Sunday 19 November 2017

Paul Pogba blasts Alex Ferguson and blames Manchester United for showing 'disrespect'

Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba

Jack de Menezes

Paul Pogba has accused his former club Manchester United of “disrespect” after the Juventus midfielder admitted Alex Ferguson made him train on his own during his contract dispute.

The French midfielder elected to leave the club on a free transfer in July 2012 after failing to agree a new contract, with United losing one of their brightest young talents to Italian league champions Juventus.

And the 21-year-old, who has made eight appearances for the French national team, has lifted the lid on why he chose to leave the club despite being earmarked as a star of the future.

Speaking to BBC World Football Focus, Pogba said: “They left me out because they said I wanted to leave. That is disrespect.

“Maybe they didn't think if they were making a mistake.”

Pogba went on to explain how his lack of first-team opportunities led him to become frustrated with life under Ferguson, and recalled an incident when he was instructed to go to the gym rather than train with the rest of the squad.

Manchester United is a big club but you have to think about yourself,” Pogba added.

“You have to play. The coach told me there would be space to play, but I wasn't playing.

“I was training alone for one week. They told me to go in the gym. I said "I am not an athlete, I am a footballer.”

Ferguson, who blasted Pogba at the time, went on to lead United to a 20th top-flight league title after Pogba’s exit, before announcing his retirement from management at the end of the 2011-13 season. The Scot was scathing in his assessment of Pogba’s attitude during his time at Old Trafford, with his fiercest words coming immediately after his exit.

Ferguson told MUFC that he was “quite happy” to see Pogba leave the club, and added: “I don't think he showed us any respect at all.”

Since arriving in Italy, Pogba has impressed and helped Juventus to the brink of a third straight Serie A title, which they can clinch on Sunday if Roma fail to beat Catania. His performances have seen him break into the France national team, and have fuelled talk of a return to Manchester with both United and rivals Manchester City believed to be monitoring his situation.

A £40m move to Paris St-Germain has also been in the offing, and Juventus president Andrea Agnelli has previously admitted that a big-money offer would be hard to turn down for Pogba despite their intention to extend his contract.

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