It’s no secret that Juventus midfielder Paul Pogba has been a target for the Paris Saint-Germain hierarchy for the last two seasons. Rumors linking the club and the Frenchman seem to surface every transfer window primarily due to his status as a Paris-born player and his astronomical potential.
However, last summer the chances of this move coming to fruition became very slim with the player saying Ligue 1 was too easy and that he’d always dreamed of playing for either one of Real Madrid or Barcelona.
Recent developments though have suddenly boosted the chances of PSG signing the highly coveted player. Real Madrid, along with Atletico Madrid, have both been banned by FIFA from participating in the next two transfer windows (starting this summer) due to breaching rules over the transfer of minors. Essentially, they would only be allowed to register players—bar the ones signed this month—in the summer of 2017, therefore diminishing their chance of signing the France international.
Pogba’s close relationship with Zinedine Zidane along with Madrid’s need to improve their midfield was thought to be enough for the Spanish giants to secure his signature this summer. However, with the transfer ban and a move this month almost impossible, the chances that a player of his caliber waiting until 2017 to change clubs are slim.
Barcelona was another club interested last summer but with the signing of Arda Turan, the likelihood of the club going after the “dab-obsessed” star this summer is unlikely. The Catalan club is well stocked in the midfield and I can’t imagine them spending big for Pogba unless something completely unexpected comes up. Plus his wage demands would make Zlatan proud. He reportedly asked Barcelona to be the second highest paid at the club last summer if they were to sign him. I don’t see Barcelona willing to go to such great lengths to sign him.
Then there’s the possibility of him staying at Juventus. He’s talked in the past about how they were the only club that picked him when no one wanted him but at some point you have to think he’ll want a new challenge and perhaps more importantly, higher wages. Juventus has sold a number of notable stars in recent years and I believe it’s only a matter of time until they cash in on their most prized asset.
Manchester City is another team with the resources to sign Pogba but unless Pep Guardiola goes there I don’t predict that move happening. There’s also the likes of Chelsea and Manchester United but I don’t think there’s even a remote chance either of those teams sign him (especially United who let him leave on a free transfer in 2012). With Zlatan Ibrahimovic most likely leaving this summer and PSG already looking to replace him with another star—their Cristiano Ronaldo bid has already taken a hit with Madrid unlikely to sell in the summer due to the ban—Paris would no doubt be willing to break the bank for the Frenchman.
Mino Raiola, Pogba’s agent, has worked with Paris executives before as he manages Ibrahimovic, Gregory van der Wiel, and Blaise Matuidi. When it comes to transfers, having a good reputation with top agents is key and the relationship between Raiola and PSG could bode well when it comes to signing Pogba.
It wouldn’t surprise me though to see Real Madrid’s ban gets postponed, like Barcelona’s last year, and they end up signing Pogba this summer. Reports are they plan to appeal the decision and given their status in world football, expect the penalty to be drastically reduced. In the event that doesn’t happen, PSG remain the frontrunners in my opinion if he’s to leave Juventus. Should this happen, there’s no need explaining how big it will be for the club but we can only dream, right?