Paul Pogba recently said he wants a new challenge and that has sparked plenty of debate about his future. There is a possibility that he will move to Real Madrid this summer and the Los Blancos could sweeten the potential deal by including one or more players in the mix.
#5. Marco Asensio
With the addition of Eden Hazard, Luka Jovic and Rodrygo Goes this summer, Real Madrid have close to a dozen forwards in the squad. In addition to the newly signed players, others like Vinicius Junior and Karim Benzema are sure to stay beyond the summer and this will hamper Asensio’s playing time.
Asensio is a fantastic player and could become even better if he’s given a key role but it doesn’t look like he will get it at Real Madrid. The Spaniard looks expendable at the moment and he could be used in a player plus cash deal for Paul Pogba.
Manchester United need wide players and preferably a left-footed player who’s capable of playing on the right wing and Asensio fits the bill perfectly. He won’t have to fend off a lot of competition at Manchester United and could quickly be a crucial player for them.
#4. Keylor Navas
Keylor Navas was on the verge of moving to Manchester United back in 2015 when Real Madrid included him in a deal to sign David De Gea. That collapsed deal didn’t hamper Real as Navas played a big role in helping them win a hat-trick of Champions League titles.
Zinedine Zidane rates Navas highly but since Real Madrid signed the younger Thibaut Courtois last summer, Navas could be on his way out of the club.
Manchester United still have David De Gea but the Spaniard hasn’t signed a new contract and is entering the final year of his current contract. PSG are interested in De Gea and if United decide to cash in on the player instead of losing him for free next summer, they’ll need a new goalkeeper.
Losing Pogba will be a big blow for United but if they can get a world class goalkeeper in exchange, then that would soften the blow.
#3. James Rodriguez
James Rodriguez had a fantastic debut season at Real Madrid under Carlo Ancelotti but under Zidane, he hasn’t featured regularly and was loaned out to Bayer Munich for two years. James returned to Madrid this summer after Bayern decided against making his loan permanent but he isn’t going to be a part of Zidane’s plans for the next season.
The Colombian blows hot and cold at times but when he’s on song, he’s unplayable. The fact that he has 93 goals and 115 assists in 324 games for Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, Monaco and Porto combined is a testament to his abilities.
If Man Utd get James in exchange for Pogba, then they’re getting a player who can at least compensate for the goals and assists the Frenchman delivered.
#2. Luka Modric
Luka Modric is no stranger to the Premier League as he rose to fame with Tottenham Hotspur before his big move to Real Madrid in 2012.
The defending Ballon d’Or winner still has a lot to offer but since he’s already 33-years-old, Real Madrid could be open to the idea of replacing him. History has shown that there isn’t any place for sentiments at Real Madrid as they moved on club legends like Raul and Iker Casillas when they were nearing their mid-30s.
If Real signs Pogba, then they’ll have a stacked midfield and one of Toni Kroos or Luka Modric will lose their place in the starting XI. Considering the fact that Kroos is 29 and signed a new contract recently, it will be the Croatian who makes way.
Manchester United will need to sign a new midfielder when Pogba leaves and if they can get a Premier League proven world class midfielder like Modric in exchange, then that will be a big relief for them.
#1. Gareth Bale
It is no secret that Gareth Bale’s future at Real Madrid is up in the air as Zidane doesn’t rate him highly but the Welshman is among the best wingers in the world even though injuries have held him back a bit in recent years.
Bale’s next destination will be a major talking point throughout the summer and there aren’t many clubs other than Manchester United that can afford his transfer fee or wages. Bale has been linked with a move to United previously and if Pogba is moving the other way, then a player plus cash deal involving Bale could benefit the Premier League side massively.
The former Tottenham star had a highly successful stint in the Premier League before his then world record-breaking transfer to Madrid. So, by bringing Bale in, United won’t run the risk of signing a player who can’t cut it at the Premier League. Also, United need a right-sided winger and there aren’t many better players in that position than Bale at the moment.