Paul Pogba’s outspoken agent Mino Raiola insists the player’s time at Manchester United is “over”. In a stunning interview with Italian outlet Tuttosport, being released on Tuesday, Pogba’s representative claims that the midfielder will soon depart Old Trafford a second time in his career.
World Cup winner Pogba started in the weekend’s Premier League win over West Ham, scoring United’s equaliser as they came from behind to win 3-1 at the London Stadium.
But the France international has found himself out of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side of late and has only started five of 10 Premier League games, also starting just once in the Champions League.
Speaking to Tuttosport, Raiola has claimed: “I can say that it’s over for Paul Pogba at Manchester United.”
The statement comes as a shock given Pogba’s contributions against West Ham are likely to have catapulted him back into contention to start for United against RB Leipzig in a crucial final Champions League group stage match on Tuesday night.
Pogba, 27, only rejoined United for a then-world record fee in 2016 having left Old Trafford four years earlier under Sir Alex Ferguson’s stewardship.
Since his £89million return to Manchester, the Frenchman has received regular criticism for supposedly failing to meet expectations.
In his second stint at the club, the United academy graduate has managed 34 goals and 35 assists in 170 appearances.
His future has regularly been called into question with Real Madrid and former club Juve incessantly linked with a move for Pogba.
Raiola’s comments on the player’s future are unlikely to go down well with Solskjaer on the eve of such a crucial match in Germany, with United needing a point to progress to the last 16 of the Champions League.
The pair have previously exchanged words in public including in February this year, Solskjaer saying: “Paul is our player and not Mino’s. I haven’t sat down and told Paul to tell his agent what to say. I’ve not spoken to Mino, that’s for sure.”
Raiola hit back: “Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer’s property, Paul is Paul Pogba’s. You cannot own a human being already for a long time in the UK or anywhere else. I hope Solskjaer do not want to suggest that Paul is his prisoner.
“But before Solskjaer makes comments about things I say he should inform himself better about the content of what has been said. Solskjaer should just remember things that he said in the summer to Paul.
“I think Solskjaer may be frustrated for different reasons and is now mixing up some issues. I think that Solskjaer has other things to worry about. At least if I was him I would.”
Solskjaer however refused to be drawn into a bitter verbal exchange and ended it by saying: “I don’t have to comment through the media on Mino and what he says. I can probably speak to him myself, so…”
Though the Norwegian boss then added that he “probably wouldn’t” discuss matters with Raiola with relations between the pair evidently a little fractious.
Pogba is under contract at United until the summer of 2022 after a one-year option to extend his deal was taken by the club in October.
But recently, the player ignited more speculation surrounding his future by teasing his interest in playing under compatriot Zinedine Zidane at Real Madrid, though his fellow Frenchman is under increasing pressure at the Bernabeu following a below-par start to the season in the league and in Europe.
Pogba said: “All football players would love to play for Real Madrid. It is a dream for me, why not one day?
“I am in Manchester and I love my club. I am playing in Manchester, I’m having fun and I want to do everything to put the club where it deserves. I will give everything to the max, like my team-mates.”
He added: “I have not spoken to [United executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward. We haven’t spoken about a new deal.
“At the moment, I am in Manchester and I am concentrating about getting back to my best form. I think there will be a moment when the club will come and talk to me and maybe offer me something, or not.”
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