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Ed Woodward’s plan to offer Paul Pogba record Man Utd contract or risk free transfer

The clock is ticking on the biggest transfer dilemma of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United reign – how to manage Paul Pogba’s future.

With fourteen months left on his contract D-Day is fast approaching for Pogba and United.

It’s a puzzle that goes right to the top of United’s hierarchy with the Glazer family and executive chairman Ed Woodward involved in an on-going conversation that’s divided fans for most of the midfielder’s time at Old Trafford.

Pogba’s super-agent Mino Raiola is in the shake-up too – and desperate to generate another money-spinning move for his A-list client.

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The equation for United’s board is simple.

Mino Raiola wants to move Pogba away from Man United

Give Pobga the biggest contract the club has ever offered and hope he agrees to sign.

Or sell the midfielder at the end of the season and recoup some of the £89million they paid for the French World Cup winner five years ago.

Option three of allowing Pogba to run down the final year of his contract is the doomsday scenario and would be sheer financial folly with United’s finances hit hard by the Covid pandemic.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Pogba can still be a force for Man United

But while the club weigh up the business angle, for United fans it’s not about the money – it’s about the team.

Solskjaer has made it clear he wants Pogba to stay.

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Yet there are plenty of fans who’d drive the 27-year-old star all the way to Madrid, Paris or Turin in a heart-beat if it meant bringing the Pogba circus to a close.

Others believe United can’t make the next step in the development of Solskjaer’s young team without his undoubted talent and match-winning capability.

Sadly, the Pogba’s best moments in a red shirt far have been too sporadic since his return to Manchester and his Old Trafford showreel wouldn’t run too long.

Pogba’s finest moment for Man United came in the 2018 derby win at City

His two goal derby day heroics at The Etihad in 2018 to hold up Manchester City’s Premier League coronation remains his most notable contribution but he can hardly be considered value for money.

His critics claim if he’s not regularly excelled in the last five years why should United fans expect the next three or four years will be any different.

Yet on his day Pogba brings vital quality to United who often lack vision and have to rely on Bruno Fernandes or a flash of individual brilliance from Solskjaer’s strikers to dig them out of trouble.

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His supporters argue Pogba has never been consistently been played in the kind of forward attacking position that gets the best from him and United.

Bruno Fernandes has out-performed Pogba

And that was before Fernandes arrived from Sporting Lisbon to transform Solskjaer’s side.

Pogba’s often operated in a more withdrawn position as one of two holders – a role that’s never suited him.

The Frenchman is at his most threatening supporting the front men but so is Fernandes – and he’ll always get the nod ahead of Pogba in a straight fight.

Many feel there’s little point in keeping Pogba if his output and the way he’s used produces more of the same.

The conundrum for Solskjaer is to find a way to utilise all Pogba’s qualities not just in flashes, but week in week out in the way Pep Guardiola inspires Kevin De Bruyne to run City’s midfield.

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And if that’s never going to happen surely it’s best for the club cut’s its losses, write Pogba off as a chance wasted and look for a new solution to a problem that’s holding United back.

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