Want-away Paul Pogba could be replaced by Atletico Madrid’s midfield superstar Saul Niguez.
Paul Pogba has admitted to wanting “a new challenge” after an interview during his East Asia tour. Since the breaking news, rumours of his future have been floating around the football world, as he looks to be heading for world beaters Real Madrid or Juventus. Ironically being much less of a challenge than turning around the form of Man United.
Pogba’s asking price is currently standing at around £150million. Interestingly the same price Atletico Madrid would demand for Niguez, who is contracted until 2026 upon signing a stunning nine-year contract in 2017.
Atletico Madrid has had a very busy summer, losing the likes of potentially Griezmann and Rodri. It means United would have to meet the very strict demands for securing the Spanish midfielder.
The two players may be a similar price, but who is the better option for Manchester United?
First and foremost, if Pogba wants to leave Manchester United, it would be in everyone’s best interest to let him go. Man United fans have endured the frustration of watching an unhappy Pogba for too long.
However, he is the only world class outfield player Manchester United have in their ranks. The Frenchman, 26, has more experience than the Spaniard Niguez, as he has 341 games in his career at club level and 67 caps for the senior French national side.
Niguez is 24 years old and slightly less experienced than Pogba, having 317 club level appearances and only 16 caps for his national side. However, both players are yet to prove themselves are Champions League standards, as they each have a Europa Cup on their CV.
Niguez would guard the back line of Manchester United. Providing more pace and forward thinking than Nemanja Matic, and arguably has a higher work rate than Paul Pogba. This would also allow the signing of Bruno Fernandes, as many speculate that Pogba and Fernandes could not co-exist in the United squad.
With a midfield of Fernandes, Niguez and Mourinho’s boy-wonder Scott McTominay. Man United would have a very composed and hard working middle of the park structure. Which is precisely what Solskjaer is looking for.