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Liverpool and Man City theory raised over Man Utd ace Paul Pogba after transfer confession | Football | Sport


That’s the opinion of ESPN FC pundit Craig Burley.

Paul Pogba announced yesterday in Tokyo that it “could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else” just three years after returning to Manchester United from Juventus.

While the France international has won the Carabao Cup and the Europa League at Old Trafford since coming back to his former club in an £89million move in the summer of 2016, challenges for major honours have been non-existent.

After finishing 19 points adrift of first-placed Manchester City in 2017-18, United ended up in sixth last season with the gap to the champions having grown to 32 points as they watched neighbours City win back-to-back titles.

Second-placed Liverpool ended 31 points ahead, with the Reds and City in their own battle altogether compared to Chelsea, Tottenham, Arsenal and United who duked it out for the remaining Champions League spots.

The Red Devils ultimately finished bottom of the ‘big six’ duel in sixth place, with five points separating them and the top four. 

And player-turned-pundit Burley suspects that Pogba is wary Ole Gunnar Solskjaer faces a huge overhaul at United given the gap in quality between them and their two biggest rivals.

But he also suspects part of Pogba’s reason to leave United for the second time in hi career stems from the regular criticism he has received since coming back to England from Italy three years ago.

Burley told ESPN FC: “If anyone’s surprised he wants to leave, then I’m surprised that they’re surprised! I’m not surprised that he wants out. 

“I think it’s been relatively clear within his performances, although his stats are not bad. Stats don’t always tell the whole story. 

“We didn’t see enough of Paul Pogba. But then again he wasn’t in the greatest of sides. 

“I think there’s two things here. One, I think clearly there’s a guy who’s heart is not in this club and doesn’t want to play. 

“The reason is, one he’s had a lot of stick, two the club doesn’t seem to be going anywhere and three, they’ve named a manager who isn’t [established] and they’ve not made any signings and don’t look like they’re going to be making much headway, certainly early in the transfer market. 

“So therefore he’s thinking, ‘Well are we going to track down Liverpool and Man City or am I going to have another year of a couple of average signings? And everybody says, ‘Paul Pogba’s not playing well again’.’ 

“I think, I’m just surmising, that’s probably the way he’s looking at it.”

BBC Sport insider Simon Stone says that despite Pogba’s comments, United remain keen to keep the World Cup winner.

He said on Twitter: “Might be posturing on all sides but my understanding is that Man Utd believe Pogba will still be at Old Trafford next season.”

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