Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola is set to meet Manchester United negotiators on Zoom this week to discuss the midfielder’s future, reports The Daily Star.
Pogba is entering the final year of his United contract and would be able to leave the club on a free for the second time if nothing is agreed this summer – or at the latest, in the January window.
And the World Cup winner is believed to be ready to commit his future to United, but only if he receives an eye-watering increase in salary.
‘Mino Raiola, the Manchester United midfielder’s agent, has arranged a conference call with the Old Trafford hierarchy,’ The Star claims in an ‘exclusive’.
‘Pogba, 28, is entering the final year of his contract and Raiola is after £500k-a-week for his client to sign a new deal.
‘United, though, won’t go that high, with those figures enough to make him the club’s highest-paid player – even way ahead of talisman Bruno Fernandes.’
Pogba’s current deal is worth £290,000 per week and it is unlikely that United will want to increase that by too much, given the current financial climate.
Raiola’s own fee for negotiating any deal will also need to be taken into account. Reports from Italy claim that Gianluigi Donnarumma has left AC Milan on a free because Raiola was demanding €20 million from the Rossoneri as his fee for the keeper’s contract renewal.
So if The Daily Star’s information is correct, and assuming Raiola demands a similar percentage to that reported for his other star, a four year extension to Pogba’s contract would cost United some £135 million (four years at £500,000 per week plus £30 million agency fee). A three year deal would be around £100 million.
As The Daily Star states, there seems little chance that the Red Devils would be willing to countenance such a proposal.
On the other hand, if United opt to sell the Frenchman, Raiola is likely to make similar demands to any potential buying club, who in turn would be equally unlikely to accept the terms.
Whilst it would seem horrific for United to allow Pogba to leave for free a second time, as things stand it would seem to be the lesser of two evils when compared to being held to ransom.
United may also feel that they will still have a chance to renew Pogba’s contract next summer. Even though he could leave on a free, his age (he would be in his thirtieth year) and Raiola’s fees might mean that no other club would be willing to offer anything near to the £290,000 per week or more that the Red Devils will leave on the table.
The former pizza chef would therefore be wise to be a little bit less aggressive and more conciliatory than usual in his demands when he makes that Zoom call this week.