Paul Pogba is a mystery wrapped inside a riddle. A World Cup winner and the Premier League's most expensive player, his second spell at Manchester United has coincided with the club falling miles behind Manchester City and Liverpool.
A popular and respectful figure inside the club, Pogba has nonetheless used any public forum to try and force a dream move to Real Madrid under his legendary compatriot, Zinedine Zidane.
Sportsmail assesses the different factors at work in the Pogba soap opera...
Paul Pogba's future remains uncertain as he looks to force a dream move to Real Madrid
Minutes played: 11,526
WHAT DOES PAUL POGBA WANT?
After three seasons at Manchester United, he wants to spend the rest of his peak years at a club that is going to challenge for the biggest prizes in Europe. Pogba is now 26 and his biggest wish is to get a move to Real Madrid where he'd work with Zinedine Zidane.
The consolation prize would be a return to Juventus where he won three Serie A titles. Third on the wish-list is staying at United, where he has no Eden Hazard or Cristiano Ronaldo in the team, or Champions League football to look forward to.
WILL HE GET HIS DREAM MOVE?
Unlikely in this window. First of all, United are already light in midfield and selling Pogba would cause real uproar given they can't sign a replacement until January at the earliest.
Secondly, Madrid look unable to pay what United would demand. The Spanish giants have just spent nine figures on Eden Hazard and haven't so far been able to move big-earners Gareth Bale or James Rodriguez off the wage bill. Zidane has made it clear he wants Pogba but club President Florentino Perez thinks the sums involved are too high.
Real Madrid would need to find £150million and pay Pogba's wages on top. And United aren't interested in having Bale in part-exchange.
His biggest wish is Madrid, where he'd work alongside legendary compatriot Zinedine Zidane
Madrid would need to find £150million and pay the World Cup winner's wages on top
HOW IS POGBA BEHAVING?
The midfielder grew up in United's academy and has a great deal of respect for the club. It's possibly worked against him in that he's been reluctant to throw his toys out of the pram to force a move.
It's been a strange two-tier strategy from Pogba and his notoriously aggressive agent, Mino Raiola. Pogba speaks a lot of the possibility of leaving United, talking about a 'new challenge' during a recent promotional tour and trying to keep the Real option open by declaring after Sunday's first Premier League match: 'Only time will tell. There's always that question mark.'
And yet he's been respectful to United. He turned up to the pre-season tour of Australia, Singapore and China and provided two brilliant assists in the 4-0 victory win against Chelsea at the weekend.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has praised his attitude and staff at United's training ground at Carrington rate Pogba as the friendliest player