TAHITH CHONG is set to follow in the footsteps of Paul Pogba by leaving Manchester United to join Juventus on a free.
The 19-year-old says he has been offered a new contract by United but “will discuss with my family what is best” and will “keep all his options open” after refusing to sign it straight away.
Chong could leave Utd on a free after choosing not to sign a new deal right away[/caption]
Should the Dutchman refuse to sign a new deal with the Red Devils he could well follow in the footsteps of Pogba – who moved to Turin after running down his contract with United in 2012.
United were ultimately made to pay dearly to the tune of £89million, a then world record fee, to re-sign Pogba four years later.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer would be loathed to lose a player who has been lauded as one of United’s most promising young prospects.
The wide man has played just four times for United’s first-team this term and has completed a paltry 24 minutes in the Premier League.
This lack of game time has led Chong to sound out alternative options and the prospect of challenging for trophies at Juventus is an appealing one given United’s current malaise.
Chong’s agent Erkan Alkan has made no secret of his player’s pulling power and recently said: “It is true top clubs keep and eye on the situation around Tahith, but it is still early in the season.
I will discuss with my family what is best for my future
“We are waiting to see what United come up with or else we will see what is the best for Tahith’s development next summer.”
Pogba’s acrimonious move to Juventus was vindicated and he returned to the Theatre of Dreams a four-time Serie A winner and Champions League runner-up.
Since sealing his United comeback, Pogba has found consistency hard to come by, leading some to question United’s failure to hold onto him and subsequent decision to open their purse stings in facilitating his return.
Solskjaer’s appetite to play youth has been well documented and the likes of Brandon Williams and Mason Greenwood have both been afforded ample first-team chances in recent weeks.
Chong’s most recent outing, though, came in the 1-0 defeat to Newcastle United in early October and he remains well down the attacking pecking order.
Chong, who has represented the Netherlands at U21 level, joined United from Feyenoord in 2016 and claimed the club’s reserve team Player of the Year award in 2019.
That personal success came on the back of being named Young Player of the Year the previous season and big things are understandably expected.
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He was trusted to take to the field as a late substitute as the Red Devils stunned PSG in the Champions League last-16 in March.
United will also be wary of the top brass in Juventus’ transfer dealings who have made a habit of finding value in the market in recent years.
The Bianconeri signed Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot on free transfers this summer as well as the likes of Andrea Pirlo, Emre Can and Dani Alves for nothing in the past.