Outspoken pundit Gary Neville has torn into Paul Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola, stating he does not “believe a word that comes out of that man’s mouth.”
A veritable war of words has begun between the Man Utd legend and the super agent, with Raiola recently name-checking the ex-right-back as he spoke on the future of his client.
Regarding links to Real Madrid, Raiola said of Pogba (via the Metro): “There was an interest from Real Madrid but they didn’t let him go and I’m sorry, because I think that Paul being French then Zidane is an important factor in French football history.
“Paul is not the guy I hear about from Neville and all the frustrated ex-players who say, “he should be ashamed of this, ashamed of that.
“Ashamed of what? He is working every day and doing his best. He’s not complaining that there is no Champions League. ‘Is he perfect? Nobody is. Is he also responsible for failure? He feels so. If you are in a team you are responsible for failure.”
Following Pogba’s return to action in the 2-0 defeat to Watford, an impassioned Neville fired back in his role as a pundit on Sky Sports, saying: “That’s good. That’s great news.
“Ultimately, I look forward to him being at the club for the next two or three years.
“If he is, I’ll be delighted because a flying, fit, motivated and committed Paul Pogba is a massive asset to Manchester United.
“But I don’t believe a word his agent says. I don’t believe a word that comes out of that man’s mouth.”
While Pogba’s performances have sometimes lacked consistency in a Utd shirt, there can be no doubt about the quality he possesses when on form.
Losing the Frenchman would be a massive blow to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the Red Devils, a scenario Neville believes Utd must avoid at all costs.
‘The only thing I would say is that Paul Pogba is extremely ambitious,” said Neville.
“I think he wants to win trophies, I think he sees this as being the peak years of his career and he wants to play at a club that can actually challenge.
“Manchester United as a football club have to act quickly in the transfer market to get the right quality of players in to, not just keep Paul Pogba, because that’s above and beyond them but they have to do it anyway.”
“It’s not a good look when your best player is saying he wants to leave because his team is not good enough.
“What I want is the best player in the club saying: “I’m going to get this club right, I’m going to get this team right.”
“That might be my allegiance to Manchester United making me see that but it’s my club and I want my players at my club to think like that.
“Ultimately, I think Manchester United have got a job to do which is to get better players into the club quickly who are experienced players who can help those young lads that have got some talent but also in return they want that player in Paul Pogba.”
Man Utd’s transfer policy over the past few years has been criticised for failing to bring in the right profile of player.
Ageing stars the likes of Falcao and Bastian Schweinsteiger endured tough times at Old Trafford, mistakes Neville is keen for his former club to avoid in the future.
“They’ve got young players who need some experience. I’m not talking about 35-year-olds. My point is Manchester United need a spine of a team that have got more experience than they’ve currently got”
‘They need players who are probably from the age of 26 to 29 who are of the right quality, who are in the second phase in their career who have lived through the younger years and can help the likes of [Mason] Greenwood, [Marcus] Rashford, [Scott] McTominay and [Aaron] Wan-Bisakka at right-back.
“There’s lots of young players in that team that have got potential but they do need some quality alongside them and a bit of maturity. They need some short term experience in that squad.
“I don’t want them to bring in Falcao or Schweinsteiger at the end of their careers who are coming for a swansong, I want them to bring in players who are at the top of their game who have their best years in front of them but are not 21 or 22 anymore, maybe 24, 25, 26.”