Arsenal’s plan to sign a central midfielder in the summer transfer window could lead them to making an approach for Paul Pogba who could be a free agent come July
Paul Pogba to Arsenal. An unlikely summer transfer, but one that makes a lot of sense for both parties if they were to reach an agreement and a deal that would certainly please Ian Wright.
The Gunners legend has made no secret of his admiration for the Manchester United midfielder, previously admitting he would love to see the Frenchman playing for his former club.
Interestingly, this could happen as The Telegraph reported last month that the 28-year-old has not ruled out joining another Premier League side if he departs Old Trafford this summer.
If Arsenal were to sign Pogba, they’d be doing so without spending a single penny as the midfielder’s contract at Man United expires at the end of June, meaning he will become a free agent and thus allowing him to repeat the same trick from almost decade ago when he joined Juventus.
Now, there has been talk of the France international returning to Turin this summer. According to Gazzetta, the Bianconeri have been in contact with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola and plan to offer the midfielder a salary worth €7.5million (£6.1million) plus bonuses to bring him back to the club ahead of the 2022/23 season.
It remains to be seen what decision the United ace makes, but following an honest assessment of his second spell at Old Trafford, it seems more likely than ever that he will leave in the summer and has revealed what will be the biggest influence when it comes to choosing his next move.
“You have to be honest, the last five seasons have not satisfied me – really not at all,” Pogba told Le Figaro. “This year it is dead, we won’t win anything. Whether it is with Manchester United or at another club, I want to win trophies.”
The one accusation thrown at Pogba since returning to England almost six years ago is consistency. From being sublime at international level, he has often struggled to replicate those performances for Man United, something he puts this down to knowing his role for France.
“It’s simple with France, I play and I play in my position – I know my role and I feel the confidence of the coach and the players,” he added. “It’s normal to feel a difference at Manchester United because it’s hard to be consistent when you often have a change to your position, or the team system, or your partners. I get along very well with [Deschamps], he gave me a role that I know, but at Manchester United do I really have a role? I ask the question but I don’t have an answer.”
In Pogba’s own words, his best role is on the left of a midfield three. “I would say midfielder on the left [is my best position],” he told Sky Sports after rejoining Man United. “If you play a three I can play on the right of left, but I feel more comfortable to play on my left. I can do it [holding midfielder], but I feel more comfortable a bit higher.”
This is somewhat interesting with regards to Arsenal’s summer transfer plans. With Roma expected to make a fresh attempt to sign Granit Xhaka, should he leave then a gap opens up on the left-side to complete Mikel Arteta’s midfield three which includes Thomas Partey and Martin Odegaard.
Despite not quite fulfilling the requirements of the Gunners’ new transfer policy of signing players aged 23 or younger, Pogba certainly has the quality to make Arteta and technical director Edu reconsider that stance. And from Pogba’s point of view, he can get everything he craves in terms of a clear midfield role if he was to complete a rather surprising move to the Emirates Stadium.