NEIL MOXLEY: Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, who is out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season, will face Leeds United on Sunday
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Each Manchester United Players should place a ring around the day of the Premier League game against Leeds United.
A white-hot atmosphere in a noisy cauldron of a stadium pits against supporters – and by extension opponents – who are pre-programmed to sneer at your every move.
Over the years, big characters thrived.
Eric Cantona endured the baggage of previous loves. Sir Alex Ferguson’s Millennium team would have enjoyed that with everything in them.
Roy Keane, Peter Schmeichel, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs, Gary Neville and the rest will use that as motivation.
Step into the lion’s den – and poke a finger in its eye.
Oh yeah, it’ll be right up their street.
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So one has to wonder how the world’s most expensive midfielder – Paul Pogba – see today’s task in hand.
Will it make the juice come out? Or would that be another example of why getting out of bed on the wrong side is so exhausting?
Who knows? And that is the problem…
The first buzz about the 28-year-old has begun in the past few weeks.
A goal against Burnley, a little midweek against Brighton and boring, frankly, stories about his contract begin to play the rounds.
Here’s the thing: If Manchester United fall into this latest flirting situation, they deserve another five years in the wild.
According to the latest information from the gossip house, the French World Cup champion will ‘consider’ other options in the Premier League.
Even Everton wouldn’t be stupid enough to fall for that.
No, despite the fact that Pogba had it all – even a club where reward failure was a thing of the past – could not succeed in handing him another sack of cash.
Don’t get me wrong, as he imagines it, the sheer class of the guy and his passing is, well, superb.
Four years ago, in Russia, he led his country to glory.
Sure, he got plenty of help from the A’s, but there weren’t too many dissenting voices when he landed at Old Trafford.
Fast-forward and he’s the talker of inconsistency at a club where the best are required on a weekly basis.
But there is no impetus for excellence from Pogba. It just so happens that he likes an extremely expensive set of new wheels.
It’s like he’s now auditioning for the role of Ralf Rangnick’s dynamo/executor/amulet – take your pick.
There’s a four-month countdown to his contract coming to an end and, guess what, his performances are starting to take off.
It now takes a big personality at Old Trafford to stand up and look at the bare facts of the situation – how difficult that can be.
Pogba arrived for a fee of £90m and was paid £290,000 every seven days.
With that amount of money, he should run in the midfield. Or at least for every opponent to run away for their own money.
He is not.
Okay, so he can go elsewhere and yes, someone else might get a better sense of the tone from him.
That is life. The coin may drop as his agent pitches him around Europe and he finds attractive deals that tend to go to the producers on a regular basis.
Manchester United should have seen the best of Paul Pogba.
They do not have.
If they really want to usher in a new era, someone needs to show him the door – and close it behind him as he goes.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/paul-pogbas-man-utd-contract-26277836 Paul Pogba's Manchester United contract countdown hint with Leeds won't even fool Everton - Neil Moxley