EPL

Will Pogba stay at Man Utd? Raiola says close-season decision holds the key

By Sports Desk January 22, 2020

Paul Pogba's future at Manchester United is set to be decided in the close season, his agent Mino Raiola has said.

The midfielder has featured in only eight games this season for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side due to injury.

United's £89million record signing is battling his way back from an ankle problem, with questions over his Old Trafford future persisting.

The France international, a World Cup winner with his country 18 months ago, has often faced criticism for his United performances.

There has been frustration over his lack of involvement this season, but United boss Solskjaer recently said Pogba was the world's best midfielder.

It remains to be seen whether the former Juventus star's future is in Manchester, given United look highly unlikely to qualify for next season's Champions League.

"Everybody knows the ambition from both parts has not been met for the last years, let's be honest; let's talk about the elephant in the room," Raiola said.

"So we need to see in the summer if Paul is in the plans of Manchester United, and if Manchester United is still in the plans of Paul. I don't speculate about it now."

Raiola told reporters in London that getting Pogba fit and on the pitch again was a priority, given he has not played since December 26.

Then the mission will be to ensure Pogba - three-and-a-half years into his second spell at the club - and United are both content.

"If one of those parties is not happy then there are other ways to resolve that," Raiola said in an interview broadcast on Sky Sports News.

"I don't say anything for sure. There's only one thing for sure in life and that's one day you die.

"Today he's not happy because he's not playing, he's recovering, and Paul, if he doesn't play, he's not happy.

"But I saw him also go back to Manchester United when people didn't think he would have gone back to Manchester United. People tend to forget that.

"People tend to imagine Manchester United were the only club he could sign for, but it was not the case: he chose Manchester United. Maybe [Alex] Ferguson didn't like that, but he chose Manchester United."

Raiola stressed his own relationship with United is positive, although he has been an outspoken critic of the club.

Raiola was this month quoted as saying he would not send top players to United, the 20-time English champions who last won the top flight in 2013 and have often appeared to be in a state of upheaval since.

"I think it's good: it's a professional, honest relationship," Raiola said.

"The quotes were a little bit strong, but I think what I meant was Manchester United need to get their project right otherwise there's no sense."

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    DIEGO MARADONA

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    SAN SIRO TROUBLES?

    Inter were outstanding away from home in Serie A last season, collecting more points on the road than any other side (43), winning 13 matches, drawing four times and losing just twice.

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