It promises to be an important summer transfer window for Manchester United, as the club looks to become competitive with English football’s top teams again in 2019-20.
Bringing in players of quality to bolster Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s squad will be critical, with it clear last season that there was work to do for the Red Devils to be considered as silverware contenders.
While United have completed a deal for Welsh winger Daniel James and the signature of Crystal Palace right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka also seems likely to happen, the Old Trafford faithful will want plenty of other new faces at the club before the campaign starts.
Regardless of the Manchester club’s summer business, the best betting sites online have the likes of City, Liverpool and Tottenham as surer bets for the upcoming Premier League title battle.
One real issue that Solskjaer and the Red Devils hierarchy have is the Paul Pogba dilemma.
On his day the French World Cup winner is one of the game’s most-influential and dynamic midfielders, but the problem is that these days are few and far between.
Getting Pogba fit and firing is a task that Solskjaer will need to fully focus on this summer and United’s fortunes will largely depend on how successful the Norwegian is in achieving this.
But, the Frenchman’s latest comments over his future have rocked the Red Devils boat and pushed the feel-good factor another step away.
As quoted by BBC Sport, Pogba recently said it “could be a good time to move elsewhere”, as speculation over a possible return to Juventus or deal with Real Madrid fills newspaper inches.
To see just how far United have fallen, comparing the response to these comments to what would have happened in the Sir Alex Ferguson days seems appropriate.
The legendary Scottish manager held control of the dressing room during his trophy-laden years at Old Trafford and dispensed with any players that questioned his authority or did not have the right attitude.
The likes of Jaap Stam, David Beckham and Ruud van Nistelrooy were all sold by Ferguson for not toeing the party line and United’s dominance over English football was a by-product of the aura the club, and its manager, had.
Fast forward to the current day and Pogba, United’s record signing and supposed talisman, is angling for an exit with these public sentiments.
What would Ferguson have done in this situation? And what message does it send out to the rest of the current United squad?
Regardless of whether the Red Devils opt to get rid of Pogba after his lack of professionalism or force him to stay despite his head being elsewhere, it shows that this United today is a different beast to the one Ferguson oversaw.