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Paul Pogba's Manchester United Departure Confirmed amid Juventus Rumors

Tim Daniels@@TimDanielsBRFeatured Columnist IVJune 1, 2022

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 16: Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Norwich City at Old Trafford on April 16, 2022 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images)
Robbie Jay Barratt - AMA/Getty Images

Manchester United announced Wednesday midfielder Paul Pogba will leave the club when his contract expires at the end of June.

Pogba, who started his senior career with United in 2011, returned to Old Trafford in 2016 after a four-year stint with Juventus. He recorded one goal and nine assists across 20 Premier League appearances for the Red Devils this season.

"Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Paul on his successful career, and thank him for his contributions to Manchester United," the club wrote in a statement. "We wish him all the best for the next steps on a remarkable journey."

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OFFICIAL: Manchester United confirm Paul Pogba will leave the club as a free agent for the second time <a href="https://t.co/3YnSRh4PXU">pic.twitter.com/3YnSRh4PXU</a>

James Westwood of Goal reported Juve is "leading the race" to sign the 29-year-old French international once again, though Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid are also involved.

Pogba hinted at his frustration while playing for France in March, telling Telefoot (via ESPN) United's failure to contend for trophies led to "difficult times."

"I want to win titles, I want to play for something," he said. "Whether it be this year or even the previous ones, we haven't won anything. That's what's sad, in the end."

United fell well short of competing for a title in 2021-22. It finished sixth in the Premier League and failed to make a deep run in any knockout tournamentโ€”the UEFA Champions League (round of 16), FA Cup (fourth round) or EFL Cup (third round).

It's likely to cause several squad changes over the summer as the Red Devils prepare to begin a new era under manager Erik ten Hag, who arrives from Ajax.

With Pogba's departure confirmed, United has opened discussions with Barcelona about fellow midfielder Frenkie de Jong, per Sky Sports' Dan Sansom.

De Jong tallied three goals and three assists in 32 La Liga matches for Barca this season.

Meanwhile, the interest from three high-profile clubs like Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid shows belief Pogba can reignite his career with a transfer.

The playmaking midfielder has still shown glimpses of being a high-impact performer during his stints with the French national team, but those kinds of performances were few and far between with United.

If he does land with a marquee club, he'll likely need to showcase more consistent top form to remain a regular first-team selection in 2022-23.