Replacing Paul Pogba with Atletico Madrid midfielder Saul Niguez at Old Trafford would be a backwards step for Manchester United.
That is according to the former Sheffield Wednesday and England defensive-midfield ace Carlton Palmer.
Uncertainty is currently surrounding the future of Pogba, who reported back for pre-season training earlier this week, as he now has less than a year remaining on his contract at Old Trafford. French giants Paris Saint-Germain are interested in signing the former Juventus midfielder, but MEN Sport understands that no contact has been made between them and United.
United hope that the midfield ace will sign a new deal at Old Trafford and commit his future to the club. However, the prospect of him leaving cannot be ignored and the Reds are already being linked with numerous candidates to possibly replace him if he was to seal an exit.
United have looked at Saul as a possible option to bolster their midfield in the past, but MEN Sport understands that he is not a current transfer priority.
However, if they were to turn to him as a replacement for Pogba, should they encounter a situation where the Frenchman leaves the club, Palmer believes going after Saul would be the wrong avenue to venture down.
“I think that’s a backward step if you’re letting Pogba go and bringing in somebody like that,” Palmer told Transfer Tavern.
“Listen, he’s technically very good and he’s a good football player, but he’s not on the same level as Pogba.
“So for me, it’s a non-starter.”
United are still actively looking to add a new defensive-midfielder to their ranks, with Saul, alongside Ruben Neves of Wolverhampton Wanderers, linked with a move to Old Trafford.
However, if Pogba was to leave this summer it would change their transfer plans, as they would need to source a replacement with a more attack-minded, energetic midfield operator, something that Saul isn’t, with the Spaniard renowned for breaking up play and keeping things tidy, opposed to providing a burst of energy to carry the ball forwards and score goals.
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