Gary Neville has sent a bold message of warning to Paul Pogba, noting that the Frenchman is at risk of becoming a mercenary at Manchester United.
The midfielder issued a number of cryptic statements over the international break that suggested he could move to Barcelona next year.
His public statements, coupled with footage of him dancing with the French national team, have angered a number of supporters, many of whom have called for him to leave the club.
And Neville, speaking in an interview with the Times, believes Pogba should avoid making provocative statements in the press, warning the 25-year-old of becoming known as a mercenary among supporters.
“So Paul, if you want to go play somewhere else, let’s make that work for you because Manchester United will be fine, don’t worry about that,” he said.
“The owner in me would do what United are doing at the moment, saying he is not for sale. They have to protect their asset but privately they might be doing a deal because they want to get their £90 million back.
“If I was still in that dressing room giving personal advice it would be, ‘Paul, it’s obvious you want to play somewhere else but be professional. Don’t be someone who is seen as a mercenary or a mutineer. You don’t need to do that.”
There is nothing exactly wrong with Pogba, now a World Cup winner, wanting to leave for a club like Barcelona – especially at a time when United do not look like challenging for any serious silverware.
But to see Pogba publicly hint towards leaving United is unnecessary, and indeed deeply upsetting to supporters who have always backed him. Privately, he can say what he wishes. The very least he can do in the public sphere, however, is commit everything to performing at his best for United until his move to Spain comes around.