Rio Ferdinand delivers his verdict on Paul Pogba and his possible successor

    Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand is desperate for Paul Pogba to stay put at Old Trafford but names his replacement in case he leaves

    Paul Pogba looks likelier to leave Manchester United than ever, with less than two years left on his contract, he seems destined for a departure as soon as the transfer window reopens.

    Four years after returning to the ‘Theatre of Dreams’ from Juventus in an £89million deal, the French midfielder is working hard along with his agent Mino Raiola to force his way out of the club.

    Outwardly, there seems to be no strife within the team, but the 27-year-old has not been the healthiest of figures in the Red Devils locker room, which is why United changed the stance on his indispensability.

    Pogba has missed a substantial chunk of 2019/20 season due to various injury setbacks, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s men have thrived nonetheless – showing they can succeed without the French World Cup winner.

    Relative obscurity surrounding the Frenchman is the elephant in the room, the shadow hanging over this otherwise turbulent season.

    Therefore, finding a permanent solution for Pogba will be the number one priority for Ed Woodward this summer, with Real Madrid and Juventus both looking to swoop in and steal the playmaker away.

    Speaking of Pogba’s future at Manchester United, Rio Ferdinand said: “I don’t want Pogba to go.”

    Ferdinand knows who could be a proper replacement for the France international should he switch away.

    “If he does go, I’d take Saul Niguez all day long,” the United legend told the Metro.

    “Not like-for-like but still a top player.

    “What a player. I’ve been harping on about Saul Niguez for a few years now.

    “I think he’s a major player. Composed, calm, great left foot, lovely conductor, he can score goals, tactically he’s very aware.

    “You can see Simeone, he gets his teams really well set up, and he’s in the middle orchestrating and dictating things.”

    Saul has been one of Atletico Madrid’s standout performers under Diego Simeone, establishing himself as one of Europe’s best deep-lying playmakers.

    Due to his versatility and football intelligence, the 25-year-old Spaniard had often covered up Filipe Luiz’s left-back position before Renan Lodi arrived at the Estadio Wanda Metropolitano last summer.

    Barcelona have been heavily linked with a move for Saul in the past, but the Spain international has refused to disappoint the fans in Madrid by departing for Catalonia.

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