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Manchester United: Paul Pogba set to leave

Manchester United: Paul Pogba set to leave -Manchester United News

Paul Pogba is ‘heading’ for the exit door at Manchester United, The Athletic’s Laurie Whitwell says. 

The lowdown

Pogba’s £290,000-per-week Old Trafford contract is due to expire at the end of June.

United bought him back from Juventus in 2016 for a fee of £94.5million, the biggest transfer in Premier League history before Romelu Lukaku (£101.7million) and Jack Grealish (£105.75million) moved to Chelsea and Manchester City respectively last summer.

Pogba has made 232 appearances for the Red Devils in total, winning the Europa League and EFL Cup in 2016/17 before earning a place in the PFA Team of the Year in 2018/19.

On Saturday, as Manchester United scraped past bottom-of-the-table Norwich City at home, United supporters booed Pogba, who responded by cupping his ear.

The Frenchman isn’t the only player poised to walk on a free transfer come the summer, with Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata all out of contract too.

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The latest

Speaking live on Sky Sports News on Sunday afternoon, Whitwell indicated that the ship had sailed.

He says Pogba has shown little interest in signing a lucrative contract, and feels that his reception on Saturday has confirmed the inevitability of his exit.

“It’s heading that way [Pogba leaving at the end of the season],” he said.

“United offered him a very big contract last summer – £400,000 per week – and he’s left that sitting there because they didn’t offer him a contract the year before when he felt like maybe he wanted one.

He later added: “There was some doubt before this [the booing] that he would definitely leave, but I think that puts the underlining score in that situation really.”

The verdict

Will prospective manager Erik ten Hag have played in any role this decision?

Fabrizio Romano reported earlier this month that Ten Hag had asked for ‘100%’ involvement in ‘present and future transfers strategy’, including new contracts.

The Dutchman has since verbally agreed to become the new manager, potentially indicating that those demands have been met.

It’s possible that he’s greenlit Pogba’s exit, or it may be the case that United were already resigned to that outcome.

It now remains to be seen if he intervenes in an attempt to prevent Lingard, Cavani or Mata departing.

In other news, United have held a meeting with this superstar’s agent.

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