Sir Alex Ferguson has explained why he allowed Paul Pogba to leave Manchester United – and blames his “untrustworthy” agent for his exit.
Pogba, now 22, left Manchester United to join Juventus on a free transfer in 2012 after refusing the offer of a new contract from Ferguson after reportedly growing frustrated with a lack of first-team opportunities at Old Trafford.
Pogba has since developed into one of the best midfielders in world football with a value of around £70million – but the manner of his Old Trafford exit has seen some people question the wisdom of Ferguson in allowing him to leave.
The likes of Real Madrid, Barcelona, Manchester City and Chelsea are among the clubs all keen on Pogba, but in his new book, Leading, he blames Raiola entirely for destroying the relationship between player and club.
He said: “There are one or two football agents I simply do not like, and Mino Raiola, Paul Pogba’s agent is one of them. I distrusted him from the moment I met him.
“We had Paul under a three-year contract, and it had a one-year renewal option which we were eager to sign.
“Raiola suddenly appeared on the scene and our first meeting was a fiasco. He and I were like oil and water.
“From then our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to integrate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus.”
Ferguson also expressed his disappointment that Class of ’92 graduates Gary Neville and Paul Scholes, two of the mainstays of his United team for well over a decade, are not part of the club’s coaching staff.
Both players are now working as TV pundits – Neville with Sky and Scholes with BT Sport – but Ferguson said: “I really wanted [Gary] Neville to be involved with our academy, but he got a contract with Sky and went into the television world.
“I was disappointed, as Gary’s character and attitude would have enhanced the club and Paul is one of the best assessors of a footballer within the game. I feel they were a loss to Manchester United.”
Sir Alex Ferguson’s book Leading with Michael Moritz is out today and available for £25 on hardback with Hodder & Stoughton