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Manchester City join Paul Pogba race?

Man City join Paul Pogba race?
© Reuters
Manchester City reportedly plan a shock move for soon-to-be free agent Paul Pogba, whose Manchester United contract expires next month.

Manchester City have reportedly joined the race to sign Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba in the summer transfer window.

The 29-year-old has entered the final two months of his existing contract with the Red Devils and is seemingly certain to head for the exit door when those terms expire.

Real Madrid were previously seen as the favourites to land Pogba's signature but have supposedly taken a backseat while they prioritise moves for Erling Braut Haaland and Kylian Mbappe.

Prior to rejoining Man United, Pogba struck 34 goals and 40 assists in 178 games for Juventus - winning four Serie A titles in the process - and he continues to be strongly linked with a return to Turin.

Furthermore, with Paris Saint-Germain also potentially set for a summer midfield overhaul, Pogba is supposedly one of five names on the Parisiens' transfer wishlist.

 Manchester United's Paul Pogba during the warm up before the match, November 2, 2021© Reuters

However, the Daily Mail reports that Man City could instead move for the World Cup winner in a shock turn of events, with Pep Guardiola planning for life without Fernandinho.

While he has been largely consigned to a bench role this term, Fernandinho has confirmed that he will be leaving the Premier League champions at the end of the campaign.

As a result, Guardiola has supposedly identified Pogba as an ideal transfer candidate ahead of the 2022-23 season, with the Catalan coach seeking a versatile lynchpin amid uncertainty over Bernardo Silva and Ilkay Gundogan's long-term futures as well.

Despite their status as Man United's bitter rivals, the report adds that Pogba would not immediately turn down an offer for Man City and is prepared to weigh up all of his options before coming to a decision.

Guardiola's side are already at a disadvantage when it comes to negotiating a move for Pogba, though, with Bosman rules stating that they cannot discuss a transfer until he becomes a free agent, while foreign clubs are already free to enter talks.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba pictured on February 8, 2022© Reuters

After picking up a season-ending calf injury in the 4-0 loss to Liverpool last month, Pogba has likely played his final game for the Red Devils and is said to have left the club's WhatsApp group.

Pogba therefore prepares to leave Man United for a second time having made 233 appearances over his two spells, recording 39 goals and 51 assists in the process.

One of those goals and nine of those assists have come in 20 Premier League games in the 2021-22 campaign, with only Mohamed Salah, Trent Alexander-Arnold and Andy Robertson setting up more this term despite Pogba's patchy form and injuries.

The France international has won the Europa League and EFL Cup at Manchester United, but the Red Devils are expected to make do without Champions League football next term as they lie sixth in the Premier League table.

As well as Pogba, Juan Mata, Lee Grant, Edinson Cavani and Jesse Lingard are all set to leave the club when their deals expire, and the defensive duo of Eric Bailly and Phil Jones have allegedly told teammates that they will be moving elsewhere too.

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Manchester United's Eric Bailly pictured on December 8, 2021
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