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The most predictable free transfer of the summer has been confirmed, with Paul Pogba announcing he will be leaving Manchester united when his contract expires.
In truth, it has not worked out for Pogba at Man Utd who only ever caught glimpses of the Frenchman's best during his second spell at the club. Despite that, he is unlikely to be short on offers this summer, so let's take a look through the list of clubs most fancied to ensnare him.
At first glance, the most obvious destination for Pogba is former club Juventus, and the bookies generally agree with that assessment. Pogba had the best years of his career there, and the manager under which he produced them, Massimiliano Allegri is now back in charge of the Old Lady and reunion feels like a very natural fit. The only real issue you could see arising would be money. At the age of 29, Pogba is sure to be eying an absolutely monster contract somewhere, and they are rare in Serie A.
Juventus have form when it comes to that with free transfers, though, so there might be some room to strike an agreement. Whether that would be high enough to outbid a club like Paris Saint-Germain, remains to be seen.
Paris Saint-Germain proved themselves the big dogs in the yard last summer when it came to hoovering up the biggest free transfers.
The Ligue 1 side managed to ensnare Lionel Messi, Sergio Ramos, Gianluigi Donnarumma and Georginio Wijnaldum at the end of their contracts last year, which is an astonishing haul of talent for no transfer fee.
They will certainly be interested in adding Pogba to that stable of talent and can likely afford to offer better terms than anyone else who might want him, but the big question is whether the player himself would fancy it. Pogba has never played in Ligue 1 before despite his exploits for France, and perhaps a return to his homeland would appeal to him at this stage of his career. The fact Paris Saint-Germain can generally coast to trophies every year might also be attractive to him.
On the other hand, will Ligue 1 really serve his ego sufficiently? The league is dwarfed in terms of viewership and exposure by the likes of the Premier League, La Liga and Serie A, and Pogba doesn't look like a player who wants to step out of the spotlight anytime soon.
There is no getting away from the fact that you look at the Real Madrid central midfield right now with Luka Modric and Toni Kroos and it looks like it needs freshening up a little. The La Liga and Champions League double proved they are still capable of winning the big titles, but one has to ask how long that will remain the case. Modric is 36 years old and Kroos will be 33 in January so that area of their side could certainly do with freshening up a little. That could make Pogba very attractive to Los Blancos and the slower, more technical football in Spain would likely appeal to the player too. They are also one of the few clubs who can likely afford the money he will be demanding.
On the other hand, Madrid's days of signing Galacticos appear to be over for now as they attempt to realign their perilous finances and they have been more interested in buying younger players and developing them in recent years. That's a policy that could halt a Pogba deal before it even starts, although if they were wanting Kylian Mbappe there is no real reason to suggest they'd not take Pogba too.
Chelsea definitely have a feel of a club due a bit of a refresh this summer and that now looks even more likely after their takeover was approved. They were absolutely nowhere near the Premier League title race this season you can see them having a real go in the transfer market this summer to rectify that. A deal for Pogba does look relatively problematic for Chelsea, though. They will likely have different priorities in the transfer window such as replacing the departing Andreas Christensen and Antonio Rudiger. Speculation is rife over the futures of Marcos Alonso and Cesar Azpilicueta too. Chelse are also going to be looking at strikers again with Romelu Lukaku looking a bad fit. There is also the Conor Callagher factor too. The England International will return form an eye catching loan spell at Crystal Palace and he may be the only midfield strengthening they need. Pogba himself doesn't look like someone who has enjoyed the nature of Premier League football either, so will he really want to return to it?
There were rumours earlier this summer that Pogba could be a target for Manchester City and they appear to have been comprehensively quashed already.
It is a deal that just doesn't seem to have any legs at all in truth. Pogba is not the kind of player that Pep Guardiola has wanted to work with in the past. What's more, could the Frenchman really be bothered with the hassle that comes with crossing the Manchester divide?
It just doesn't look like a good fit at all and it's clear that everyone knows it.
Barcelona's financial situation has seen them adopt a policy of snapping up experienced and fading stars on free transfers, and Pogba definitely feels like he falls into the category. Sergio Aguero, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Memphis Depay are among the other names they have pursued and signed before, and it's a club that has enormous natural pull. You get the feeling at the moment though that Barcelona need to concentrate on moving players out before they can truly be serious bidders in deals like this one. They are having trouble registering players due to their bloated squad and tight financial position, so with Pogba it may simply be a case of right player, wrong time for Barcelona.
Serie A really suited Paul Pogba earlier in his career when he was starring at Juventus so you could easily see him deciding that his future lies in Italy. While a return to Juve is the obvious one, if they can't do the deal for any reason that might bright Inter Milan into play. Pogba fits the profile of player they have been signing in recent times and, despite AC Milan winning the Scudetto last season, Inter appear to be the leading light in Serie A right now.
Could the unthinkable happen and Pogba is left without a club for the start of next season? Upon first glance that looks just about impossible given the quality he has to offer someone, but a sizeable gap could form between clubs who want him and clubs he wants, and it is conceivable he could fall through that gap. If, for example, a PSG, Juventus or Real Madrid don't want him and the rest on this list decide they can't afford him, would Pogba be willing to step down a level to a club who are in the chasing pack of the European elite? It's an intriguing question, even if it's one we are unlikely to have to answer.
The article Where next for Paul Pogba? Real Madrid, PSG and Juventus among clubs linked appeared first on Planetsport.com.