January exit a solution for ‘unhappy’ Pogba

January exit a solution for ‘unhappy’ Pogba

LONDON • Paul Pogba is “unhappy” at Manchester United and should leave in the next transfer window, his agent Mino Raiola has said, in comments that may signal the exit of the one-time world’s most expensive player.

The Italian claimed the World Cup-winning Frenchman needs a “change of scene” after struggling to establish himself under manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Pogba has made only five starts in the Premier League and one in the Champions League this season, opening his account for the league campaign last weekend at West Ham.

Last season was equally frustrating for the 27-year-old, who made just 16 top-flight appearances due to injuries. With his contract set to expire in the summer of 2022, Raiola hinted it was time for his client to move on.

“Paul’s unhappy at Manchester United, he can’t express himself any more as he would like to and as we expect of him,” he told Italian newspaper Tuttosport.

“He has to change teams, he needs a change of scene. His contract is up in a year-and-a-half, in 2022, but I think the best solution for all sides is a transfer in the next window (in January).”

He added that Pogba, who returned from a spell at Juventus for a then world record fee of £89 million (S$158.6 million) in 2016, had no plans to extend his contract.

“The club… knows it risks losing him for nothing, as at the moment the player has no intention of extending his contract,” Raiola said. “If anyone doesn’t understand, they don’t understand anything about football.”

While Pogba, eclipsed since the January arrival of Portugal midfielder Bruno Fernandes, has repeatedly spoken of his frustrations at club level while on international duty, France coach Didier Deschamps on Monday refused to be drawn on Raiola’s comments.

He told local TV channel Telefoot, following Les Bleus’ World Cup 2022 qualifying draw, that he would rather decline to “start to react to the words of the players’ agents, their uncle, their grandmother or their dog.”

However, former Liverpool defender Jamie Carragher lambasted Raiola and Pogba, calling the pair “a disgrace”.

Speaking on Sky’s Monday Night Football show, the pundit said: “Get rid, I have been saying this for 12 months, he is the most overrated player I have seen in my life.

“Agents in this day and age are not just agents, they are a parent, a best friend, a financial adviser, they book holidays, go away with each other. So Pogba will be well aware of what was going to come out of his mouth. And if he wasn’t, he should sack his agent.”

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE