Manchester United fear Paul Pogba is running his contract down to leave on free transfer in 2022

Paul Pogba is out of contract in 2022 (Photo by FRANCK FIFE / AFP) (Photo by FRANCK FIFE/AFP via Getty Images)

Manchester United are keen to open contract negotiations with Paul Pogba’s representatives as they fear the midfielder is allowing his deal to run down in order to leave the club for free next summer.

The Red Devils triggered a 12-month extension clause in Pogba’s deal in January 2020, six months before the Frenchman’s initial five-year deal was set to expire.

Pogba has twice intimated his desire to leave the club since joining for a then-world record fee of £89m from Juventus in 2016.

The first time – in 2018 – was due to the breakdown in Pogba’s relationship with Jose Mourinho, while the second just 12 months later was down to the midfielder’s determination to play Champions League football.

Pogba has twice angled to leave the club. (Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

United are in a better place now under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and are closer to major silverware, despite their Europa League final defeat to Villarreal.

Pogba has appeared genuinely enthused by the direction the team is going in and he enjoyed his finest campaign to date with the club last season, particularly with his performances from the left flank.

However, ESPN report that United fear Pogba will allow his contract to run down and the club are keen to initiate contract talks soon in order to discover the Frenchman’s true intentions.

Interest in Pogba has not been forthcoming this summer but the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich would all be interested should they be able to sign Pogba on a free transfer next summer.

Should Pogba intimate he’s unwilling to sign a new deal, United could look at selling in the summer transfer window as it’s the club’s last chance to receive a significant fee for the former Juventus man.

Donny van de Beek was signed in a £35m deal from Ajax last summer with a view to Pogba leaving the club but the Dutchman made just four Premier League starts as Pogba enjoyed an impressive fifth campaign at Old Trafford since his return from Italy.

Soslskjaer is keen on signing a right winger, a central midfielder, a centre-back and a right-back this summer but he must sell first in order to complete all of his business.

Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho is considered a priority but despite interest in Declan Rice, the West Ham midfielder is not deemed a likely acquisition given the Hammers’ £90m valuation of the England ace.

MORE : Erling Haaland interested in Chelsea transfer this summer

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