Pogba to Man City: The stunning details, a De Jong partnership and Man Utd’s replacement

Matt Stead
Paul Pogba and Pep Guardiola

Manchester City are interested in Paul Pogba again. They may partner him with Frenkie de Jong and Manchester United have a replacement in mind.


It was in April 2018, on the eve of a Manchester derby, when Pep Guardiola revealed that he had been offered the chance to sign Paul Pogba. These were simpler times: Pogba scored twice in the subsequent match to temporarily delay City’s title procession; Liverpool were on the verge of facing Real Madrid in the Champions League final; and some British football journalists lost the entire sum total of their sh*t.

Absolutely glorious stuff from those halcyon days. Manchester City possibly looking into signing free agent Pogba upon the expiration of his Manchester United contract feels positively tame by comparison, but here we are.

Pogba, of course, shares an agency with Erling Haaland and The Sun claim that the Frenchman’s name has been mentioned during those discussions. Manchester City have quite sensibly ‘asked to be kept informed’.

Guardiola’s desire for ‘a new versatile central midfielder’ as Fernandinho’s replacement is cited by the Daily Mail. Pogba has indeed proven to be incredibly versatile at Old Trafford, which is presumably why Manchester United have spent every transfer window since he joined trying to #unlock him.

The Times suggest Manchester City are targeting ‘a dynamic box-to-box midfielder’, however, and ‘there is a feeling in some quarters that Pogba could be a good signing’. He is on a shortlist of five to 10 players in the position.

Pogba himself would be ‘open’ to the move as he ‘is interested in working with’ Guardiola and ‘could operate in a deeper role in midfield’.

They could probably do with tying down his position first.

The Guardian add that a four-year contract with the option of a further 12 months, on lower wages than his current earnings across the city, could be offered.

And the Football365 transfer gossip column reports that it would be pretty funny. Hopefully Gianluca Di Marzio just keeps his nose out of it this time because we genuinely fear for his safety if he breaks another embargo. The poor bloke is going to ‘get done’.

One per Premier League club: Reasons why they should sign Pogba


Manchester City are certainly planning a busy summer, perhaps stemming from the existential crisis that a potential Liverpool Quadruple would inflict upon the entire world. One of the most important players in terms of preventing that might be Bernardo Silva, whose role and performances under Guardiola have been elevated once more this season.

Barcelona have taken an interest and Mundo Deportivo describe the Portuguese as ‘one of the most liked within the Catalan club’. While there is acknowledgement that he is ‘a complicated option’, Silva is still said to not be completely settled in England and open to the idea of playing in La Liga.

Those familiar financial restraints at the Nou Camp provide a stumbling block that Frenkie de Jong could help with. Mundo add that ‘a barter could be studied’ involving the Dutch midfielder in a part-exchange that would suit all parties involved.


The next Pogba consideration would be who Manchester United sign to replace him. Celebration policeman Ruben Neves has been mentioned and his preference in the event of leaving Wolves would be to stay in the Premier League.

He remains eager to return to the Champions League, a competition in which he has not featured since February 2017. With Arsenal and Manchester United the two main English clubs linked, the choice seems pretty obvious. But both will be pleased to learn that his public £100m valuation is likely to be closer to £70m in private.

That comes from the Daily Mail, who add that Bruno Lage ‘is desperate to strengthen his forward line’ and wants some new midfielders, so Neves and Leander Dendoncker could be sacrificed to boost the budget.