French national Paul Pogba’s latest attempt to flirt with Real Madrid was met with a collective yawn from disenchanted Manchester United fans and a dismissive shrugging of shoulders from Los Blancos in the Spanish capital.
The clueless French midfielder seems to be reliving again his recurrent fantasy about donning a Real Madrid jersey and did nothing to hide his shameless desire to play for the Los Blancos side while interviewed post-match after being on national duty for France.
‘Yes, all football players would love to play for Real Madrid. It is a dream for me, why not one day?’ Pogba said on Thursday after reporting for international duty with France.
However, he attempted, albeit not too successfully, to follow up his disclosure by claiming that he is still in love with Manchester United, am ‘having fun’ there, and can’t wait to give his best to bring the club out of its doldrums – unfortunately something contrary in reality and not at all obvious during their 6-1 humiliation by Tottenham a few days earlier.
United fans have long since lost their patience with the midfielder with this vacillating loyalty and inconsistent performances on the pitch, not to mention his having been sidelined for long periods due to his consistent injuries. They had begun to tire not only of such thoughtless, wanton remarks that he has been wont to make as and when the fancy strikes him.
With their patience over Pogba well and truly worn thin, most Old Trafford die-hards would now be more than happy to see him realise that ‘dream’ and disappear off to his fantasy haven in Spain.
However, it isn’t as simple as it sounds and Pogba himself probably is well aware of this, hence his shamelss public attempt to revive an opportunity for himself with Zidane’s team that he had himself squandered in 2016 when they were seriously courting him.
Pogba, 27, is in the final year of his Old Trafford contract and opportunities for United to recoup the then world record £89million they paid for him are fast running out with Real Madrid publicly distancing themselves from the midfielder.
With Real, targets contemplating whether or not to join the club were always told that ‘the train only passes once’, meaning that once their offer is turned down, it would be most unlikely that a second chance would be offered.
This could be why Pogba’s latest public declaration of interest was met with a cold shrug of the shoulders in Madrid on Friday as the Real Madrid train has already pulled out of the station for the player who had himself shrugged them off in 2016 and again in 2019.
Pogba was 24 the first time and one of the most sought-after talents in the world after four successful years with Juventus, and it looked imminent that Real would get their latest ‘Galactico‘ but Pogba had his heart set on a move back to Old Trafford who were willing to dole out the cash with Jose Mourinho as new manager.
A year later, Pogba explained his United decision:
‘I always felt it in my heart. My heart told me to come back here. I did it and I don’t regret. I never regret my choice.’
Obviously, as time progressed and trials surfaced, the midfielder’s heart changed accordingly and by 2019, after failing to repeat his brilliant Juventus form at United, Pogba was desperate and ready to push through his Bernabeu move.
Somehow the move didn’t materialise and the chances of ever getting to Real are now looking paper-thin, if not impossible.
The more likely scenario now is that Real’s immediate priority is to focus on bringing Eduardo Camavinga and Kylian Mbappe to the club, having showed intently their keen interest in the duo.
Camavinga being 10 years Pogba’s junior fits the club’s policy of signing players before they turn 20, and they are willing to make an exception for Mbappe, who is 21, whose contract with Paris Saint-Germain expires in 2022.
And if the French forward comes in 2021, there will be little money left to meet Pogba’s likely salary demands as the midfielder is on £290,000-a-week at Old Trafford.
Pogba’s ficklemindedmess and constant flirting with Real is incredibly tiresome, to say the least, and it isn’t as though he is producing the requisite performances to entice an offer from anyone, let alone the Spanish powerhouse and current La Liga champions.
Looks like his flirtation with Los Blancos may just remain only efforts at self-gratification.
Credit: Football Tribe Malaysia