Paris Saint-Germain are no longer interested in signing Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba this summer, now that they are chasing a deal for Lionel Messi.
After confirming his departure from Barcelona, Messi is expected to jet off to Paris on Monday to undergo a medical and sign a contract worth a whopping €40m (£34m) after tax.
That was the kind of money they had initially set aside to sign Pogba – who is hesitating over signing a new deal at Old Trafford – but Le Parisien state the chances of the midfielder ending up at PSG are slim to none.
Talks between PSG director Leonardo and Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, have cooled over the past 48 hours, with the Ligue 1 giants eager to make it clear that a transfer is no longer on the cards for this summer.
Instead, PSG are ready to join the list of sides hoping to see Pogba run his contract down and leave United on a free transfer next year.
Long-term suitors Real Madrid and Juventus have both made it clear to Pogba that they could only entertain the idea of signing him on a free, and thanks to their expensive pursuit of Messi, PSG are now in the same boat.
You’d assume that this will play a part in Pogba’s imminent decision. The Frenchman had been expected to begin the new season with United before deciding whether he wants out immediately, but with no offers on the table anymore, it seems likely he’ll have no choice but to stay at Old Trafford.
He suggested as much on Twitter, telling his followers: “It’s time for the new season!”
While this is good news for United in the short term, it may end up being more problematic in the long run – as there is now a third side willing and able to pick him up Pogba for free in 2022.
Pogba has not yet ruled out signing a new contract – United also remain determined in their efforts to convince him to stay – and has been encouraged by his teammates, including Marcus Rashford, to stay put.