Friday, 2 December 2011

Rumour Mill: United 'Wonderkid' To Cross The City?

Don't worry, it isn't Ravel Morrison, but according to numerous press reports fellow United youngster Paul Pogba could be on his way to the blue side of Manchester.

The midfielder was bought from French club La Havre 2 years ago in exchange for a few Mars bars and a twix.  The actions of United were questioned and in fact the players former employers reported the Old Trafford team for making an illegal approach for the player.  Ultimately Sir Alex Ferguson and the club were cleared of any wrong doing, but could all that work be for nothing?

This isn't just rumour mongering from the tabloids, there has been mooted suggestions for months that all was not well for Pogba at United and with 6 months remaining on his contract there is no sign of him renewing.  Whether it is a lack of first team opportunities or just greed on the part of the player and/or his agent isn't exactly clear, but for some reason negotiations appear totally stalled.

What is known though is the reputation that the 18 year old has.  His name has been thrown about for over a year now with members of the press and United fans telling anyone that would listen that he is essentially the second coming.  Maybe it is the sceptic in me, but I do have a couple of doubts over that, I am sure he is a good player and he could be as marvellous as people tell me, but if he was that good would he not have made more appearances for the first team than he has? Sir Alex is not normally afraid of throwing young players into the mix if they are good enough, so why not the Frenchman?

Either way the story seems to be gathering momentum.  The basic facts are these, from January onwards the player will be free to discuss a deal with any clubs that wish to sign him, there would be a fee for United, set be a tribunal, however traditionally the figure awarded is always incredible small (as happened to us with Sturridge).  The Independent believe that negotiations between player and club are not showing signs of successful conclusion alerting many interested parties.

The list of suitors appears to be long and contain many of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Arsenal, Inter and AC Milan all monitoring the situation closely.  The paper though reckon it is City who might have the best chance of agreeing a deal with the player, and that is down to the presence of Patrick Vieira, Pogba's hero.  The 18 year old has been likened to the World Cup winner on numerous occasions and there are definite similarities in their game.  Vieira plays an important role in player recruitment at City and should Roberto Mancini green light a move for Pogba the former Arsenal man will no doubt be involved.

Clearly if the combative midfielder is as good as people claim his signature would be a real coup, but as far as I am concerned there could potentially be a darker side to this story.  I do wonder if we are being used by the player and his agent to secure a larger pay packet for the youngster at Old Trafford.  This interest from City and other clubs could force United to offer him a much improved financial deal than the one currently on the table.  There is no evidence to support that, but it is definitely a possibility, if it is the case expect to see numerous 'Wonderkid Snubs City' headlines splashed across the back pages.

If we focus on the positive however it would be a move that I would approve of (as if my input is worth anything!), we need to change our player recruitment model with FFP in mind and securing top talent at a young age for a good price would be extremely beneficial.  This one is definitely worth waiting on, and we will see just how far the influence of Paddy can reach.

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