It has not, at any point, been a happy relationship between Paul Pogba and Manchester United.
The French midfield originally joined the club as a teenager, but was released by Sir Alex Ferguson due to alleged attitude problems.
After some time spent at Juventus, Pogba returned to Old Trafford in 2016 for a hefty fee of around £90 million, but he again has struggled to settle in the north of England.
His performances have not matched the world record fee, apart from the occasional burst, and it’s fairly obvious that that a young man capable of such world-class moments is evidently unhappy at the club.
One of the main problems is a fractious relationship with Jose Mourinho, who to his credit has made Pogba captain in a attempt to get a little more out of him.
But so far it hasn’t worked, and some of the Frenchman’s comments in the media this week will have set nerves a jangling in the Red Devils’ camp.
Summer Lovin’ in Spain
Pogba is on international duty at the moment, and was questioned by the media about his time at United. His answers hardly hinted at a bright and long-lasting future at the club.
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) 10 August 2018
But in one crumb of comfort, he did at least say that neither he nor agent Mino Raiola would angle for a January transfer to Barcelona, which is believed to be his preferred destination.
“There was a lot of talk (about a move to Barca), but it was just like that. 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?”
Pogba’s stock has risen in accordance with France’s World Cup win, and it is believed that the Catalan club sees him as the long-term successor to the now-departed Andres Iniesta.
The main problem for the 25-year-old seems to be his relationship with Mourinho, with the player himself confirming that he only converses with the artist formerly known as the ‘Special One’ through his agent.
“We have a pure coach-player relationship, that’s right,” he confirmed.
“One thing I can assure you, I will always give 100 percent. No matter which coach I always give everything for United – I cannot say more.”
It’s the modern way for clubs to stir the pot a bit in an attempt to bolster their hopes of securing a big money move, and Barcelona’s vice president, Jordi Mestre, has been rather naughty this week.
“What I read is that Pogba is unhappy at Manchester United and his agent, Mino Raiola, has been more vehement in efforts to sell him.
“But I have not read that he says he wants to sign for the club. Yes, he is a player of unquestionable quality in the eyes of all the world.”
The Price is Right
The European transfer window is shut now, and so talks of a Pogba transfer are futile for the time being.
But those Barcelona links won’t go away, and the odds of 7/2 on him joining the Spaniards looks to be a fantastic price.
Once the bookies open up their transfer specials markets once more, make sure you pull the trigger.