Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was unimpressed by the club’s decision to trigger a 12-month extension clause in his contract last month.
The 27-year-old would have been free to sign a pre-contract agreement with overseas clubs from January 1st, before United took up their option of extending the Frenchman’s deal.
United have had plenty of time to activate the clause but Pogba and his representatives believed that they would sit down with the club to discuss a new contract before the extension was activated.
The Frenchman has been heavily linked with an exit from Old Trafford since rejoining the club in a then-world record £89m deal in 2016 but Pogba appeared rejuvenated after returning from injury in July and his representatives had intimated that he was keen to sign fresh terms to his current deal, which had been due to expire in 2021.
Pogba tends to steer clear of unscheduled media duties but he spoke to the press after wins against Aston Villa and Sheffield United last season to express his happiness, while Mino Raiola softened his stance towards the club in August by claiming contract talks would soon begin with United.
But any attempt from Pogba and his team to ‘bounce’ United into contract talks have so far failed and the club’s decision to trigger the 12-month extension was met with surprise.
Raiola on Pogba’s future, August 2020 ‘Pogba is a key player for Man United. They’ve an important project and he’s 100% included. Man United will not accept any bid to sell Pogba.
We’re going to speak about a new contract soon, no stress’ While United are well within their rights to do so, the club have tended to leave the option of triggering extensions closer to the January 1st deadline.
The club were desperate for David De Gea to sign a new deal in 2018 and held off from triggering his extension in order for contract negotiations to progress naturally.
They only did so once it became apparent that the Spaniard would not agree fresh terms before the deadline.
United remain keen for Pogba to sign a new deal but they’re wise to the ‘game of bluff’ being played out between the player, his representatives and the club.
Pogba had been set on leaving Old Trafford in 2018 and again in 2019, only to be denied an exit by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward.