Thursday 17 October 2019

Paul Pogba refuses to rule out leaving Manchester United this summer

Manchester United's Paul Pogba
Manchester United's Paul Pogba

James Ducker

Paul Pogba has added to the uncertainty over his future by refusing to rule out a move from Manchester United this summer.

But the unsettled United midfielder has suggested that he would not be interested in joining Paris St-Germain, one of the few clubs who could afford his transfer fee and wages.

Pogba delivered another below par performance in United’s FA Cup final defeat to Chelsea at Wembley on Saturday and his relationship with manager Jose Mourinho has become strained in recent months.

The Frenchman has been dropped from squads, left out of the starting XI and substituted in a series of games since the turn of the year as his form has plummeted.

Mourinho has admitted publicly that United should be getting a far higher level of consistency from the club’s £89 million record signing and it has been reported that the Portuguese would be willing to cash in on the midfielder if the right offer came along and he could find a replacement.

Pogba himself did little to dispel the doubts over his future when he offered no assurances in an interview on Sunday that he will still be a United player next season.

“You’re never sure of anything,” he told Canal+, the French television station. “Contractually, it’s on, yes.”

Pogba also said he had “mental” problems to deal with at United as he addressed his relationship with Mourinho. “There were times when I wasn't playing. I was on the bench. Much has been spoken about,” he said.

“People thought it was wrong but a coach and player don’t have to be best friends. One is not forced to go to the restaurant together. I had some problems – it’s mental.

“He put me on the bench, I answered on the pitch, I give my maximum every time. It made me grow in leadership.

“I had the armband with Mourinho, it was the first time in a club. It’s important to me, it makes me grow up to be as a leader in the France team.”

PSG are understood to be weighing up an offer for Pogba but the 25-year-old indicated that is it unlikely he would move to the French champions. Ruling out PSG, though, would limit Pogba’s options.

“Walking on the Parc des Princes? With a club, no, for sure,” he said. “Honestly, it doesn’t appeal to me. I grew up here, my father supported Marseille and so did my mum. Paris wasn’t really in my daily life.”

Mourinho said earlier this month that he expects Pogba to stay at Old Trafford this summer.

“I think he’s going to be here next season. That’s my feeling,” he said. “I can give the guarantee that I don’t want him to leave, that the club doesn’t want to sell him and I can give you the guarantee that we don’t have any approach from him or his agent or from any club. In this moment for me, he’s staying, yes.”

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