MANCHESTER UNITED will only sell Paul Pogba if they can find a ’superstar signing’ to replace him this summer.
That’s according to football consultant Ian McGarry, who believes capturing a player like Neymar is the way Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side will consider selling.
Pogba, 26, is likely to join Real Madrid after agent Mino Raiola confirmed his client is looking to leave Old Trafford this summer.
It is believed Zinedine Zidane is a big fan of his fellow Frenchman, who returned to United in a then world-record £90m move from Juventus back in 2016.
But McGarry insists the Red Devils are not willing to offload Pogba until they find a ‘marquee-type player’ that can replace him.
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“Until United find a marquee-type player replacement for Pogba, then they won’t concede to selling Pogba to another club”
“What I’ve been told is that until United find a marquee-type player replacement for Pogba, then they won’t concede to selling Pogba to another club,” he said on The Transfer Window podcast.
“We’ve spoken at length obviously on other episodes of The Transfer Window podcast about Ed Woodward’s obsession with social media and Facebook followers etcetera etcetera, so my expectation is that until they find a replacement – if that’s possible, I say replacement, what I mean is a superstar signing – then Pogba will be held to his contract at Manchester United until they find that replacement because obviously they can reinvest the money.
“So that remains to be seen with regards to how that works out, because as we all know the market is very fluctuating and volatile and I would say that right now, the two players who are obvious candidates for that – but I doubt very much they want to join Manchester United – are Neymar and Antoine Griezmann*, both of whom are wanted by Barcelona and both of whom want to go to Barcelona.
“So I would say at the moment, the situation for Manchester United is not great, but it’s one that will change each day.
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“However, if I were Paul Pogba I’d be checking my alerts on my social media and on my news feeds to see if Manchester United are bidding for other players before I would start to think about buying a house in Madrid.”
*McGarry was speaking before Griezmann sealed his £108m move to Barcelona yesterday.*
Another United midfielder who could be heading for an Old Trafford exit is Nemanja Matic.
According to journalist Duncan Castles, Inter Milan have launched a £9m bid for the Serbian that also includes Radja Nainggolan.
And despite insisting he won’t agitate for a move like Pogba, Castles claims Matic would be open to reuniting with former Chelsea boss Antonio Conte at the San Siro.
“I can tell you that there’s been an offer from Internazionale for Nemanja Matic, which is quite an amusingly low offer of €10m [£9m] plus the Inter player Nainggolan – who is in his 30s – so quite an ambitious offer I think from Inter to see if they could get Matic out of the club that way,” he said.
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“[AC] Milan are also interested in the player. I don’t believe they’ve made a formal offer to Manchester United at this stage, although Milan are possibly in a better position in that they’ve taken their Financial Fair Play punishment out of Europe and therefore can afford, from a Financial Fair Play perspective, to put a higher transfer fee down.
“As we’ve told you before, Inter have to be careful in terms of how much they spend on transfers in this particular summer to avoid future Financial Fair Play issues of their own.
“And Matic, while I’m told he will not push for that move, he will not go down the Paul Pogba route, which should come as no surprise to anyone that knows Nemanja Matic as an individual, he would be open to speaking to both of those clubs if a deal can be agreed with Manchester United in the sense that each of them would have to offer them at least the same financial terms as he is being paid at Manchester United.”
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