Football’s lockdown wouldn’t be the same without a daily Paul Pogba story and today it is the turn of his agent Mino Raiola to keep the ball rolling.
Raiola has been stirring the pot again, speaking to Spanish outlet Marca about Pogba and his plans to ‘bring a great player to Real Madrid’ this summer.
This, of course, does not necessarily mean Paul Pogba. Raiola is now for example officially Erling Haaland’s agent and his client base also includes the likes of Milan’s Gigi Donnarumma, Napoli’s Lorenzo Insigne and PSG’s Marco Verratti.
But with Haaland only having been at Borussia Dortmund for a few months and none of the Italians seeming to have the right profile for los Blancos, Pogba is almost undoubtedly the player to whom he is referring.
Raiola was coy when asked directly about the Frenchman.
‘Paul is going through a difficult time, but to be clear – because in England they are very sensitive – Pogba is concentrating so he can have a great end of the season with Manchester United’ the agent said.
‘He wants to re-enter the team and have a great end to the season and that United can reach the Champions League.’
‘You cannot say what will happen. Today you cannot know. Now the club and the team matter and then we will see what can happen. There was great interest, but it was not possible. Last year does not count anymore. We will see what happens.’
The view in Spain certainly seems to be that despite reports in England that the 27-year-old is now more inclined to stay at Old Trafford, nothing has changed and that he is still determined to leave this summer.
‘After months, Pogba’s wish has not changed’ Marca claims.
‘He has never declared himself in absentia, nor has he refused to play, but he has told Manchester United leaders that he wants to leave and does not hide that his preferred destination is Real Madrid.’
‘Last summer, the still Manchester United player made clear his desire [to join Madrid]. Negotiations existed, but Real Madrid never took the last step’
‘The player’s salary, but, above all, the absence of significant transfers of players from [Real Madrid] last summer, was the main obstacle that the world champion encountered to fulfilling his dream of playing for Real Madrid.’
While football is on lockdown, try your hand at our quiz below that tests your knowledge about the times when Manchester United or its players have been banned, bombed or blocked from playing.