Manchester United are prepared to offer Paul Pogba a new mega-money contract in a bid to persuade their unsettled star to stay.
Pogba signalled his intention to leave this summer after admitting over the weekend that it ‘could be time for a new challenge’.
Real Madrid and Juventus have an interest in him, but United are determined to keep their record signing next season unless they receive an offer well in excess of the £89million they paid Juve in 2016.
They are set to address the issue by offering Pogba a pay rise that will up his current £290,000-a-week pay to nearer the £500,000 being picked up by United’s top earner Alexis Sanchez. Pogba has two years left on his deal, which United have the option to extend by 12 months.
Real Madrid are believed to have made an opening offer of £90m but know that it will take considerably more than that to test United’s resolve.
Juventus also want to sign Pogba, 26, three years after his then world-record move from the Italian club, but it’s understood he would prefer Spain.
United chief Ed Woodward is adamant a player who is as central to the club’s commercial interests as he is on the pitch will not be sold after blocking Pogba’s desired move to Barcelona last year.
Although he enjoys a much better relationship with Pogba than Jose Mourinho, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his No 2 Mike Phelan have a degree of sympathy with Mourinho after witnessing the best and worst of Pogba since returning to the club in December.
Coaching staff — one of whom said towards the end of the campaign that they ‘have a problem with Pogba almost every day’ — were far from overjoyed when told he would be back next season.
Most team-mates would prefer him to stay but recognise the negative influence such a big character has on the rest of the camp when he is unhappy.