Thursday July 28 2016
Will Pogba pick fool's gold or logic?

Paul Pogba’s future has been the subject of debate all year long, but in the end Juventus will always be a winner, writes Vincent Van Genechten.

Will he stay or will he go? That’s been the question for months regarding Paul Pogba. One thing’s for sure: whatever the outcome will be, the football world will show signs of relief. This transfer saga has been going on for so long, with so many chapters written, that it has turned into a source of frustration for everyone involved and everyone interested.

“Paul Pogba will join Manchester United in the next 48 hours.” That’s the story of this week. But it was a story before, so a bunch of fans have just given up and are waiting for Ed Woodward, Beppe Marotta, Mino Raiola or Pogba himself to announce ‘The Decision’. Pogba wearing a LeBron James jersey on vacation in the Unites States did have a meaning…

Of course, there’s always some news outlet that will exaggerate a random Instagram post by the France international, who has also added fuel to the rumours by remaining very silent on the matter and sometimes posting mysterious stuff on his social media accounts.

The fact is: no one knows what Pogba wants except for Pogba. However, whatever his choice will be, the Old Lady will benefit from it. If he leaves, Juve will have a record amount to spend on a couple of quality replacements. If he stays, Juve will be able to pair Pogba with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Miralem Pjanic, alongside Paulo Dybala.

When talking purely about football, it would be pretty foolish for the 23-year-old to leave the club that has put so much faith in him. The Bianconeri even handed him the iconic number 10 last summer, making him the face of the franchise. A decade after being relegated to Serie B, Juventus are back at the top of the football world and ready to launch an assault on the Champions League, the one trophy that has escaped them since 1996.

Juve’s ambition has been so outspoken that it seemingly has become their second nature. Coach Max Allegri can’t stop mentioning it, while every new signing talked about being in Turin to win the cup with the big ears, from Higuain to Pjanic and even Marko Pjaca. This ambition strokes with Pogba’s, who also has a big desire to win the Ballon d’Or, a feat he could accomplish at Juve next season.

However, it’s hard to ignore cold, hard cash. Even with Pogba having zero financial troubles, getting paid three times as much as you are at the moment is tempting. In addition, the midfielder has some scores to settle at Old Trafford, as the club let him leave for free four years ago. It is true that it remains his first home…

Still, United don’t play Champions League football next season, meaning Pogba would join a team that’s starting a new cycle. On a club level, he’ll be back to 2012, when Juve were just getting started. Again, football-wise it would make zero sense for the Frenchman to leave.

And then, there’s the pressure. Pogba will be the most expensive footballer on the planet. Every move he makes will be analysed and every mistake will be noticed, especially in England. Like with Gareth Bale, whatever Pogba does, it will never be enough. Ever. That’s the cruelty of the whole story.

At Juventus, he is the man, while playing in a system and position that suits him perfectly. At United, everything remains to be seen. Pogba is a gamer, meaning he would accept the challenge, but does he really want all the trouble that comes with it?

Here’s how Juventus should do it: talk Pogba into staying for two more seasons. In 2018, Gigi Buffon and Andrea Barzagli will retire, hopefully with a Champions League under their belts, while Pogba has won it all. If he wants to leave then, do everything in your power to sell him for the best offer available. Because, does anyone really believe that in two years, the big offers won’t come for Pogboom?

All things considered, it’s logical for Paul Pogba to remain at Juventus for just a little while. But in football, logic often isn’t the guideline.

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Have your say...
I hope he becomes another di maria, pogba doesn't know the difference between quantity and quality. 
on the 13th August, 2016 at 4:04pm
Pogba wants to win the Champions League and Ballon d'or, well why didn't he stay at Juventus? He will not win those with Man U. His greedy, parasitic agent got what he wanted, so he's happy, Pogba will not get what he wants.
on the 10th August, 2016 at 8:29am
Judging by the newspaper reports, he's off to Man.U, so it seems he is taking fools gold. Good luck to him.
on the 5th August, 2016 at 9:34am
I honestly want him and his mercenary agent Raiola gone. It may seem like an overreaction from a Juve fan, but I'm sick and tired of hearing and reading about these two, specially the annoying Raiola. Giving so much media attention to that greedy agent is a shame. Though it would be dumb for him to go to MU this season, but if he's that stupid and if Raiola can play with his head, then hey his loss. Juve news are drowned by these two for a couple of years now.. Juve is bigger than this. And honestly, 120M is too much even for Pogba. So let him go just like we let Zidane go. We never stop on anyone. In fact, we will gain some peace and quiet and we will give the #10 to Dybala, which makes more sense anyway.
on the 30th July, 2016 at 5:07am
I also feel that it is the right time to discuss these agents who have ruined football and serie A. Mino Raiola is just unbelievable. It is unreal to see all these transfers day in day out yet i dont see a single Italian in any move just more and more foreigners coming in. Did we learn nothing in the Euros? We have no players! I would rather the agents sent them all packing and sign up Italians! Have some pride for god sake! This is a joke.
on the 29th July, 2016 at 9:26pm
Sell sell sell. 100m and people ask "should juve sell. DAM RIGHT THEY SHOULD SELL! He is overated! Cash in. When he first stepped on the pitch i thought this kid was special. After 2 years of seeing his own price tag go up he has become ball greedy, selfish, wasteful, he has nothing of what i thought he would become. Sell him ASAP. If there are teams stupid enough to pay, let them.
on the 29th July, 2016 at 9:20pm
Footballers' careers are short. 10-15 years at most. I won't be upset if Pogba leaves. He would be a fool for saying no to doubling or even tripling his current wages. Each of us would do the same.
on the 29th July, 2016 at 5:20pm
@anonymous Juve weaker than Barca and Madrid? In what way? Juve have a superior defence. If they keep Pogba the midfield they have is arguably just as good as both. Fair enough Barca have Messi and Madrid have CR7 but Juve's attack isn't that far off with Higuain and the extremely talented Dybala.
on the 29th July, 2016 at 2:32pm
Going now would be pointless, Juve have a team capable of going far in Europe if not winning it, to rule Juve out of winning the champions league is just foolish as you don't have to be the best side, you need to be very good side and have that luck required as in all competitions, Portugal are not a better side than Germany for example but yet they won the euros. Atletico were lucky to get past Bayern last year, Juve have as good a chance as anyone, with or without Pogba
on the 29th July, 2016 at 1:53pm
I just cant wait for this drama to be over, its like will he go or wont he go will he join ManU or Real. Its tiring but i like Pogba and unlike some on here i dont think he has outgrown the club or this league i think he would do well in staying with Juve at least one or two more seasons but ultimately what matters is his opinion and desire and i can only thank him for the great service to Juve and good luck with ManU.
on the 29th July, 2016 at 10:22am
These comments are laughable. The 90m for Higuain is (and always was going to be) funded by the sale of Pogba. Even with Pogba, Juve would be weaker than Barca, Madrid and then even odds with a couple other European squads. However the Serie A will be Juve's again, and the defense could support another deep run in the CL.
on the 29th July, 2016 at 6:04am
Higuain came, and soon Gabigol will be likely. If you could imagine 4-3-3 with Dybala-Higuain-Gabigol, or Dybala in hole post while the middle three will consist of Pogba, Pjanic and Marchisio. Alex and Dani on the flank while Bonucci and Chiellini will be a wall for Buffon. UCL is now definitely reacheable as close as Barca, Munich and Real hands...
on the 29th July, 2016 at 2:44am
Last 3 summer, we Juve fans are tired of hearing the long impending sale of Pogba. The so-called super agent, Mino Raiola operates like a mercenary. He has been bullying Juve from the time he sold Ibrahimovic to Inter, who instigated a premeditated calciopoli scandal. Except a rare breed of gentleman like Nedved, every footballer is a commodity for these rogue agents. No club can afford a peaceful preseason if Raiola is in its vicinity. Juve should get rid of both pizza chef Raiola and Pogba.
on the 29th July, 2016 at 1:18am
Fact is the English league is bigger than the laughable Serie A in its state and Manchester United is a far, far bigger club than even the best we can offer.

We might not like it, but Pogba has outgrown juve, and he has outgrown serie a in its pathetic state.
on the 29th July, 2016 at 1:08am
Pogba is being lead up a path by a very greedy fat man, for me its really the only logical answer. His 'agent' is only after his big payday. He is surely not working for the best interests of his client.
Whatever happens, I wish Paul the best. He was great.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 11:43pm
There's that Bazoer lad who is 19 and is a first team regular for Ajax and has been capped for Holland. He's been described as the new Frank Rijkaard and from the few times i've seen him play he looks like a real prospect and a similar type of player to Pogba. If Juve can get him for say 30 million and let him learn off Pjanic, Khedira and Marchisio they wouldn't miss Pogba that much at all
on the 28th July, 2016 at 11:22pm
In interviews, Pogba has shown himself to be an intelligent lad with a sensible head, so if he was to move to Manchester United like this, it would be both surprising and disappointing. If it does happen, I would suspect it is primarily because Raiola is pushing for the transfer so that he can collect his enormous broker fee rather than Pogba actually wanting to leave; in which case it is disturbing to think that agents can hold so much power as to override the wants of the player and his club.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 10:18pm
pogba going to united is just about money he has a to wait a year to get into the champions league and thats not given it would be much better for him to stay but i do agree with the guy below lemina could replace him and he does a decent job to.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 10:04pm
I think he's after fool's gold and the joke is on who ever spends 120m for potential and twice what he's worth. I really don't think Juve cares either way. Pogba would be stupid to leave and yet I think he will because just look at the style he wears.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 9:28pm
@Marino Spot on. And the Euros gave further proof if it were needed that Pogba cannot flourish in a rigid role. He wants to take games by the balls and for that he needs freedom. And we give him that. At Manure I can't see him replicating his form at Juve. He may have just blown his chance of becoming a true Juventus legend like Nedved.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 9:06pm
it is a outrageous sum of money even in today's game juve would be crazy not to get it. The only issue is of instead of using this cash in a very obvious attempt at winning the champions league they could have used it to replace some of the ageing back line and midfield i suppose they still have the rest of transfer market to achieve this.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 8:06pm
"Face of the franchise" was in the context of his marketing value, it's a rhetorical device by the writer, given that he's making a point about money and marketing.

Good article Mr Van Genechten.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 7:16pm
Even with the team that ManU has today they won't win the PREMIER LEAGUE with or without him. Both Ibrahimovic and Rooney are on their way down and Mourinho act only last 2 years. I would understand if he was going to Barcalona or Real Madrid. This transfer is all about his agent wanting the fee
on the 28th July, 2016 at 6:29pm
Most over-valued player ever
on the 28th July, 2016 at 6:28pm
Pogba would be a fool to leave. He's still guaranteed the big money move at any point over the next 5 years. He simply doesn't realise how good he has it here. This is hands down THE DUMBEST time for anyone to leave Juve given our push for the UCL. We've just signed Higuain, Pjanic, Benatia, Pjaca and Dani Alves for God's sake - who wouldn't want to play in this team? If he leaves he's an utter moron with no loyalty.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 5:49pm
Financial matters aside, I would rather have Pogba join a team where he may be needed rather than wasted. MU are in serious decline, and that's despite spending a lot on transfers for 3 seasons now. They're not in CL and Mourinho is coach, I really think it's best to avoid potential disasters there. Not like Real are any better, too much competition for his position and even James can't play regularly despite his price.

He should hold out for Barca still, or try with us for CL a little longer.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 5:26pm
Great article, the problem is sometimes dollars simply make the most sense. If i were him (and im a bit biased as a life long juve fan) I would stay where he has already won nearly everything, the team is currently better, more stable and has a chance to win the UCL next year when united aren't even in the UCL. all whilst still making millions a year.I can tell you one thing the football world will be better off when raoila retires.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 4:28pm
Juventus are a club, not a "franchise".
on the 28th July, 2016 at 4:23pm
I think it suits Juve either way. If they keep him they'll have a real chance of CL success. And if they sell, they (possibly) get 120m euro to rebuild elsewhere.

neto, rugani, benatia, lichtsteiner, asamoah, evra, khedira, lemina, sturaro, hernanes, mandzukic, gabriel??

That's a fine squad, even without Pogba. Lemina was excellent against Spurs the other night, so he might be the solution.
on the 28th July, 2016 at 2:06pm
I really hope he stays and Juve can have a serious push for the Champions league. United are a worse team than Juve even if you include Pogba, and they aren't in the champions league, they also pied him off as a youngster so why go back. I could understand if he went to Real, Barca or Bayern but United is purely for the money, which he certainly has enough of as it is. If he does leave I pray Juve don't replace him with Matic who is arguably less mobile than Khedira
on the 28th July, 2016 at 1:21pm

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