Paul Pogba’s Man United transfer decision could allow Chelsea to seal their first summer signing

Paul Pogba is back for Manchester United in a playing sense ahead of their FA Cup tie this weekend against Middlesbrough but his future remains far from certain with the Frenchman’s contract expiring at the end of the season.

As per our sister title the Manchester Evening News, Pogba is due to make his first start since November 2 on Friday night but United fans may be watching the last period of the World Cup winning players’ turbulent second tenure in Manchester.

The 28-year-old is out of contract in June and is expected to leave United on a free for the second time exactly 10 years on from when he ran down his previous deal at the club. Ralf Rangnick said the topic of out of contract players had not been broached even though he is due to assume a consultancy role from July 1.

“I’m happy to have him back in the squad as I said he might be playing from the start tomorrow,” Rangnick said on Thursday afternoon. “I see his best possible position for me as one of the central midfield positions as either an 8 or 10, but the way we’re currently playing I’d rather see him in the 8 position but we’ll have to see, it’s up to him now.

“His contract is expiring in the summer and if, in the end, he would like to stay or go somewhere else he has to show up. It’s not only in the interest of us as a club, but it’s in his personal interest that he plays and performs at the highest possible level in the next couple of weeks.

“We haven’t spoken about that (his future) at all so far, not only about Paul’s situation but also other players with contracts expiring in the summer, we also didn’t speak about new players so far.

“My focus now is to play the best possible season we can, to be as successful as we can be and for Paul, it is in his own interest to play on a high level to have a good performance tomorrow and do everything to get into the first XI – that will not automatically happen because we have other good players in that area.”

Paul Pogba and Aurelien Tchouameni in conversation while on France duty
Paul Pogba and Aurelien Tchouameni in conversation while on France duty

An admission by the interim boss that won’t feel United fans with much confidence in the long-term but how does this situation link to Chelsea’s proposed business in the summer?

Well, first off, the Les Bleus international has a number of destinations on the table with Real Madrid the current favourites out of the likes of Paris-Saint Germain and Juventus to land the tall midfielder on a mega money contract deal.

Los Blancos are on the hunt for their long-term Casemiro replacement and with Pogba dangling the carrot out for a potential move to the Santiago Bernabau, as per Marca, what would this mean for Florentino Perez’s personal pursuit of Blues target Aurelien Tchouameni?

Reports recently surfaced suggesting a few higher ups at the Madrid based club flew over to Monte Carlo in order to hold personal talks with his agent but despite this, still understands that Chelsea hold the advantage over their Spanish counterparts due to the groundwork that has already gone in regarding this deal.

Chelsea’s continued interest in a player touted to be the next coming of Steven Gerrard has been confirmed by’s Blues correspondent Adam Newson when he spoke about the Tuchel’s plan of action recently on Carefree Chelsea.

“That’s a very hard question. I would probably think it would be Jules Kounde, largely because he’s the most recent of the sort of harder interest that Chelsea have had in players. So, Declan arises, we know and goes back a long way,” Newson responded on the CarefreeChelsea notebook YouTube show when asked which of the three are Tuchel targets specifically.

“Frank Lampard wanted him, and the club wasn’t as willing to accommodate that because of his history at Chelsea. Being released at 14 and then the optics of re-signing a guy you released necessarily isn’t great.

“But, you look at his emergence now and continued development. It’s harder and harder to make a case for why you shouldn’t go for him. Tchouameni is someone we know Chelsea have been in a few months.

“But only emerged to me recently that Chelsea have been following him since his days at Bordeaux, which is good on the clubs part that they had that identification. Maybe it gives them an advantage.

“Having spoken to Tchouameni for this long. Kounde seems the more recent one and maybe the more important one depending on events in the summer with the centre-back situation.

“If you lose Christensen, Azpilicueta and Rudiger, then you do need to invest in that centre-back position. Maybe above midfielder. Although I do think midfielders is an area we would look at.”

Although this seems a positive for the west London club on the face of it, they still have to hope Real Madrid’s sole focus is on Pogba whilst also having to fend off interest from the likes of Liverpool for the £68million Ligue 1 star.

There is still a long way to go in this race but one thing for sure is that with Eduardo Camavinga signed last summer from Rennes, Madrid only need one new midfielder to come in this summer whilst they focus on trying to sign Kylian Mbappe as a free agent.

A double swoop of free agents from their perspective would then almost give Chelsea a free run at signing a player recommended to them by former midfielder Cesc Fabregas.

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