Despite former Liverpool forward Michael Owen’s assertion that Juventus star Paul Pogba would be an ideal transfer window target for Liverpool, attempts by the club to secure him seem likely to end up with them losing out on the deal. After signing a new deal with Juventus, his departure from the club would likely command a huge price. Even if he were to make a deal to go somewhere else, that price would more likely be paid by Real Madrid, Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) or Chelsea according to the chatter on Twitter.
The pre-January transfer rumor mill is in full swing. Nobody even knows if Liverpool is even considering Pogba as a real target, but a few words from Michael Owen have stirred the fans into a feeding frenzy. A discussion of Steven Gerrard, and the growing feeling that he presents little value at the moment to manager Brendan Rodgers, led to the suggestion of Pogba as a replacement. That was all it took to turn an offhand comment into a full-blown rumor.
Pogba has, indeed, been the center of many rumors about clubs wanting to add him to their squads. Described as one of the most well-rounded players in the game at the moment, his is a skill set that is in high demand. The new Juventus contract has just about closed the door on the possibility of the January window being a realistic timeframe for any departure from there, and the nature of the contract has made the prospect of luring him away an expensive one. His new contract was penned without a buyout clause, making it likely that the cost of stealing him away would be prohibitive for a multitude of teams with designs on the star. Those not scared by the cost would likely end up in a bidding war which would drive the price up even further. Even deep pockets like the ones Liverpool have would find it hard to compete with the coffers of a club like PSG or Real Madrid in a battle of that type. Add to the equation the draw of playing for a club that is a real contender for their national league as well as the Champions League titles, and Liverpool would likely lose out on any Pogba deal hands down.
More realistic rumors about targets for the club include a possible bid for Porto player Jackson Martinez to shore up the Liverpool attack. Martinez’s manager claims that he is not interested in leaving, but reports that Rodgers is in competition with Tottenham for a shot at taking him away continue to circulate. It has also been rumored that they may be making a bid in the neighborhood of £50 million for Real Madrid star Karim Benzema, though there have been denials all around about his availability as well. Both Martinez and Benzema, however, still present more realistic possibilities than Pogba.
Michael Owen notwithstanding, the chance of the Juventus star landing in Anfield are all but non-existent. Rodgers has been anything but idle leading up to the transfer window, but fans will likely have to let the fantasy fueled by Owen go. Liverpool may make a big move in January to try to jump-start their season, but would likely lose out on any run at Pogba, if one was ever even intended to be put on the table.
Commentary By Jim Malone
Image courtesy of Xavier NALTCHAYAN – Flickr License