Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ferguson comments on Pogba come to light as talk of Man Utd signing perfect replacement hots up

Man Utd midfielder Paul Pogba being patted on the shoulder by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in 2021

Legendary Manchester United boss Sir Alex Ferguson reportedly told French goalkeeper Pascal Olmeta that Paul Pogba would have issues if he was not surrounded by the right people, years before the France star’s current struggles.

Pogba’s form that been inconsistent under Red Devils Ole Gunnar Solskjaer so far this season. And, with his contract winding down, the club have a big decision to make over whether to offer the 28-year-old a new deal or cut their losses and allow him to move on.

United thought they had snagged a real coup when they re-signed the midfielder from Juventus in 2016. However, Pogba’s form has been incredibly hit and miss since his return to Manchester.

His current deal expires at the end of the season and, at this stage, there is no sign of a renewal. Indeed, Red Devils legend Rio Ferdinand believes Pogba should not sign one.

That has led to the likes of Barcelona, Real Madrid and PSG are declaring an interest. A return to former club Juve has also been mooted.

His latest performance was another struggle, with Pogba being taken off after 69 minutes of the 2-2 draw at Atalanta in the Champions League. The Frenchman struggled alongside Scott McTominay in a two-man United midfield, with Red Devils legend Paul Scholes particularly scathing of the player.

He said: “[Pogba] needs somebody on him all the time… somebody there that he totally respects, he needs experienced people behind him.

“How old he? 28? He’s a really experienced player. But he’s one of them that will get to 35 and be exactly the same.

“He’ll still be doing the stupid stuff where he’s stud rolling the ball, holding people off showing how strong and skilful he is.

“The biggest thing with Paul is his concentration. He goes away with the fairies at times.

“You think of the Juventus team he played in, where he was brilliant and was why we signed him.

“The experience around him – [Andrea] Pirlo, [Giorgi] Chiellini, [Leonardo] Bonucci, [Gianluigi] Buffon, an aggressive manager…

“He will need that treatment until he’s 35.”

And, now, former French goalkeeper Olmeta has claimed that Ferguson foresaw those very issues while Pogba was coming through United’s academy.

He told RMC Sport: “I was invited to Manchester United training by Sir Alex Ferguson.

“I went there with two children from my charity. I had lunch with him and he told me about Paul Pogba, who was 17.

“He told me: ‘You see this player, he will be extraordinary, full of talent. He will be at the top. But he’s a dreamer, and if no one is there to show him the way, he will never make it’.

“It was a few years ago, and today, we are in this debate.”

It would appear that Ferguson was bang on, with Pogba never really fulfilling his talent – at Old Trafford anyway.

United now have to decide if they want to cash in in January to recoup some sort of fee. Alternatively, they could let him agree a move to a foreign club and lose him for nothing next summer.

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Pogba replacement already on United’s radar

Meanwhile, talk has ramped up over United’s bid to bring Pogba’s potential replacement to Old Trafford.

According to Football Insider, United have sent scouts to observe Monaco star Aurelien Tchouameni during the French club’s game against PSV on Thursday.

The 21-year-old has developed into a fine midfielder under the tutelage of Niko Kovac. Indeed, Pogba has even spoken about the youngster being the future of the France national team for years to come.

Tchouameni has also kept up his impressive form this term. He has scored twice in 18 appearances in all competitions for Monaco.

Several clubs are known to be in the running for his signature, with a fee of £40milliom mooted.

But the fact that United have extensively scouted him for some time, means a bid is almost certainly expected – if they get the nod to do so.

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