Juventus look ready to consider selling Paul Pogba after his disappointing second spell at the club and amid transfer interest from Saudi Arabia.
Al Ittihad are thought to be looking at Pogba, and CaughtOffside columnist Jonathan Johnson has explained why he thinks this kind of move makes sense for a player who is now increasingly moving out of favour at his current club.
Pogba struggled at Manchester United and his return to Juve hasn’t gone to plan either, so Johnson can see the Frenchman moving on soon, even if a deal with a Saudi Pro League side is unlikely to be imminent.
According to Johnson, writing in his column which will be published in full on Friday morning, Pogba’s move would likely come once Al Ittihad and any other suitors see that the 30-year-old is back to full fitness and playing regularly again.
Once that happens, Pogba seems to perfectly fit the profile in terms of what Saudi clubs are looking for.
“Paul Pogba is being linked with Saudi side Al Ittihad and it’s far from a surprising rumour, it seems like a bit of a no-brainer to me at this point that he could become the latest name to move there. It makes sense for both Pogba and Juventus for him to depart now,” Johnson said.
“Of course, Pogba has had his injury problems since he returned to Turin, but let’s not pretend injuries are his sole issue. He’s had a lot going on in his personal life as well, including that attempted blackmail against him. It’s been a far from ideal return to Italy for him and Juventus are running out of patience with him now.
“My understanding is Juventus would be willing to move Pogba on, but the issue comes from potential suitors, as it did with Neymar, because there would need to be some proof that the player is now back fully fit. At this moment in time Pogba is far from being able to give that guarantee, so although there is interest from Saudi because he’s the kind of profile they’re looking at, there’s nothing advanced at this stage.
“Still, a fully fit Pogba would undoubtedly be of interest to a growing league like the Saudi Pro League so this is worth keeping an eye on – it wouldn’t surprise me if these rumours resurface once Pogba gets back on the pitch regularly.
“For now, it looks like that could still be a few weeks or months away, so let’s see if he can start playing 90 minutes and making a more positive impact for Juventus before January. Until then, it’s difficult to see clubs firming up their interest, even if someone like Pogba will always be the kind of name in the minds of teams from Saudi Arabia.”