Well it just wouldn’t be a transfer window without incessant rumours surrounding the future of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, would it?
The France international is once again the subject of intense speculation regarding a possible exit from Old Trafford, with agent Mino Raiola adding further fuel to the fire by criticising the club recently as he bids to engineer a big-money move for his notoriously unsettled client.
Europe’s top clubs have all been linked with a move for Pogba at various times in recent months, but which sides are leading the chase for the reportedly wantaway star?
So for those of you interested in Betway secure sports betting, here are the five favourites to sign Paul Pogba…
Chelsea – 33/1
A surprising inclusion on this list, given Raiola’s insistence that Pogba must play for one of Europe’s leading clubs and Chelsea similarly in a transitional phase at present.
Frank Lampard’s side are set to be active in the transfer window and have money to spend following the summer sale of Eden Hazard to Real Madrid, with the Blues keen to add both goals and creativity to their options as they finally seek to replace the Belgian.
The signing of Pogba from a major divisional rival would be a huge statement of intent for the west London side, though it remains highly unlikely with the club already possessing a wealth of midfield options and United having no previous history of being open to trading their top stars with Premier League opposition.
Paris Saint-Germain – 16/1
Could Pogba be tempted by a return to his native France?
Paris Saint-Germain have emerged as the dominant force in Ligue 1 since their Middle Eastern takeover almost a decade ago, winning six of the previous seven league titles and compiling a squad including some of Europe’s finest attacking talents in the form of Neymar and Kylian Mbappe.
The capital club are yet to make the impression on Europe that their owners truly desire, and could seek a move for Pogba to bolster their midfield options ahead of a push towards a maiden Champions League title.
However, the Parisian’s struggles in complying with Financial Fair Play in recent seasons makes a move difficult, unless Thomas Tuchel’s side are able to move on some unwanted talent in the winter window.
Barcelona – 12/1
Pogba’s availability is reported to have attracted the attention of each of Europe’s super clubs, with only a select handful possessing the finances to prize him away from Old Trafford in a deal which could exceed £150m.
Spanish champions Barcelona are amongst that collection of clubs and have been placed as third favourites to secure his signature by leading bookmakers like Betway, though the 26-year-old would appear a strange fit for the club’s famed style of play.
Despite possessing technical brilliance, Pogba can often be accused of lacking work-rate and intensity, traits that would appear to make him ill-suited to a position in the Barcelona midfield.
The Catalan side were reportedly interested in signing the midfielder just a couple of transfer windows ago, however, and could reignite their interest this month.
Juventus – 5/1
Now, this is where things get a little more realistic, Juventus reportedly keen on a deal to bring Pogba back to Turin.
The World Cup winner played the best football of his career so far during a glittering four-year spell in Italian football, winning four consecutive Serie A titles and establishing himself as one of the finest young talents in world football.
Thriving on the left side of a midfield three, Pogba showed all the abilities that United have failed to unlock on a regular basis since his then world-record move to the club three-and-a-half years ago.
Having made digs at United this week the player’s agent, Mino Raiola, said Pogba needed a team like his former Juventus side to thrive once more and a return to Italy could make sense for all parties.
The fee remains a sticking point, though Maurizio Sarri’s side possesses the options to get a deal done, including the mooted part-exchange of summer signing Adrien Rabiot.
Real Madrid – 5/2
The favourites to secure Pogba’s signature are Real Madrid, the Spanish giants having long chased the midfielder with manager Zinedine Zidane making no secret of his desire to bring his compatriot to the Bernabeu.
Real are keen to overhaul their ageing midfield options and have identified Pogba as the man to revitalise their side, and when targeting leading Premier League stars the La Liga side usually get their man.
Few sides possess the pulling power of the 13-times European champions and their interest is not likely to disappear any time soon, United facing a difficult task to keep a player who seems to have had his head turned by overtures from abroad.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side are under no pressure to sell and will command a huge fee for Pogba’s services, though Real have shown throughout the years that they are prepared to spend big for their number one targets.