While Paul Pogba is already at one of Europe’s biggest clubs in the form of Juventus, it seems only a matter of time before he finally ends up with one of the world’s elite teams. But if Manchester United, one of the club’s interested in signing the France international, allow Chelsea to secure his services in the near future - well, they can kiss goodbye to their chances of winning another Premier League title for the next several years.
The Red Devils cannot allow Chelsea - currently the best team in England, ahead of Manchester City - to strengthen any further. Especially if it involves signing the man who looks certain to become the world’s best central midfielder.
Pogba has exceeded expectations
Watching Pogba plying his trade at Stamford Bridge on a weekly basis would undoubtedly be a devastating blow for Manchester United supporters, many of whom were fully aware of how talented the Frenchman was before he opted to leave Old Trafford for Turin in 2012.
But not even Pogba himself would have envisaged the incredible amount of success he has enjoyed over the past 24 months.
Still just 21 years old, Pogba has won back-to-back Serie A titles, cemented his status as a regular for Les Blues and picked up the prestigious FIFA World Cup Best Young Player award for his performances in Brazil this summer.
United must break the bank for the Frenchman
Pogba is now one of the planet’s most sought-after footballers - and, in order to get back to the very top, Manchester United must break the bank to bring him back to Old Trafford when the transfer window re-opens in January.
The Red Devils are still crying out for a world-class central midfielder with presence, despite the summer arrivals of Ander Herrera and Daley Blind.
Angel di Maria is now arguably Manchester United’s best player, but while he plays from central midfield, it’s hard to class him as anything other than an attacker given the amount of time he spends in the final third of the pitch.
Herrera has enjoyed a decent start to his spell with the Red Devils but is strictly a team player; he’ll never be the warrior required to drag Manchester United by the scruff of the neck when the going gets tough.
Blind, meanwhile, is a tidy passer but lacks presence in that defensive midfield role. The Netherlands international has enjoyed an encouraging start to his United career, but his biggest tests are now on the horizon: namely head-to-head battles with the likes of Nemanja Matic, Yaya Toure and Fernandinho after the international break.
Chelsea would be unstoppable with Pogba
There’s a real chance that United could end up on the wrong side of two thrashings when they face Chelsea and Manchester City over the next few weeks because of their shortcomings in central midfield and defence.
But stick Pogba in United’s current line-up and the Red Devils suddenly possess a team that looks capable of not only challenging for a top-four finish, but also the league title.
On the other hand, stick Pogba alongside Matic in Chelsea’s central midfield - shifting Cesc Fabregas into a more advanced role, closer to the prolific Diego Costa - and it’s hard to imagine any other team, bar Jose Mourinho’s men, winning the Premier League title for the next five or more years.
Chelsea already look formidable; add Pogba and they’ll begin to look invincible.
Pogba would be a better signing than Vidal
Quite why Manchester United appear more determined to land Pogba’s midfield teammate, Arturo Vidal, is something of a mystery.
The Chile international is six years older than Pogba and hasn’t looked the same formidable central midfielder since suffering a knee injury and undergoing surgery at the end of last season.
And this week he was handed a club-record fine of nearly £80,000 after getting himself involved in an altercation in an Italian nightclub, which isn’t exactly behaviour befitting a top professional.
Unlike Vidal, Pogba also has an affiliation with Manchester United, having spent three of his formative years with the Red Devils.
Situation at Old Trafford now different for Pogba
He was not handed the first-team opportunities by Sir Alex Ferguson that he so desperately craved as a teenager, but the situation is different now - and not just because Louis van Gaal is the man in the Old Trafford hot seat.
Pogba would walk into Manchester United’s starting line-up and would no longer fear being left on the subs’ bench or, worse, in the club’s reserve side.
Cost is an issue, but United have been spending big money left, right and centre since Van Gaal arrived to replace David Moyes this summer.
United have the funds available
New reports suggest Manchester United are poised to make Radamel Falcao’s loan move a permanent transfer by handing AS Monaco a cool £43 million - but would that money be better spent on secure Pogba’s signature?
If there’s an opportunity to sign both players, then that’ll be the perfect scenario. United surely have enough sponsors on board these days to cover the cost of Pogba’s transfer fee and wages.
It’s believed that Juventus want £60 million for their prized asset, which may seem like an astronomical figure. But if it results in landing the world’s next best central midfielder, while preventing Chelsea from signing him in the process, then it seems a no-brainer.