Manchester United have triggered the one-year extension in midfielder Paul Pogba’s contract to keep him tied to the club until 2022.
The Frenchman’s contract was set to expire at the end of the current season, although it was always expected that United would take up their option to add that extra year if an immediate contract extension couldn’t be reached.
Well, according to the Manchester Evening News, that’s exactly what has happened. United were left a little surprised to see him recently describe a move to Real Madrid as a ‘dream‘ and have moved to end the speculation before it really gets going.
This is the earliest that United have ever triggered a one-year extension since executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward made the options mandatory in every contract in 2013.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to know about the decision in advance, telling a press conference on Friday: “Paul’s our player. He’s going to be here for another two years and I’m sure Paul is focused on doing his best for us and we want to see the best of Paul.
“I’m sure in the next couple of years we’ll get the best out of him.”
It’s a situation which will bring back memories of Real’s pursuit of goalkeeper David de Gea in 2015. United were forced to extend the Spaniard’s contract to stop him from walking away for free, giving them the extra year they needed to tie him down to a new long-term contract.
For United, the hope will be they can do the same with Pogba, who is yet to show any real sign of wanting to ink fresh terms at Old Trafford.
The non-sensical rumours linking Pogba with a free transfer away in 2021 will now disappear (thankfully), but United will find themselves under pressure yet again next summer if Pogba doesn’t sign an extension.
United would be forced to consider selling Pogba in 2021 if no contract agreement can be reached, or else their record signing would be able to leave for free.