Man Utd’s four standout midfield transfer options after ‘deciding to ditch’ Paul Pogba

Paul Pogba limps away from France training with injury

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Manchester United are said to have decided ‘to ditch’ Paul Pogba according to the French press, with reports now suggesting that the club wish to part company with the midfielder upon the expiry of his contract. The 28-year-old is yet to commit his future to the Red Devils with his current deal due to expire at the end of the season.

It means Pogba, who is currently in Dubai on the road to recovery after picking up a thigh injury in France training, would be free to sit down and discuss a potential move with other clubs from January when he enters the final six months of his contract.

The midfielder is said to be waiting to see what happens with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future before making a final decision on his next move – although it now appears United are no longer prepared to wait around.

His representative Mino Raiola has been longing for Pogba to quit Old Trafford and now the super-agent may finally get his wish.

With that in mind, Express Sport assesses four names United could turn to if Pogba does indeed depart…

Declan Rice

Without a doubt, Rice would surely top United’s wish-list when it comes to adding another central midfielder to their ranks.

His game continues to go from strength to strength since starring for England at Euro 2020.

Rice has been one of the standout players – not only midfielders – in the Premier League this season, captaining high-flying West Ham, who sit third in the table.

The England’s international is now adding goals to his game to compliment his outstanding leadership qualities.

West Ham are unlikely to let go of him cheap though and would be expected to demand upwards of £80million.

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Aurelien Tchouameni

Pogba has already declared his admiration for Tchouameni, who partnered him in midfield for France during their Nations League triumph in Italy.

The Monaco man has been tipped for greatness by his team-mate Cesc Fabregas, who is under no illusions that the 21-year-old is one of the best midfield prospects in world football.

Slightly problematically though, Chelsea and potentially even Manchester City are expected to enter the running for his services which could spark a bidding war.

But in terms of like-for-like stylistic replacements, Tchouameni could be the perfect successor for Pogba, even if he still has some way to go before he reaches his compatriot’s level.

Franck Kessie

Kessie represents a window of opportunity for United, who could land the Ivorian on a free transfer.

That would soften the blow of losing Pogba on a free, meaning United would only have to fork out on the midfielder’s wages.

The AC Milan star’s contract at the San Siro is also up next summer and the Premier League is believed to be his preferred destination.

His explosive box-to-box style would complement this United side, who are in need of a midfield enforcer to stamp their authority on the game.

Kessie does exactly that and likes to break likes as well as helping out in defence.

While Pogba is more technically gifted, he will struggle to match Kessie for effort and application.

Yves Bissouma

With United in desperate need of a new holding midfielder, Bissouma represents an option worth considering.

The Red Devils are now covered in attacking midfield following the arrival of Bruno Fernandes and there now needs to be more emphasis on a defensive-minded player in the middle of the park.

Bissouma loves to sniff out the danger and win the ball back for his team, before feeding it forward for the more attacking players to do the damage.

For that reason, he fits the profile that United are looking for and Brighton would not be expected to demand mega-money for the Mali international.

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