The last time Pogba joined a club as a free agent, Juventus were the beneficiaries.
Frustrated at a lack of opportunities at United (best exemplified by Alex Ferguson’s decision to use a midfield duo of Park Ji-Sung and Rafael da Silva instead of Pogba in a Premier League game against last-placed Blackburn Rovers), the France international signed a four-year deal with Juventus.
In Turin Pogba went from talented prospect to world-class performer. He developed his game alongside the likes of Andrea Pirlo and Arturo Vidal in a star-studded midfield.
He also learned plenty from Antonio Conte and Max Allegri, two coaches with different visions of the game who together made Pogba a more rounded footballer.
Allegri is back in charge of Juventus these days and he could push for Pogba to be brought back to the club in the summer. There are two potential issues though, which suggest odds of 10/3 are a little too short.
First, Juventus are in danger of missing out on the Champions League, and Pogba would surely not join a club outside Europe’s foremost competition.
Second, the 28-year-old may feel he has been there and done that when it comes to the Bianconeri and, perhaps, Serie A in general.
Real Madrid could be about to embark on another galactico-esque spending spree, with Mbappe, Erling Haaland and Pogba among the high-profile stars in their sights.
Luka Modric, Toni Kroos and Casemiro continue to do the business in the engine room at the Estadio Santiago Bernabeu, but Los Blancos could seek to freshen things up in that part of the pitch ahead of next season.
A price of 5/1 with Betfair on Madrid winning the race for Pogba’s signature therefore looks attractive.
Barcelona’s financial issues are well documented but they were still able to bring Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Adama Traore and Ferran Torres to the Camp Nou in January.
Free transfers are less problematic than deals which involve fees, although odds of 15/2 illustrate that Barcelona are outsiders in this particular transfer saga.
In all probability Pogba will be plying his trade in another European league next season. But if he does opt to leave Manchester United yet stay in England, betting sites point to Newcastle as his most likely destination. Paddy Power prices that eventuality at 10/1.
The Magpies are certain to splash the cash again this summer. Which players they actually target will depend on whether or not Eddie Howe’s side avoid relegation to the Championship.
If they do stay up, we could see Newcastle explore some ambitious deals – and persuading Pogba to move to St James’ Park would be nothing if not ambitious.
If the Frenchman was younger, they might have a chance. But Pogba’s next contract is likely to be his last big one and while Newcastle might be able to meet his financial demands, they are not yet in a position to challenge for league titles and the Champions League.
It is not beyond the realms of possibility that Pogba commits his future to United. He has clearly not been desperate to do so, otherwise the issue would have been resolved by now.
However, United are thought to have put an offer on the table and Pogba may well take it if it beats those offered by his other suitors.
Both the player and the club would have expected to have won more trophies between Pogba’s return in 2016 and the present day.
But the former Juventus man still has something to offer and United’s next manager, whoever he may be, may prefer him to be part of the squad he inherits. That is out of the Red Devils’ hands, but we cannot rule out Pogba extending his stay in the northwest of England.