Pogba snubs Man City switch but Man Utd star still set to leave on free transfer

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Paul Pogba has reportedly turned down a move to rivals Manchester City, favouring a move to Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid as he is set to become a free agent in the summer.

Reports had emerged on Friday that Pep Guardiola was considering the signing of the Frenchman to strengthen his midfield after Fernandinho's expected departure from the Etihad. However, according to The Athletic, City will have to look elsewhere after the 29-year-old opted against the potential move.

Despite Pogba understood to have given serious contemplation to City's "flattering proposal," he is thought to favour a return to either former club Juve, PSG or Real Madrid. A final decision is yet to be made however, but his intention is to leave England after rejecting a contract extension proposal from United last summer.

On the initial possibility of Pogba joining City, Jamie Redknapp admitted it would have been an "incredible move" for the north-west side.

He said: "It would be an incredible move and one that if I'm honest I haven't seen coming. But you have to weigh it up, it's a free transfer, he'll have a point to prove because he's taken a lot of stick while he's been at Manchester United.

"I've always watched Pep Guardiola in games between United and City, and he's always gone over to him and had dialogue. He obviously respects him as a player. There was talk a few years ago that he might go for him.

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"A player of his quality, no matter what you say about him, as a free transfer – high wages of course but that's not a problem for Man City – you'd take him in a heartbeat.

"He adds a lot to this team and I think he'd be hungry to come and show what he can do. He lives in the area, it would be an incredible move, a brave move, but I'd love to see that in the Premier League. I think it makes sense all round."

However, Jamie Carragher disagreed, stating he lacks effort on the pitch. "I wouldn't go anywhere near him," he said. "You win the league every year, you get 95 to 100 points every year and he doesn't work hard enough as the other players. If Pep could get it out of him fantastic, there's no doubt there's ability – no one has ever doubted it.

"But when you see the creative players City have, Foden, Bernardo Silva, these type of players who are brilliant players and don't stop running, working from minute one. That's what makes Manchester City what they are, they're a great team, brilliant manager.

"I'm not doubting his quality, but he does not work hard enough. When you see him in a France shirt or at times for Manchester United, unbelievable quality. Does special things at different times. But we're still six years in and we're still talking about his best position, who can get the best out of him."

Pogba returned to Old Trafford on a second spell for a then-world record of £89million in 2016, but has failed to live up to his full potential. The 29-year-old will now free up significant space on the club's wage bill, after currently earning a salary of around £230,000-a-week. Meanwhile, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Jesse Lingard and Nemanja Matic are all set to depart at the end of the current season – alleviating around £1m-a-week in wages.

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