The world of football continues to round on Paul Pogba and his agent, Mino Raiola, and frankly the pair only have themselves to blame.
Whatever the Frenchman’s reasons for wanting to leave Manchester United, there are ways and means of going about things properly.
Unfortunately, Raiola’s outburst earlier in the week, coming as it did right before an important Champions League game and the Manchester derby, reflects incredibly badly on the player.
Mino Raiola: “However, I think that the best solution for both Pogba and Man Utd is that he goes in the next transfer window. If not, the Old Trafford club know that they risk losing him on a free transfer as it is not Paul’s intention to extend his contract”. ? #MUFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 7, 2020
It’s difficult to judge whether it destabilised the Red Devils enough to be a factor in the elimination from the premier European tournament, but it can’t have helped.
Sky Sports pundit, Paul Merson, has joined in the condemnation, and he hasn’t held back.
“Raiola says the style of football doesn’t suit him. He’s playing in a football team. He’s not a snooker player. He plays with 10 other players. You join a team,” he said to Sky Sports.
“It’s not like Man Utd are the most defensive team you’ve ever seen. Look at Tottenham! I don’t hear Harry Kane and Son moaning. Go and play snooker if you want it to be all about you.
“He knew the statement was going out. It’s his agent. He might play dumb, he might turn around say he didn’t know, but of course he knows. He’ll also know there’s a club interested in him. Raiola would have spoken to a club that is interested in Paul Pogba.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has always backed his man, but surely even he will find it difficult to back him now.
If he’s able to get a reasonable fee for Pogba, then the time seems right to allow him to move on.