Man United must consider Pogba sale to Barcelona as situation becomes untenable

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
Jose Mourinho and Paul Pogba.

If Manchester United fans were torn between backing Paul Pogba or Jose Mourinho in the duo’s well-publicised feud, the former has now made that choice a very simple one for them.

The victory away to Burnley was a crucial one for the club and allowed the players to jet off on international duty in good spirits rather than having the disappointing start to the season fester over the break. United supporters were revelling in a fine team performance only for Pogba to ruin it all by casting a shadow of doubt over his future.

“My future is currently in Manchester,” he told Sky Germany. “I still have a contract. I’m playing there at the moment, but who knows what will happen in the next few months?”

This comes after a week of several comments from the Barcelona camp heaping praise on Pogba and inviting a potential move to the Camp Nou.

Both Gerard Pique and Luis Suarez have voiced their appreciation of the Frenchman, going as far as to say he would be welcomed at Barcelona. Club vice-president Jordi Mestre followed suit.

If Pogba were to move to Barcelona, it wouldn’t be by means of a simple transaction. The 25-year-old is a major commercial asset with three years left on his contract at United and an agreement would be complex. The noises coming from the Barca camp and the player, in the same week, is no coincidence though. A transfer is being carefully orchestrated and it has the fingerprints of puppeteer Mino Raiola all over it.

As Pogba’s agent, Raiola stands to benefit from another big-money for his client. But whether or not the player is being influenced by the Italian is besides the point. Pogba is old enough to make his own decisions and clearly isn’t happy at United. Holding on to a player who doesn’t want to be there and is as outspoken as he is, can be potentially toxic for the rest of the squad.

Mino Raiola

Mino Raiola

Mourinho has his own two-year contract to serve out, meaning what the club need more than anything else at the moment, is for the players to fight for the manager. Pogba evidently isn’t up to the task.

“We have a pure coach-player relationship. That’s how it is,” Pogba said.

“One thing I can assure you: I will always give 100 per cent, regardless for which coach. I always give everything for United – I cannot say more.”

Admittedly, Mourinho may not have handled his relationship with Pogba as well as he could have. When the Portuguese is confronted by a big ego, it can go two ways. Either they’re on the same wavelength and enjoy a relationship based on mutual respect or their affiliation is riddled by a feeling of contempt.

Even so, Mourinho has attempted to extend an olive branch of late. His comments about Pogba have been far more favourable since the start of the season and he even handed him the captain’s armband in Antonio Valencia’s absence, imploring the midfielder to lead United like he did France over the summer.

It didn’t have the desired effect though. Pogba has managed to muster fleeting displays of his quality but has largely been disappointing – neatly summarising his time at the club since his return. He even questioned his own attitude whilst sporting the armband in a 3-2 defeat away to Brighton.

It’s become obvious that Pogba has no desire to make amends, rendering the relationship between player and coach untenable. United must look forward, thereby casting the troublesome Frenchman aside.

Pogba has all the talent in the world but that means nothing if he’s determined to do all his talking off the pitch. In his two seasons since transferring from Juventus for a then world record fee, he’s only put together a handful of genuinely impressive performances – at best.

The haircuts, the cryptic social media posts and not-so-subtle jibes at the manager – none of it would’ve been tolerated by Sir Alex Ferguson. Pogba would’ve been shoved out of Old Trafford before he could say ‘dab’. The Scot didn’t pander to him in 2012, allowing him to join Juventus on a free transfer instead, and United mustn’t pander to him now. Far greater and accomplished players have been ushered towards the exit at United in the past.

Given the current market, he’s likely to command a substantial fee with the Red Devils standing to make a significant profit and he’s hardly proved to be irreplaceable. Despite his commercial value, even money man Ed Woodward may now believe enough is enough.

United need strong characters willing to pull together and fight at the moment, not a prima donna simply going through the motions and disrespecting the club at every turn.

Most popular

Paul Pogba claims he isn't the one stirring speculation over his Man United future

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn

Paul Pogba admitted there will “always be talk” about his future at Manchester United, but said it is not him doing the talking.

Speaking to reporters after France’s 0-0 Nations League draw with Germany in Munich on Thursday night, Pogba said it was “always good” to meet up with his World Cup-winning team-mates again.

Asked if he was “fed up” with all the speculation in England about his relationship with United manager Jose Mourinho, the 25-year-old midfielder said: “It’s not me who’s talking.

“I’m trying to work on myself physically. I got back late (from the World Cup), so I’m trying to perform as well as possible.

“I’m just trying to do my job and for the rest there’ll always be talk.”

These comments, however, came after an earlier interview he gave to Sky Germany that did add to the uncertainty surrounding his happiness at Old Trafford.

“My future is currently in Manchester,” he said. “I still have a contract. I’m playing there at the moment, but who knows what will happen in the next few months?”

On Mourinho, he added: “We have a pure coach-player relationship. That’s how it is.

“One thing I can assure you: I will always give 100 percent, regardless for which coach. I always give everything for United – I cannot say more.”

Former United youth player Pogba returned to the Premier League side after four successful years with Juventus for a then-world record transfer fee of £89million in 2016.

But he has failed to consistently deliver the type of performances a player with that price tag should be capable of and Mourinho’s frustration with him has been obvious.

Pogba was a key factor in France’s success this summer, though, and there is no disputing his potential, which is why he has been repeatedly linked with a return to Juve or a move to Spanish giants Barcelona.

Most popular

Related Tags

Paul Pogba opens the door for potential exit from Manchester United

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • Mail
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • G+
  • WhatsApp
  • Pinterest
  • LinkedIn
It hasn't been smooth sailing for Pogba at United in recent times.

Paul Pogba has fuelled speculation about his Manchester United future by refusing to rule out an exit.

The Old Trafford giants have endured an uncomfortable start to the season as their inability to further strengthen their squad was compounded by shock back-to-back defeats that ratcheted up the pressure on manager Jose Mourinho.

Sunday’s 2-0 win at Burnley was welcome relief for United ahead of the international break, but Pogba has stirred the pot just days into it.

There have been questions over the club-record signing’s happiness at United over recent months and the World Cup winner has done little to dampen such talk.

“There was a lot of talk, but that’s the way things are,” Pogba told Sky Sport Deutschland. “I’m under contract in Manchester.

“My future is currently in Manchester, I still have a contract. I’m playing there at the moment, but who knows what will happen in the next few months?”

These comments are unlikely to go down well at Old Trafford, where the club hierarchy was never moved to sell a player attracting interest from Barcelona.

Pogba returned to United in 2016 after a four-year stint at Juventus, arriving to much fanfare for a club-record £89million

The Italian giants have also been linked with the 25-year-old, who was last month reported to be so unhappy that he had informed United executive vice-chairman Woodward of his desire to leave.

Pogba exacerbated speculation by saying he would get fined if he really opened up about his happiness, but later that week Mourinho said he had never been happier with the midfielder as he dismissed talk of tension.

Asked by Sky Sports about that relationship with the United boss, Pogba added: “We have a pure coach-player relationship. That’s how it is.

“One thing I can assure you: I will always give 100 per cent, regardless for which coach. I always give everything for United – I cannot say more.”

Pogba has been captain in two of United’s four matches this season, including when he scored from the spot in the season-opening win against Leicester.

The other time the 25-year-old skippered United was the shock 3-2 defeat at Brighton, where he admitted afterwards that his “attitude was not right enough” in a bad overall display.

Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola took aim at United great Paul Scholes for questioning his client’s leadership in that match in a Twitter rant that also referenced the midfielder’s potential exit.

But the midfielder did not leave before the European deadline and indicated commitment to the United cause after the chastening 3-0 home loss to Tottenham.

“It won’t be easy, but it’s just the start of the season,” he said. “I prefer to start badly and end well than start well and finish badly.

“It’s bizarre. (Against Tottenham) we were determined, we started well, and in the end we lost 3-0. It’s a shock.”

Pogba is currently with France for their UEFA Nations League matches against Germany and Holland.

Most popular