Is Man United's Paul Pogba better off at Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG or Juventus?
Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola joked on Twitter that he would have "sleepless nights" trying to find his client a new club if Manchester United decided to sell the midfielder.
Raiola was hitting back at criticism from United legend Paul Scholes after Pogba's poor performance in the 3-2 defeat to Brighton on Sunday, but it got us thinking: would another club be better for him than United?
Spanish, French and German clubs are still active until Aug. 31, but the chances are slim of a move this summer. Bayern Munich would not get involved in a megabucks auction, but are some of Europe's elite better suited for Pogba than Man United?
Barcelona's interest in signing Pogba is long-standing. In 2015, the year before he rejoined United, they even held a meeting with Juventus to broach a deal for the midfielder. Juve managing director Giuseppe Marotta later claimed an offer of €80 million was turned down and Raiola has clearly not forgotten Barca's fondness for his client.
The Catalan club would still love to get their hands on Pogba. Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets and Arturo Vidal, three senior members of their midfield, are all 30 or beyond; Andres Iniesta and Paulinho have left. Which just leaves Arthur, Sergi Roberto and a collection of youngsters.
That's why the club still want another midfielder and why they have been linked to Pogba, Adrien Rabiot and Frenkie de Jong.
Of this trio, Pogba is the class act and he would certainly enjoy himself more at the Camp Nou than Old Trafford, given more freedom to do his thing knowing that the club love to employ an enforcer like Busquets behind him. And he would get a chance to play with Lionel Messi -- something for which the clock is ticking down with the Argentina international now 31.
The financial side of a deal is trickier. While Barca have more or less broken even this summer, matching United's asking price may be hard to do after twice breaking their transfer record to sign Ousmane Dembele and Philippe Coutinho (even factoring in Neymar's €222m sale). More problematic, though, is the player's salary and Raiola's cut. The recent contract renewal of Messi, coupled with a spiralling wage bill, makes finding the money for another marquee player difficult at the moment. -- Sam Marsden.
What is not to like from the point of view of the French champions' Qatari owners? He is a France international, was born and raised in the Parisian suburb of Lagny-sur-Marne, and on his day he is one of the best in the world in his position. However, UEFA's financial fair play dictates that such a move will not be possible this summer and might not be for some time.
New coach Thomas Tuchel has targeted PSG's midfield for improvement, but it is difficult to strengthen in the middle through a combination of FFP and Adrien Rabiot stalling on a new contract with less than 12 months left to run.
Ideally, PSG want three top quality central midfield specialists -- in Raiola's Marco Verratti and Rabiot, they already have two -- and combining Pogba with that pair would create arguably the strongest midfield trio at any club in world football.
However, with Rabiot reluctant to commit his long-term future, it looks more likely that Pogba might replace his fellow France international instead. PSG must secure Rabiot's future and either cash in on him or persuade him to commit to the project before moving for the likes of Pogba. Raiola's good links with the Ligue 1 giants will help but he has no bearing on Rabiot's decision.
If the 23-year-old signs a new PSG contract and stays, players like Julian Draxler and Giovani Lo Celso could be sacrificed to fund a Pogba swoop within FFP's unclear limits (UEFA are reviewing their own verdict). Until then, though, Les Parisiens are in a complicated situation. -- Jonathan Johnson.
One of the reasons Pogba hasn't settled at Manchester United is their unwillingness to play him in a three-man midfield so he could replicate and even build on his success at Juventus. Real Madrid have played a 4-3-3 formation almost exclusively in the past and that could see him turn into the superstar everyone thought he would at United.
Pogba was born to be a Galactico and a new opening for the role just popped up at the Bernabeu with Cristiano Ronaldo's exit. Indeed, Madrid's history of world-class, marauding and stylish attacking midfielders -- such as Zinedine Zidane, Kaka and Luka Modric -- show they are a club that recognises such talent.
Unlike Mourinho's Man United, Real Madrid play attacking football, so Pogba's grace and skill could be displayed on a weekly basis without interruption. President Florentino Perez has reportedly set €300m aside for Neymar but he could sign Pogba for a fraction of the cost.
What better role model could he have than Zidane, who starred as both player and manager. If he wants to see his France form replicated at club level, Real are the club to do it. -- Robbie Dunne.
Pogba and Juventus is a tried and trusted combination, and there is even more reason for him to move back to Turin now: starting with a certain CR7. In four years at Juve, Pogba won as many Serie A titles and the Coppa Italia twice, while he also helped the Bianconeri to the 2015 Champions League final and his record of 28 goals in 124 Serie A games speaks volumes for his efficacy in a black and white striped shirt.
He was an influential figure in midfield and a firm fans' favourite, and he would be welcomed back to Turin by both the fans and coach Massimiliano Allegri, who managed to get the best two seasons out of the Frenchman in his career to date.
Quite simply, Pogba felt happy and at home in Turin, and now he would also find elevated ambitions following the summer signing of Ronaldo. The prospect of the World Cup winner teeing up the Portuguese ace on a weekly basis, with his intuition, craft and guile, would be a mouthwatering.
Pogba would also be reunited with compatriot Blaise Matuidi -- another of Raiola's clients, no less -- to form a World Cup-winning midfield in a club seeking Champions League glory this season. It's a match made in heaven and he would never have to hear a complaint about his desire ever again. -- Ben Gladwell
When Pogba struggled to break into the United first-team as a youngster, it was Juventus who took him in, nurtured him and gave him a home. Alongside the biggest stars in Serie A, Juventus found him a place in the team, a role that successfully extracted his potential.
Juventus would love to provide Pogba with a home again, to watch him running at defenders and striking the ball from distance. Desperate to challenge for every single trophy, the 4-3-3 formation might be the best shape for the Old Lady this season and Pogba could slot right in to provide the energy, the passes and the midfield balance -- not to mention add to the dressing room harmony.
A mutually beneficial relationship, Juve need Pogba as much as the Frenchman needs them and their supportive manner. -- Mina Rzouki.