Manchester United are increasingly resigned to losing their star player Paul Pogba, with Real Madrid and Juventus ready to step up their pursuit.

The £89m midfielder has made just six starts for the club this season, and it is understood his representative Mina Raiola has made clear his client wants a new challenge.

Pogba has 18 months left on his contract, but United can invoke a clause giving them an extra year. The player though, has made clear his determination to leave in the summer.

There is a fear at Old Trafford, especially amongst fans, that the France international has downed tools. He has been sidelined for much of the season with an ankle problem, that has required surgery.

Paul Pogba has not started a game for Manchester United since September

The player did return late to the first-team squad in December - just before the transfer window opened - but after two substitute appearances, and with United insisting he would not be allowed to leave in January, he was sidelined once more.

That prompted surgery on the ankle, and Pogba still seems some distance away from a first-team return.

United are due in a warm weather training camp in Marbella during their winter break, but the midfielder was not included in the travelling party, and it is thought he is receiving rehab treatment back in France.

Raiola went on the record last summer to say the player wanted a fresh challenge, and there is a feeling within the United boardroom that the super-agent is carrying out the plan to get Pogba out of the club in the summer.

Pogba's time at United could well be drawing to an end

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They valued him at more than twice the £89m they paid to Juventus in 2016, and there is a feeling around the club that it may be better if he were allowed to leave - at the right price.

Pogba, though, is likely to return to action in the near future, with his place at this summer’s European Championship with France on the line. But they may well prove to be his last games for United.