“That’s what we wanted Pogba to do” – Manchester United find ideal midfield signing

Manchester United's Paul Pogba.

Manchester United earmark potential Paul Pogba replacement REUTERS/Phil Noble.

Manchester United may finally find their next Paul Pogba after Liverpool ended their pursuit of Jude Bellingham.

For 18 months, Bellingham was on top of Liverpool’s transfer wish list and was seen as the ideal midfielder to restore Jurgen Klopp’s side’s dominance in the Premier League and Europe.

But the Reds’ frustrating performances with their current midfielders have more or less guaranteed their absence from next season’s Champions League. Repercussions of this go beyond lights at Anfield on Thursday night instead of favoured Tuesday and Wednesday, as spending £100m on just one player in the absence of Champions League football may not be feasible.

The Red Devils, meanwhile, are still in the race for the Borussia Dortmund star. According to the Manchester Evening News, Erik ten Hag would ‘endorse’ a second United pitch to the dynamic midfielder.

Bellingham is considered Paul Pogba’s ideal replacement at Manchester United

In 2020, when Bellingham was at Birmingham City, the hierarchy were very keen to sign the player and even gave him a Carrington tour. The English talent was identified as a long-term heir to Paul Pogba.

“That’s what we wanted Pogba to do,” a United figure reportedly reacted to Bellingham’s performance at the 2022 World Cup. Ten Hag also admired his showings for England and told confidants if he could sign any player in the world it would be Bellingham.

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Now, the manager will have to decide if he wants the club to spend north of £100m on a midfielder capable of mirroring Pogba’s exploits or prioritise the signing of a marquee number nine.

If there’s a real intent to go all out for Bellingham at Old Trafford, Manchester United first need to secure Champions League football. Bereft of it, they are not going to get the midfielder ahead of Real Madrid and Manchester City.