Mino Raiola, Paul Pogba’s agent announces his client will leave Old Trafford as his time is over in a move that will infuriate Solskjaer before the Leipzig clash.
Pogba’s future has been the subject of speculations for months though he remained at Old Trafford in the extended summer transfer window. However, sensationally, Mino Raiola declared his client, Paul Pogba’s Manchester United career is over. The timing of the agent’s bombshell could not be worse for Solskjaer’s side on the eve of a do-or-die Champions League clash with RB Leipzig.
Raiola said, “I can say that it’s over for Paul Pogba at Manchester United”.
Raiola’s short statement could have massive ramifications and whip up a frenzy of distraction at precisely the point Solskjaer is in need of absolute focus on the task at hand.
United require at least a draw against Leipzig in Germany this coming Tuesday night to guarantee a place in the knockout stages.
And, consequently, the fallout from Pogba’s agent is likely to rumble on ahead of their crunch derby clash with Manchester City on Saturday.
On Saturday, Italian outlet Corriere dello Sport reported that a “divorce” is on the way between United and Pogba and that it was just a matter of Raiola finding the right offer.
Pogba is still United’s record signing at £89million but has never been shy about teasing a move away from the club he left as an academy star for Juventus before returning to much fanfare.
Back in October he described a possible move to Real Madrid as “a dream”, in comments that were dismissed by Solskjaer, who asserted that his midfielder would be with United for another two years.
Pogba’s current deal expires at the end of the season but United have the option to trigger an extension of another year.
Solskjaer said two months ago, “he’s going to be here for another two years and I’m sure he’s focused on doing his best for us”.
“We want to see the best for Paul and I’m sure in the next couple of years we’ll get the best out of him”.
And Raiola’s latest update is in stark contrast to the news he broke back in August when he said, “Pogba is key player for Man Utd, they’ve an important project and he’s 100% included. We’re going to speak about a new contract soon, no stress”.
Juventus and Real Madrid have both previously been considered the major two contenders for Pogba’s signature but the uncertainty of the transfer market in the coronavirus pandemic meant neither made a move for him.
Raiola has consistently been a thorn in United’s side and back in July said, “Everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on. Everyone knows what the feelings of Paul are. Everyone within the club from the manager to the owner knows Paul’s wishes”.
Solskjaer’s response was, “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”.
And the United boss even admitted Raiola’s representation of Erling Haaland was part of the reason the club did not complete a deal for the rising star, who opted for Borussia Dortmund.
Back in January, he said: “It’s important that we use common sense. There are other things too when you sign players, that you have to keep in control. You can’t give agents the control by giving buyout clauses and stuff”.
The war of words became such a distraction earlier in the year that Gary Neville branded Raiola a “leech” and “disgrace”.
And after the public tit-for-tat lay dormant for a while, the agent’s latest revelation will no doubt reignite the furor around him, Pogba, and United in the weeks to come.