The number of cases wherein people wait with baited breath to see whether or not a top level footballer will reject the advances of Real Madrid for another club most definitely fall into a considerable minority.
The pages of the sport’s history are packed full of instances where Madrid have got their man, regardless of the intentions of his club or indeed the opinions of the footballing world. It almost comes with the territory - when the Spanish giants want a player, they get him. That’s perhaps what makes the looming transfer battle for Paul Pogba so interesting.
Naturally Madrid are not alone in the race to sign the former Manchester United prodigy. Both his former club and free-spending French juggernauts Paris Saint-Germain have registered more than just a strong interest, and the chances of him remaining in the Serie A past this summer are slim at best.
However, whilst PSG can offer him money in abundance, and United can perhaps boast the benefit of an ironic sense of nostalgia, it’s at Madrid, and only Madrid, that he can take the next step in his bid to become a global superstar.
Behind the potential glory that Carlo Ancelotti’s team can achieve this year through still being in contention for both the Champions League and La Liga crowns, there is a definite sense of change hanging over the Bernabeu as the summer transfer window looms large. And nowhere on the pitch is this more evident that midfield. The likes of Xabi Alonso and Sami Khedira face uncertain futures with the Spanish giants and the annual need to add a world-renown talent to the books at Madrid leaves a definite gap for Pogba to stake a claim.
With his valuation sitting at a mooted €70million the 21-year-old ticks not only the box of being incredibly over-priced, but also that of having an incredible amount of expectation sitting on his shoulders - seemingly a staple for players vying to become part of the Galactico setup. But in all honesty it’s the players he would be playing alongside week in week out that would serve to enhance his development above that which United or PSG could offer.
Under Ancelotti this Madrid team is a more well-rounded machine that even Jose Mourinho was able to construct, and though the personnel remains very much the same, with the exception of Gareth Bale, the team which Pogba would join has a far more certain future than the one which flittered between being magnificent and distastefully poor last year.
In contrast a move to Old Trafford should rank at the very bottom of the Frenchman’s priorities. Though the transfer would present him with the chance to prove once and for all that the club were foolish to part ways with him rather than give him first-team opportunities in the first place, they are far from stable at the moment, and the rebuilding process is one that will be approached with a view to long-term stability rather than immediate success.
Then there’s PSG, who can put plenty of money on the table, but are ultimately prohibited by location and a lack of domestic rivals which would soon bore a burgeoning talent such as Pogba.
If the rumours are true then Madrid have commissioned Zinedine Zidane to try and convince his compatriot where his future truly lies. If that isn’t enough to make Pogba’s mind up then what is?