Manchester United: Why staying at the club and getting them back to relevancy should be Paul Pogba's priority
Paul Pogba's importance to Manchester United cannot be overemphasised. On his off days, he still trumps his Man Utd colleagues, as he is undoubtedly one of the most uniquely talented playmakers in world football.
The Pogba exit rumours seem like an unending soap opera. Last summer, there were reports of Barcelona seeking to lure Pogba away from Manchester, and this summer, reports of Real Madrid and Juventus trying to tempt the Frenchman away from Old Trafford just won't go away.
To make matters worse, Pogba and his controversial handler, Mino Raiola, fanned the flames with comments in the media. According to Paul Pogba,
"After this season and everything that happened this season, with my season being my best season as well, I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else. I am thinking of this: to have a new challenge somewhere else."
That was somewhat a signal of intent. However, some pundits have attributed his antics to a ploy for a bumper new contract.
Nevertheless, the Old Trafford outfit isn't looking to sell, and have reportedly slapped a hefty £150 million price tag on the man Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to build his new-look United team around.
Paul Pogba arrived Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 for a then world-record fee of £89.3 million and has flattered to deceive more often than not. His inconsistency has left managers and fans distraught on many occasions, with Jose Mourinho famously falling out with the Frenchman.
From all indications, Pogba isn't hell-bent on forcing a move out of Old Trafford, and the Real Madrid higher-ups aren't keen on forking out the enormous sum required to prize the Frenchman away from Manchester.
Man Utd has had a somewhat fruitful transfer window, with the arrival of Harry Maguire and Aaron Wan-Bissaka providing a solid foundation for the team to thrive on. Also, the uber attacking system Solskjaer has implemented in pre-season so far is one Pogba can flourish in, just like he did in the early days of the Norweigian's reign last season.
Pogba has been the consummate professional so far and he still has the love and respect of his manager. However, If Pogba stays beyond this transfer window, he faces a long road to redemption, as the Old Trafford faithful are loving and unforgiving in equal measure.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is building a new-look United team, one that will return the club to the summit of English football, and Pogba will be given the mandate to lead the team on the pitch.
That's certainly a new challenge.
By many standards, the World Cup winner hasn't justified the hefty price tag Man Utd paid for him. Therefore, with the club currently in the wilderness, and with unending questions about his loyalty to the badge, this is the right time for the Frenchman to prove his doubters wrong by stepping up to the plate.
"I've not been upset by anything he's said because we've had many conversations and I know exactly what Paul is thinking. I can give him a new challenge"
- Ole Gunnar Solskjaer