Paul Pogba is reportedly ready to make a shock U-turn on his contract stance if Manchester United meet his demands for the identity of the club’s new manager.
The Frenchman’s current deal will expire at the end of the season and it had appeared up to now as if he would not be extending his stay at Old Trafford beyond this campaign.
His second spell at United has been decidedly mixed, with the midfielder unable to string together the performances expected of him on a consistent basis.
Though the Red Devils are keen to keep the World Cup winner and are understood to have offered him new terms, it appeared that Pogba would be leaving when his contract expired in the summer.
They have now been given new hope that he could in fact stay at the club though, provided they meet one key demand.
According to The Sun, Pogba would be ‘open to staying’ in Manchester, as long as Ralf Rangnick is named United’s permanent manager.
It is stated that the midfielder has held a number of talks with the German and has been left ‘impressed’ by the interim boss.
Rangnick has made such an impression on Pogba that the Frenchman is ‘ready’ to make a U-turn on his contract stance and sign a new deal.
In their discussions, Rangnick has convinced Pogba that he could build a team and a midfield around him.
With United’s dressing room also having fractured during the latter part of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ’s reign, Rangnick is also said to be of the belief that Pogba can be a ‘galvanising force’ in a new leadership position.
While both United and Pogba’s representatives had ‘resigned’ themselves to his departure in the summer, they could be brought back to the table.
That is reliant on Pogba impressing in the final months of the season, with the Frenchman still yet to appear under Rangnick as he works his way back from injury.
If he and Rangnick prove to be as successful as hoped, Pogba will then be ready to stay, as long as the German is made the permanent boss.
Currently, the plan is for him to step into a consultancy role at the end of the season, with another boss expected to take over as United’s permanent boss.
If he is able to secure a place in the top four of the Premier League and a trophy, Rangnick may be able to convince the club’s hierarchy to name him the permanent boss.
Rangnick has already insisted that Pogba will play a role for United, despite his expiring contract, when he does return from injury.
“It’s not a question if a player has an expiring contract, the question is how much does he still want to be a part of this group,” Rangnick said earlier this month.
“As long as this is the case, why shouldn’t Paul Pogba now show the fans of Manchester United, the board, the whole world what kind of player he can be?
“Even if it’s only to show enough for a new contract elsewhere, he will be highly motivated to do that and why should I then not play him?
Pogba is expected to return to playing contention in early February, with United’s trip to Burnley pencilled in as his first game back.