Rio Ferdinand has blasted Man Utd for their failure to deal with big-name players and agents over the past few years.
Recent reports suggest trouble is brewing at Old Trafford, as players are frustrated with the club’s disappointing performances and lack of direction. A damning report from The Mirror last week put 11 players in the mix to leave Man Utd.
Among them were Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Donny van de Beek and Jesse Lingard. They all apparently want to move on in search of regular game time.
There is also a power struggle over the future of World Cup-winning midfielder Paul Pogba. The Frenchman’s agent, Mino Raiola, appears eager to secure his client a move to Real Madrid, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain.
That is despite Man Utd putting an astonishing £500,000-per-week contract on the table in recent days.
Reacting to the trouble surrounding his former club, Ferdinand said (via the Daily Mail): “I think Man Utd’s biggest mistake they’ve made in recent years is allowing certain players and people externally who are part of players’ circles and networks to disrespect the club publicly.
“They haven’t slammed the door shut in their face and really put them people in the place they should be.
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“You can’t allow that because the minute you allow that once, one step out of line, other players and people in their circles start thinking ‘oh he got away with it, I’ll say my thing because there’s no repercussions, my player isn’t going to come under any type of fire at the club,’ no.
“You nail that person immediately and I don’t understand… that’s the mistake [the] hierarchy at the football club in recent years have done poorly.”
Ferdinand added: “They’ve let stuff slide too much. They’ve got to be drilled those people.”
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Meanwhile, Axel Tuanzebe’s agent has been speaking about the defender’s recent exit from Aston Villa.
Tuanzebe joined the Villans on a season-long loan from United, only for it to be cut short recently. He will now spend the rest of the campaign at Italian side Napoli.
The player’s brother, Dimitri, also acts as his representative. The agent said recently: “I have a lot of mixed emotions when it comes to Axel’s time at Villa. He is loved by the fans as he contributed highly to the club’s success in the Championship. He was one of the key players that helped Villa return to the Premier League.
“However, following the arrival of Steven Gerrard at Villa Park, it felt as if the rivalry between Man United and Liverpool came to life.
“For the avoidance of doubts, Axel was very open to staying at Villa, he loves the fans, being in Birmingham. However, he also has a career that he can only build and reach his full potential in an environment where opportunities to play are fair.”