Pogba: The Man of the HourBy: Alfonso Duro
French strongman Paul Pogba had a great year with Juventus, which he topped with a great performance in the Champions League final. But now he’s ready to make some moves.
His time in Turin has come to an end, so a decision must be made: Where to, now? And while he doesn’t lack options, he will need to consider his options carefully in this nerve-racking (yes, for us, soccer crazies, it is) three-way summer thriller.
Here’s our breakdown of his options.
Why They Want Him: In Barcelona, they see Pogba as the future version of Xavi. A player who dominates not only dominates the game tactically and technically, but can add triumph physically. With Rakitic, Busquets and Iniesta looking to ingrain the high-possession pedigree on the future generations, the club wants Pogba to redefine the Barça midfield (and role of midfielder) for years to come.
Chances of Getting Him: From a purely professional standpoint, the Culés are probably Pogba’s top option. The opportunity of lining up next to Messi, Neymar and Suárez is enough pull for any superstar; but the fact that he would not be able to play for the Catalans until January 2016 due to the transfer ban imposed on the team practically drops Barça’s options to zero.
Biggest Danger: Euro 2016 is around the corner, and if Pogba decided to sign for Barcelona, he could be risking his starting spot with Les Bleus. Yes, he’s the star of his national team, but a lot can happen in the 6 months that he’d need to stay out of the field. And what if he didn’t get a starting spot at Barcelona once the ban was over? Mon Dieu!
Why They Want Him: He’s a big name, right? Does he cost nearly (if not more) than 100 million euro? Are Nike or Adidas behind him? Those three yeses are why
Real Madrid is after him. And even while by looking at Benitez’s roster you’d think that the last thing the Merengues need is yet another offensive midfielder everything and anything is possible at Bernabéu. So don’t rule out seeing him dressed in white come August.
Chances of Getting Him: Real Madrid may be the most realistic option for Pogba. First, because Real Madrid can pay the tag price; second, because Florentino Pérez likes to make a big-name signing every year, and there’s no bigger name right now than Pogba; and third and more important, because Zinedine Zidane has been working on convincing the young midfielder, and he may just end up getting his way.
Biggest Danger: With the free flow of jamón ibérico and rioja wine, Pogba’s largest threat in Madrid would revolve around his waistline.
Why They Want Him: Pogba is a product of the Manchester United academy, and only the lack of vision of someone at Old Trafford made it possible for the Frenchman to leave before turning into the player he is today. And with the chance to shine in the Champions League again this year, Louis Van Gaal wants to set up a team that can fight for every tournament at hand. Pogba would be the poster child for a very ambitious project.
Chances of Getting Him: Quite high. ManU is a money-making machine, an organization that —unlike the Spanish teams— doesn’t run the risk of getting into an astronomical debt to sign him. Last year, they spent over 200 million euro in hopes of kick-starting a new era at the club, and they ended up with a very lukewarm feeling; this year, they may go for record-breaking signings in order to finally return to the European elite.
Biggest Danger: What is there to do in Manchester?