Juventus may well have a Paul Pogba problem
While Paul Pogba would be an excellent fit for Max Allegri’s side – should he still be bossing the club next season – and would be useful for whoever the manager is, Juventus will have competition for his services this summer. The likes of PSG in Ligue 1, Real Madrid of La Liga, and the suddenly wealthy Newcastle United of the Premier League are all reportedly vying to sign this player alongside the Old Lady.
It is not difficult to understand why, of course. Even with down years at Manchester United taken into consideration, the 29-year-old French midfielder is, when healthy and motivated, one of the greatest talents in the world. While his offensive and defensive skills and instincts make him a massive asset for any team that has him, not all sides can maximise his talent as Juventus and the French National Team have previously.
Who might secure his services ultimately? Well, it will depend upon a combination of factors, including where he wishes to play and live, where he believes he will have the best chance of playing consistent European football – preferably Champions League of course – year in and out, where the competition is stiff, and where the resources are most abundant.
Might that be Juventus? I think it very well could, but there are other teams that fit the description as well – if not better – too.
Juventus should only really fear Real Madrid in the hunt to sign Paul Pogba
I think it is romantic to imagine Pogba going to Newcastle United, now that they are flush with capital from the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund (PIF), but I do not think it is anything more than that to be frank. Newcastle will challenge for Europe next season quite likely, and could make it into either the Europa League or Europa Conference League. Qualifying for the UCL would be massive, but that dream appears years away yet.
Therefore, I cannot see Pogba going somewhere where Champions League football isn’t a guarantee. And while Paris might seem attractive for him, I cannot see him enjoying life with PSG where the competition is incomparable to the lofty heights of the Premier League.
With the season that PSG are having, it would be unsurprising to see them lose multiple superstars this summer, and they might not necessarily get massive names back instantly either. No, for me, the real choice that Paul Pogba has is between Turin, a city in which he’s still admired, and Madrid, a city that, I believe, he would very much like to love himself.
And while I think Juventus holds a place in his heart personally and professionally, he has already won and enjoyed success there. Furthermore, while both teams are reportedly not the financially strongest right now, Madrid appear to have the resources to sign a player like Kylian Mbappe from Paris AND then purchase the ever-dangerous Pogba in one summer.
On top of all of that, they also possess the champions pedigree, and it is a pedigree that surely remains attractive to him from a distance. Juventus will entice him, and could even end up winning his favour with memories, praise, innovations and money. But ultimately, the pull from Spain might be too strong.
Should Juventus get him, of course, as I alluded to in a previous piece on this topic, he would do wonders for the club, and his addition will surely mitigate the loss of Paulo Dybala from an emotional and creative perspective.
Paul Pogba is still at the top of his game, and one can be sure that he is simply itching to get to a place where he can best express himself properly. Juventus has been that team for him before and could very well be again in the near future, yet Madrid, the Bernabeau and the Escorial surely beckon to the player, and his friend Mbappe could soon be too. Whether memories prove more attractive than dream, however, remains to be seen.