Paul Pogba’s future at Manchester United continues to be in doubt with agent Mino Raiola doing all he can to get the player out of the club. While the agent is continuing to get the criticism from United fans and manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, it’s worth noting that Pogba has stayed silent. If Raiola was working against his wishes, you would imagine he’d have something to say about it, or at least tell his agent to stop.
The likelihood of Pogba being sold in the summer was pretty high anyway but it looks impossible for him to remain at the club while his agent continues to behave like this.
The relationship between Solskjaer and Raiola has taken a turn for the worse recently but this battle has been going on for some time.
July 5th 2019
MR: “Everyone within the club from the manager to the owner knows Paul’s wishes. Everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on. We are in the process of that. Everyone knows what the feelings of Paul are.” (The Times)
July 10th 2019
OGS: “As far as I’m aware there have been no bids for any players. We are Man United and we don’t have to sell. It’s business as usual. Paul has never been a concern for me. He’s working hard, he’s a true professional and a proud boy, same answer again. I can’t be sitting here talking about what Paul and his agent are saying. He’s got a few years left of his contract and he’s been fantastic. I’m here to talk about the season… pre-season coming. Paul’s never put himself out of the team, always given his best and I can’t report anything. Agents talk all the time and we’ve not had any bids, that’s all I can say for this matter. I’m not just talking about Mino Raiola, there are loads of agents looking after their clients. We’ve got players and a team I’ve got to look after.” (Press conference)
December 20th 2019
MR: “I think that Paul really went home. Paul could have gone elsewhere. But he really chose with his heart, to go home. Paul is a very, very nice person. For example, he’s not able to be angry at Ole because Ole treated him so good when Ole was an older player and Paul was a younger player and the respect and the love that he received from Ole means he cannot get angry at Ole. Paul wants to be successful and happy and wants to win prizes and he would love to do that with Manchester United. Okay there was big interest from Real Madrid and Manchester didn’t let him go. We didn’t make a fuss about it and he didn’t make a fuss about it because I work in accordance with the player. You know other players can bring things to extreme but Paul doesn’t like that. So you work differently. There was an interest from Real Madrid but they didn’t let him go and I’m sorry because I think that Paul being French then Zidane is an important factor in French football history.
Players that make a team, that fit it, that fit a philosophy, and Manchester United in this way is looking for a philosophy. Klopp and Guardiola have a clear thing, of definition, of identity. You know if a player fits them or not. Or you even say different, ‘this is a player for Klopp or for Guardiola’. And tell me the player who you would like for Manchester United? You don’t know because you don’t know the definition of Manchester United. The identity you don’t know.” (The Telegraph)
OGS: “He’s not getting sold in January, no. When he comes back, play well and with a smile on his face. Do what he did a year ago when I came here. Paul was fantastic, he’s been fantastic when he’s played for us. We know we’ve got one of the best players in the world when he’s playing well and when he gets fit. He needs time to get fit but he’ll make a difference for us.” (Press conference)
December 30th 2020
MR: “Paul has always respected Manchester United, as long as Manchester United has respected Paul. The only one that talks for Manchester United and Paul is Ole. I go by what he says; he will not move. That’s OK and we are good with them. Paul is struggling a little bit with his injury and that’s our main interest now. There’s one objective that Paul has and that is to perform as well as possible with Manchester United. He’s a top pro and I think that his heart is in the right place with Manchester United.”
When asked whether he could see Pogba still at United in a year’s time: “Yes I can, but in a club that I hope fights for the league and hopefully the Champions League. Is that strange? Am I the only one that’s worried? Is the owner not worried? I think that everybody that is in love with Manchester United is worried about that. I’m worried about that for my player. I’m not a fan of Manchester United but I have a very direct interest. As long as Paul is in Manchester United, he wants to win trophies with Manchester United. That’s the kind of player he is and he will not act differently. Like Ole’s saying, it’s a work in progress now this club. He’s says he’s working on a team for next year. Let’s hope that it goes well for him because the world needs Manchester United on the top. Clearly they are not where they think they should be.
If Ole has ideas about my player and he wants to talk to me about it, he knows my number. Until that moment I talk with Ed Woodward because that’s the person that I talk to in the club. I only know that Paul respects him and loves him for what he has done in the past with him as one of the players.” (Sky Sports)
January 7th 2020
MR: “I didn’t threaten anyone at Manchester United with a gun to buy back Paul Pogba. Alex Ferguson has gone straight against me and Paul, that is allowed, but where was he when his successors bought Paul back?
That Pogba deal always comes back, because my friends from FIFA are said to have privacy laws to influence public opinion. It is very strange that they are talking about my fee, but that you do not hear FIFA when Ajax gets €150m for two boys. Then it is great and Ajax has done well.” (Voetbal International)
February 14th 2020
MR: “They (Juventus) speak with me about Pogba, and also about other players. It’s only right, these are big teams. I think our job is to represent, to inform, to see, to talk, to dream, set out some possibilities. But talking about Pogba there are also some other big clubs. Now he’s at Manchester United, we’ll see. Impossible things do not exist in the transfer market. I think be it Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain, Real Madrid, or Barcelona, they always showed how nothing is impossible. If there’s the willingness from all three parties, then things can get done.
Italy is like a second home for him. The question was is he happy. You cannot be happy if you are not competing for the title or for the Champions League. The aim is for every top player to do that. For now he is concentrated on his recovery the next period is important for him and Man Utd to try to get into the Champions League then the European Championship and then we will see.” (Sky Italia)
February 17th 2020
OGS: “Paul is our player and not Mino’s. I haven’t sat down and told Paul to tell his agent what to say. I’ve not spoken to Mino, that’s for sure.” (Press conference)
MR: “Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer’s property. Paul is Paul Pogba’s. You cannot own a human being already for a long time in the UK or anywhere else. I HOPE Solskjaer DO NOT WANT TO SUGGEST THAT PAUL IS HIS PRISONER. But BEFORE Solskjaer makes comments about things I say he should inform himself better about the context of what has been said. I am a free citizen who can think and express my thoughts. Until now I was maybe nice to him. Solskjaer should just remember things that he said in the summer to Paul. I think Solskjaer may be frustrated for different reasons and is now mixing up some issues. I think that Solskjaer has other things to worry about. AT LEAST IF I WERE HIM I WOULD.” (Twitter)
OGS: “I don’t have to comment about Mino Raiola through the media, I can talk to him myself.” When asked if he would, Solskjær said: “Probably not.” (Post match interview)
MR: “The outcome was good for Man United (against Chelsea) so maybe I should do it more often. In all seriousness, I thought what Solskjaer said was out of line. He took parts of sentences of an interview of mine, and acted a little bit offended that I was offering Paul Pogba to other clubs without permission. If you read the whole interview I was asked if Paul would fancy Italy, and I said Italy is a second home, but that is not the case now as he is concentrated on Manchester United and getting back in the team as soon as possible and to make a great end of the season.
I’ve never said he is mine, but that doesn’t mean if I’m being asked something I cannot answer. The question was ‘would he like Italy?’ – what has that got to do with being Manchester United’s player. And saying that you are Manchester United’s player – are you owned by the club? I have been asked if he likes Italy, and I am answering as Mino Raiola; am I not allowed to do that? Am I not allowed to talk to you about things? Am I not allowed to talk about players I represent because they are owned by Manchester United, or Juventus, or Barcelona, or whatever other clubs there are in the world.
It’s a very strange thing to say as a journalist as the only thing you journalists do is talk about players and how they move and don’t move. Ole said he is owned by Manchester United as if somebody cannot have an opinion on a player, and that is what I took as an offence. I really think this is a strange way of questioning; I was not talking about Pogba in relation to Italy, I was asked something by an Italian journalist if Paul Pogba likes Italy. That was it.
Ole said he is owned by Manchester United and I have a principal problem with that; he is an employee, he is not owned by Manchester United. And being employee doesn’t mean I cannot have an opinion or say something I want to say. I have never spoken about Ole in the papers or the press, he always speaks about me. Whether it is about Haaland, or Pogba’s injury, or Pogba’s surgery, he is always talking about me – I’m not talking about him. I have a right to have an opinion, and I have a right to represent my players in the way I want and if that does not suit you that is your problem! The only thing I’m interested in is my players and they are happy to be represented that way.
United fans should read the whole interview. He is only committed to Manchester United until after the European Championship. The only focus there is is to get back as soon as possible into the team to help the team, and to make a good end of the season for Manchester United. That is what I said in Italy and that is what I am saying here. I am not trying to embarrass the club and I do not see where I offended them; I have not offended Manchester United, their owners or their fans in any way. He is committed to Manchester United and only Manchester United until the European Championship this year, and then we will talk to the club if necessary. That is what I said in Italy and that is what I say here – and all the rest is a bunch of bulls***.” (TalkSport)