Real Madrid and Germany legend Uli Stielike has implied Paul Pogba is a selfish player that the Spanish side should not sign.
Stielike was one of los Blancos best ever holding midfielders, having played 143 matches for the club between 1978 and 1985 and winning three La Liga titles. He also won three Bundesliga titles with Borussia Moenchengladbach and Euro 1980 with Germany.
In an interview with AS this week, the German legend was forthright in his views about the 27-year-old Manchester United player, who is a transfer target for the Spanish side.
When asked ‘Do Madrid need a player like Pogba?’, Stielike replied: ‘If you want to return to the idea of the galactic[o]s, maybe yes.’
‘But I am more in favour of humble players with great talent and who sacrifice for the team.’
The 65-year-old seemed to prefer the idea of los Merengues signing Rennes’ 17-year-old holding midfielder Eduardo Camavinga, also a reported target for the Red Devils, saying that it is ‘logical that the clubs go in search of young lads before they explode. This way they are much cheaper.’
The fact that AS is asking Stielike about Pogba is evidence in itself that the idea of the Frenchman’s transfer has not been forgotten in the Spanish capital. There have been so many reports lately that head coach Zinedine Zidane has been told he needs to sell before he can buy, so many rumours about Camavinga and so much excitement about the return to the club of loanee Martin Odegaard that it had appeared that the long awaited Pogba transfer had been consigned to the ‘ones that got away’ file.
All transfer talk around Real Madrid lately has centred on PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland and Camavinga. But in football’s financial crisis, it seems highly unlikely that a deal can be struck for Mbappe, the highest valued player in the world at £160 million, or Haaland, who has only been at Dortmund for six months and whose buyout clause is not yet active. Camavinga, meanwhile, could be the subject of a bidding war that elevates his price to within £20 million or so of United’s asking price for Pogba – the sort of figure which Stielike admits should never be paid for a 17-year-old.
This could bring us full circle back to Pogba as the most realistic of Madrid’s summer targets and despite Stielike’s – and President Florentino Perez’s – reservations about him, it could well be that Zizou’s friend and World Cup winner could heading for Spain after all.
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