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Manchester United Transfer News: Latest on Paul Pogba's Exit Rumours

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistMarch 18, 2018

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 17:  Paul Pogba of Manchester warming up before the Emirates FA Cup Quarter Final between Manchester United and Brighton & Hove Albion at Old Trafford on March 17, 2018 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Football agent Mino Raiola is reportedly "sounding out potential buyers" for client Paul Pogba, but the midfielder remains committed to Manchester United and wants to "ride out the storm" with the club.

According to the Mirror's John Richardson, Raiola isn't sitting still while his client goes through the worst crisis he's faced since returning to Old Trafford in 2016.

The agent has talked to several prospective buyers and has angered United manager Jose Mourinho in the process. The latter has been careful not to step on anyone's toes, however, with Raiola also representing several other stars at the club, including Romelu Lukaku and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 13:  Paul Pogba of Manchester United battles with Gabriel Mercado and Pablo Sarabia of Sevilla during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester United and Sevilla FC at Old Trafford on March 13,
Clive Mason/Getty Images

Per Richardson, Pogba has made it clear Raiola's inquiries are no indication he's set to leave Old Trafford, however, and that he wants to continue with the Red Devils.

The 25-year-old has struggled through much of the 2017-18 campaign and has been in such bad form of late that he's been benched on several occasions.

Rob Dawson @RobDawsonESPN

You can argue Sanchez needs a rest after 10 straight starts but not sure why Pogba isn't playing unless he's not fully fit.

Those benchings make sense when you look at some of the statistics behind his lack of form, per Squawka:

Squawka Football @Squawka

Paul Pogba has failed to create a single chance in his last five Premier League appearances for Man Utd. https://t.co/tJuIe50loN

Pogba became the most expensive player in the world when he returned to Old Trafford from Juventus, but he has yet to live up to the massive hype that accompanied the transfer.

He was a member of a celebrated midfield unit for Juventus but has struggled to assume the role of unquestioned leader in Manchester. A shift in tactics hasn't worked, either, as Mourinho has opted to play him closer to the defence, where his attacking output is greatly diminished.

According to The Independent's Miguel Delaney, Mourinho and Pogba's relationship has deteriorated to such an extent the former is ready to swap the player for Paris Saint-Germain's Marco Verratti if things don't improve.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - MARCH 13: A dejected Paul Pogba of Manchester United during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Second Leg match between Manchester United and Sevilla FC at Old Trafford on March 13, 2018 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ma
Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Such a move seems unlikely, as Pogba is too good a player to not rediscover his form. Should the issues persist, however, things could get complicated.

PSG are part of a small group of clubs that could afford Pogba should United decide to cash in. The Premier League giants would undoubtedly want to recoup their investment, but the midfielder's value is at a low point.

Per Richardson, Raiola has also been working on a new contract for Pogba that would put his wages on par with those of Alexis Sanchez, which might explain these latest rumours. By building a market for his client―or at least making it seem as if there is one―the agent may be trying to put pressure on the Red Devils in those negotiations.

A new contract seems far more likely than a transfer, although Pogba's form will have to improve before such a deal would be announced―fans likely wouldn't approve of signing him to improved terms while he's struggling.

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