner to do the dirty work?
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Or was it not setting up a system around him? Or was it, potentially, putting him under the charge of a manager who has no time for under-performers?
You get the point. We could be here all day. And somehow the ‘youngster’ and World Cup winner is now 25. Life moves pretty fast, eh?
The Sun are reporting that the midfielder no longer wishes to speak to boss Jose Mourinho directly – a sign of any healthy relationship – as the Portuguese manager continues to find himself in uncomfortable situations during his third season at clubs.
Part of Pogba’s disgruntlement is supposedly as a result of Manchester United refusing to sell the energetic midfielder to Barcelona, who were keen on bringing him to Camp Nou.
Any deal was made even more complicated by the fact England’s transfer window ended on August 9 – meaning United would have had to sacrifice a star man and wait until January to replace him.
Not entirely ideal.
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Arsenal fight for Aaron Ramsey?
And speaking of how the earlier window has potentially crippled English clubs, Arsenal apparently face a fight to keep hold of Aaron Ramsey.
According to Mirror Online, the Wales star is attracting interest from Lazio and from China and… oh, Barcelona again.
I’m starting to sense a pattern.
But the outlet reports the Gunners are increasingly confident of getting Ramsey to pen a new deal despite entering the final year of the 27-year-old’s contract.
So it’s not all bad news, eh, Gunners fans?
Can Tottenham keep the vultures at bay?
And ah, yes. Tottenham. Like a side which plays for the draw and loses in the last minute, the north Londoners could find themselves weaker come the end of August.
Having not signed a single first-team player over the summer, boss Mauricio Pochettino has confessed they could sell anyone ‘not happy’ before the end of the month.
Which is ordinarily no cause for concern, but when two of the Spurs players frozen out are Toby Alderweireld and Danny Rose, there is little room for doubt that the Lilywhites would be weaker for their departures.
And did I mention they wouldn’t be able to sign a replacement? Of course I did.
The return of Yaya, Yaya Yaya Toure?
Meanwhile, Pochettino added he could’ve joined Real Madrid or Chelsea last season, while West Ham genuinely believe they won’t make a move for free agent Yaya Toure, like some out of control Football Manager newbie.
Adding to that, West Brom have activated an extension to Salomon Rondon’s contract, so Newcastle will not be able to sign him for nothing next season. Just when you think a club are willing to lose a £16m asset for nothing, too. Damn.