As Paul Pogba’s injury issues persist, Juventus are reportedly considering selling or releasing him in the summer.
Pogba, 29, has not played for Juventus since coming on a free transfer from Manchester United last summer. The central midfielder injured his knee during preseason and did not heal in time for the World Cup in Qatar.
Pogba was on the bench but did not play in Juventus’ 2-0 home loss to Monza on Sunday. Manager Massimiliano Allegri has since stated that the player has been injured again, and it is uncertain when he will make his second appearance.
According to Gazzetta dello Sport, Juventus is losing patience with Pogba and may decide to part ways with him in the summer if he does not return to their starting XI soon. A premature transfer to a Major League Soccer (MLS) team has been proposed.
At 29, it’s difficult to envision a player of Pogba’s caliber leaving European football in the summer. The World Cup winner is still an active international, and a move to the United States may jeopardize his future with France. He has 91 senior caps to his name.
Pogba’s Instagram activity is reported to irritate Juventus fans. He posted a video of himself dancing in November with the message, “Best way to test your knee.” The following month, he shared photos from a ski trip (although it is believed he did not ski).
Pogba is also said to have initially avoided surgery on his knee injury in order to improve his prospects of participating in the World Cup. He didn’t have surgery until September, when it became clear that the issue couldn’t be cured without surgery. Juventus is thought to be ‘furious’ at the choice to forego the surgery last summer.
When Pogba re-signed with Juventus last summer, the club was overjoyed. During his first stint, the Frenchman appeared in 178 games and won eight trophies, including four Serie A crowns, as well as the renowned Golden Boy award.
Pogba also earned the World Cup’s Young Player Award in 2014 and helped Juventus reach the 2015 Champions League final, where they were defeated 3-1 by Barcelona. In August 2016, he was re-signed by Manchester United for a world-record fee of £89 million.
During his second stint at Old Trafford, Pogba failed to live up to expectations. During the next six years, he only won two trophies, neither of which were the Premier League or the Champions League, and he was allowed to leave on a free transfer last summer.
Juventus is now pondering what course of action to pursue. His four-year contract is reportedly worth £31 million, so cancelling it early could save the Serie A club money in the long run. This could be a factor, given Juventus’ financial difficulties.
The Italian Football Federation (FIGC) has removed 15 Serie A points from them following an inquiry into financial irregularities and misleading accounting. As a result, they are now 13th in the table and in risk of losing out on European football next season.