Man Utd flop Paul Pogba has already hinted at Guardiola link-up as Man City plot move

Pep Guardiola hasn't spoken to his players since Real Madrid defeat

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Paul Pogba strongly hinted at a future Pep Guardiola partnership back in 2016, adding fuel to speculation that a sensational summer move to Manchester City could be on. Reports indicate that the Sky Blues will attempt to acquire Manchester United’s former world record signing on a free transfer if they can pip Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain to his signature. 

Six years on from returning to Old Trafford in a blockbuster £89million deal, Pogba is poised to depart this summer once his contract expires. That will leave the Red Devils with no money to show and a bitter taste in the mouth after he broadly failed to deliver on the pitch. 

Guardiola is believed to be keen on signing a new midfielder as Fernandinho embarks on the final stretch of his stint at the Etihad. With no transfer fee to worry about, Pogba is reportedly in the crosshairs as a curiously cost-effective option. 

Back in 2016 and while still with Juventus, the Frenchman said:”[Guardiola] is a coach who influences the team and all the players respect him. One can only admire and try to learn something from him. Pep is a football icon and I heard that he manages to improve all players who have at their disposal. I am now a Juventus player, but it is clear that the possibility of working with him in the future might unfold.”

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One of the potential hurdles involved in the swoop could be the issue of wages. Pogba is believed to pocket £290,000-a-week at Old Trafford, and City would not be prepared to match that but the player could be swayed by the idea of working under Guardiola. 

City are also prepared to slap a four-year deal on the table, according to reports, which would ensure that Pogba earns big money and plays for a silverware-chasing club until his mid-thirties. 

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Speculation continues to swirl that Guardiola will extend his stay with City, too. The former Barcelona boss is out of contract at the end of next season, but having watched rival Jurgen Klopp tie down his future to Liverpool, an extension until 2025 is supposedly in the works as Guardiola bids to break his Champions League duck after years of heartbreak. 

Barca midfielder Frenkie de Jong is touted as an alternative option to Pogba, but a hefty transfer sum would be needed to satisfy the Catalan side. Pogba wouldn’t cost a penny, but City are unable to submit a formal offer until the end of the season while the likes of Juve and PSG have been at liberty to negotiate since the turn of the year. 

United fans could be glad to see the back of Pogba after fierce criticism of his work rate and attitude since 2016. But there could also be a tinge of fear that his huge talent and World Cup-winning pedigree will be put to good use under Guardiola, who has nurtured a reputation for bringing the best out of top players. 

Despite Pogba’s United allegiances, which not only span his current six-year spell but also a separate three-year stint as a teenager, the 29-year-old is believed to be considering City’s impending proposal. His thoughts on Guardiola have already been made clear, and recent bust-ups with the Old Trafford faithful could encourage him to pounce on an opportunity to twist the knife. 

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