Paul Pogba reveals what convinced him to snub Real Madrid in favour of United move
Manchester United’s derby defeat to league leaders Manchester City over the weekend not only severely dented the Red Devils’ title aspirations, but also highlighted the importance of midfielder Paul Pogba, who served the first of a three-game domestic ban. The France international, who moved to Old Trafford in a £89 million deal from Italian outfit Juventus in the summer of 2016, had a mixed campaign last term but has been in sensational form this season. Before completing his return to United, Pogba was touted to make the move to Spanish giants Real Madrid, who were keen on bringing the 24-year-old to the Santiago Bernabeu stadium and the midfielder has now spoken of his decision at snubbing Madrid in favour of Manchester.
“To be honest, Real Madrid came to me and I was thinking to go there,” the Frenchman told Beyond the Pitch. “And I was thinking to go to Manchester United too. But I always felt it in my heart. My heart told me to come back here. I don’t know why, I didn’t know what was going to happen. But I did it, and I don’t regret. I never regret my choice.”
Pogba will sit out the last of his three-match suspension next weekend when United travel to take on West Bromwich Albion and the Old Trafford faithful will be hoping that the Frenchman’s return will inspire the Red Devils to cut down City’s 11-point lead at the top of the table and deliver a 21st league title.
Scott McTominay to make January move?
One midfielder who is currently competing for a place in the United starting XI in Pogba’s absence is academy product Scott McTominay, however, according to the Sun, the 21-year-old may be allowed to leave Old Trafford when the transfer window opens next month on a temporary basis. The youngster has enjoyed the support of manager Jose Mourinho since the Portuguese’s arrival at the club and after making his first-team debut towards the end of last season, has made a further five appearances in all competitions this campaign. With United currently in the hunt for all four major trophies, McTominay will undoubtedly be given the chance to stake his claim for a more regular place in the first-team but with the likes of Nemanja Matic, Marouane Fellaini, Ander Herrera and Pogba all ahead of him in the pecking order, may look to end the season elsewhere. A drop down to the Championship is being mooted, with the likes of Leeds United, Bolton Wanderers and Preston North End all thought to be interested in adding the 21-year-old to their ranks.
United set to lose out to Barcelona for £100 million Griezmann
Meanwhile, one of last summer’s hottest transfer stories, linking Atletico Madrid’s Atletico Griezmann with a big-money move to Old Trafford, was widely expected to carry on into the new year, however, it is thought the Frenchman is set to complete a transfer to Spanish giants Barcelona instead. The Frenchman was widely tipped to become Mourinho’s marquee signing during the close season, only for Atletico’s transfer ban to convince the forward to temporarily commit his future to the club, prompting United to pay £75 million for Romelu Lukaku. The Red Devils were expected to go back in for Griezmann this summer, however, it seems as though Barcelona are close to completing a deal for the former Real Sociedad man. Having lost Brazilian superstar Neymar in an eye-watering £198 million move to Paris Saint-Germain, the Catalans are determined to add another stellar name to their ranks and see the Frenchman as the perfect fit. According to the Independent, United chiefs believe that Griezmann will end up at the Nou Camp in a deal believed to be worth roughly £100 million, which should see rumours linking Welshman Gareth Bale with a move to Old Trafford resurface.