First Published in the Manchester Evening Newshttps://i2-prod.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/incoming/article19318799.ece/ALTERNATES/s615/0_GettyImages-1229458787.jpg
Paul Pogba is open to running down his contract at Manchester United and leaving on a free transfer for the second time in his career, according to reports.
The France World Cup winner has struggled to live up his expectations since the United academy graduate returned to Old Trafford in 2016 for a club-record £89m fee.
Links with a return to Juventus, as well as reported interest from Real Madrid, have been present ever since and speculation of an exit has never been too far away.
However, the Athletic suggests that Pogba has ultimately come to the decision to leave United once again and is prepared to wait 18 months in order for an exit.
Pogba currently has a season-and-a-half remaining on his contract at United and is reluctant to sign any extension with his role in the side not guaranteed.
He will be 29 when his current deal expires and it’s suggested that he would have his pick of clubs to choose from and he has been dubbed a ‘diminishing asset’ due to his situation.
United, therefore, could have three windows to negotiate a sale in order to recoup a fee for his services and next summer would be the most likely time for that to occur.
That said, he is just 14 months away from being able to negotiate a pre-contractual agreement with clubs outside of the Premier League so time is definitely of the essence.
Elsewhere, Football Insider reports that Daniel James is attracting the interest of Everton with his situation at United being uncertain.
The Wales international has seen first-team opportunities decrease this season and has struggled to replicate the form that he showed in the first few months following his transfer last summer.
With United signing Facundo Pellestri in the summer and welcoming Amad Diallo to Old Trafford in the New Year, as well as continuing to court Jadon Sancho, James’ long-term role in the side is at risk.
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United get their Premier League campaign back underway on Saturday when they welcome strugglers West Brom to Old Trafford.
The under-pressure Reds came from behind to beat Everton last time out thanks to Bruno Fernandes’ double and Edinson Cavani’s first goal for United.
The players are returning from the two-week international break, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will be hoping to have as few injury and fitness concerns as possible among the stars coming back from international duty.
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Carlo Ancelotti is said to be keen on the 23-year-old, who could therefore become the latest in a long line of players to move across the north-west from United to Goodison Park.
It’s added that Everton tried to sign James from Swansea City last summer prior to his move to United and their interest has remained since.
A temporary move in the New Year could work for all parties, providing James with opportunities to play that could boost his confidence ahead of next summer.