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Manchester United confirm Paul Pogba exit and hold initial talks with Barcelona over signing of Frenkie de Jong

Manchester United confirm Paul Pogba exit and hold initial talks with Barcelona over signing of Frenkie de Jong

Wednesday 1st June 2022 14:45 BST

Paul Pogba will leave Manchester United when his contract expires at the end of June, while the club has held initial talks with Barcelona over the signing of Frenkie de Jong.

United academy graduate Pogba left Old Trafford to join Juventus as a free agent in 2012, only to return four years later for a then world-record fee of £89m.

But he has had a topsy-turvy second spell with United, who confirmed he will leave for nothing for the second time when his deal expires this month.

“The club can announce that Paul Pogba will leave Manchester United at the end of June, upon the expiry of his contract,” United said at the start of a lengthy send-off statement on the club website.

“Everyone at the club would like to congratulate Paul on his successful career, and thank him for his contributions to Manchester United.

“We wish him all the best for the next steps on a remarkable journey.”

Pogba scored 39 goals in 233 first-team appearances for United, who he first joined from French club Le Havre in 2009.

A key part of the triumphant FA Youth Cup side of 2011, the midfielder joined Juventus the following year and enjoyed a medal-laden time in Turin.

Pogba returned to Old Trafford in 2016 but struggled to live up to the billing, with EFL Cup and Europa League triumphs in his first campaign back at United proving to be his only silverware.

The 29-year-old – a World Cup winner with France in 2018 – is now leaving United on a free transfer for the second occasion, with a return to Juventus potentially on the cards.

Juventus, PSG, Real Madrid – where next?

Sky Sports News reporter Dharmesh Sheth:

Pogba’s representatives held positive talks with Juventus last month but remain in dialogue with Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid.

Sky Sports News has been told there are offers on the table from Juventus and PSG.

It is understood a decision on Pogba’s next club is expected “soon”, with his final choice expected to be a “football decision”.

If Pogba goes to a European club, it is unlikely he will be offered more money than United were willing to pay when they offered him a new deal last summer.

At 29 years of age, this is likely to be the last remaining peak years of Pogba’s career and his last big contract, so he will want to get it right.

Sky Sports News has been told Pogba, currently on holiday in Miami, is a doubt for France’s Nations League games in June as he continues to recover from a calf injury.

Man Utd hold talks with Barca for De Jong

With Pogba’s departure confirmed, Manchester United have held initial talks with Barcelona over the signing of midfielder Frenkie de Jong. He is a number of midfielders United are looking at.

Sky Sports News has been told a deal is not close as there would be “significant obstacles” to overcome – notably a fee and the will of the player.

De Jong is a player United manager Erik ten Hag rates highly. The Netherlands international played under him at Ajax and was part of the side that won the 2018/19 Eredivisie title and reached the Champions League semi-finals.

However, the 25-year-old, who has made 139 appearances for Barcelona, is reportedly reluctant to leave the Nou Camp this summer.

Pogba at Man Utd: Mismanaged or a mistake?

Sky Sports’ Dan Sansom:

It was a deal that caused a social media frenzy. Emerging from the shadows with a red devil marked into his hair, Pogba’s Manchester United announcement video in 2016 was followed by a sponsored music clip featuring Stormzy. The hype over #POGBACK had begun.

It was supposed to be the start of something special. A new era for a club still struggling to find its feet after the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson three years earlier.

But Pogba has been unable to inspire United to former glories. The 2017 League Cup and Europa League are the only trophies of his six-season spell.

After being booed off the pitch against Norwich and suffering a calf injury at Liverpool in April, Pogba will now leave the club for a second time. He cannot solely be blamed for United’s lack of success, but his departure signals an underwhelming end to a transfer that promised so much.

As Europe’s biggest clubs prepare to pounce, Sky Sports looks at Pogba’s second United career.

How did it go so wrong? Was he mismanaged? Or was it Pogba who made the mistake?

Pogba’s Man Utd exit confirmed – Have your say

A selection of your best comments after Pogba’s second stint at Manchester United comes to an end…

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