Former Manchester United defender Gary Neville believes that the club are better off without Paul Pogba if it is his intention to leave the club in the near future.
The Frenchman’s agent Mino Raiola criticised the club after suggesting (to The Telegraph via Metro) that the Red Devils blocked an approach from Real Madrid for the midfielder in the summer.
Speaking on Sky Sports, Neville took issue with Raiola’s comments and issued Pogba with an ultimatum of either committing to the club or leaving.
Pogba made a long-awaited return to the United fold in their defeat at Watford, but despite being the team’s ‘best player’, Neville does not believe he is worth holding on to if his heart is elsewhere.
He said: “We know he’ll score goals, we know he’ll get assists, but every single week, whether it be us or whether it be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer having to field questions about him, he needs to either settle down at the club or he needs to leave.
“I said last year that Manchester United needed players that wanted to be at the club. I can’t believe that there isn’t something going on behind the scenes when you hear his agent’s comments this week, and there’s every inkling I get from the situation that he does want to play football somewhere else.
“My view would be that Manchester United are better off without that if that’s the case.
“He’s Manchester United’s best player – but ultimately, does he want to play in Manchester?”
Pogba was a second-half substitute as he made his first appearance for nearly three months at the weekend, though his output has nevertheless significantly declined since topping the United squad in terms of both goals and assists last season – with a pair of the latter his only contributions this term.
While it may be in United’s interests to retain the services of a World Cup winner worthy of alerting the attentions of Real Madrid, there would surely be little point in keeping a player with his eye on moving if his performances this season are relative to his supposed intentions as Neville suggests.
Though with United facing an uphill task to qualify for the Champions League next season, the decision over Pogba’s future is bound to be a critical one as far as United’s short-term fortunes are concerned.
Are Manchester United better off without Paul Pogba?
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