Unless you reside under a rock you would have heard of the ongoing soap opera between Jose Mourinho and his star player, Paul Pogba.
The feuds of Jose Mourinho could fill a novel but one gets the sense he’s playing with hot water here in the age of player power. We explore the various avenues for the next chapter in this script and tell you how we think this all ends.
Pogba is sold in January (Odds – 10% )
For Pogba’s part he’s found himself in a box as well with regard to the transfer fee United will demand (one could imagine in excess the £80M paid for him) and the wages and agent fees involved. The fact Barcelona, with its loaded midfield, is the only club making enquiries should be worrying to his camp.
Furthermore the timing brings its own inherent challenges for this to be done in the winter break as Pogba would be cup tied in Europe.
Mourinho gets sacked during the season (Odds – 20%)
Perhaps part hopeful thinking, perhaps part click bait, perhaps Mourinho’s third season history has fueled the talk of his early dismissal but the chances are remote. Mourinho only just signed an extension in January of this year committing the club to his £15m salary for at least the next 2 seasons. That is a considerable burden that would not be taken lightly regardless of United‘s wealth.
The fact that Woodard just rejected Mourinho’s clamour for a new centerback for the implied reasons of financial commitments to Bailly and Lindelof is a massive clue. The chief decision maker at Old Trafford is not a knee jerk character and he watches United’s bottom line closely enough to play this out a bit we’re sure.
Mourinho and Pogba patch things up (Odds – 25%)
Have we ever seen him turn around these squabbles? Sergio Ramos? Eden Hazard?
What is different in the United scenario is Mourinho previously had an escape pod ready to another club. None come to mind currently except maybe PSG who only just committed to its manager so Mourinho has some motivation to show some humility and smooth things over.
Pogba sold in the summer (Odds – 30%)
A transfer is always possible given the talents of Pogba, a world cup winner and scorer in the World Cup Final. As previously alluded to though there is no universe of clubs perched to pull off such a transfer. Furthermore, United would be hard set against allowing their prize marketable asset to leave for the same reason Juventus hamstrung themselves to bring 31 year old Ronaldo to Turin.
United have had scouts looking at Lazio’s Milinkovic – Savic for some time and one can only think he was the contingency plan in anticipation of issues with Pogba. The issue as we mentioned is name recognition which will pit the “on field” needs vs the “off field” needs of Ed Woodward and his sponsor masters.
Mourinho is given until the end of the season then sacked (Odds – 51%)
On that note, exactly how committed is United to Mourinho? The key decision here will hinge on who would be easier to replace. Does Zidane’s presence tip that scale to giving the boot to Mourinho? Ultimately by season’s end Mourinho chances of losing additional players in the locker room likely makes the decision to sack him more palatable to United’s money men.
The other key stakeholder is the fanbase. The only cover Woodward needs is the sight of Pep raising another trophy on the blue side of Manchester and the sight of Manchester United nestled in the middle of the table at the end of the season.
The odds of each happening are rising every day.