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Paul Pogba Would 'Have His Conflicts' with Zinedine Zidane, Says Franck Sale

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2019

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24: Paul Pogba of Manchester United looks on during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on August 24, 2019 in Manchester, United Kingdom. (Photo by Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images)
Sebastian Frej/MB Media/Getty Images

Franck Sale, the man who was key in discovering the talent of Paul Pogba, believes the player would struggle to work under a manager like Zinedine Zidane if he were to join Real Madrid from Manchester United.

The France international has been linked with a move to the Spanish capital throughout the summer, with his compatriot Zidane—also an elegant attacking midfielder—deemed by many to be an ideal mentor for Pogba.

Sale, who is the head of recruitment at Le Havre AC, told Optus Sport he isn't sure the United man and the Madrid manager would jell, saying Pogba struggles to deal with commanding personalities (h/t Kieran Francis of Goal):

"If Paul has a coach with a strong personality around him, in time there will be a clash somewhere.

"When he left for Juventus a few years ago, with Alex Ferguson that was very complicated too. Paul didn't concede because he has such a strong character. So when he says, 'I'm leaving', he's leaving.

"If tomorrow he goes to a big club like a Real Madrid, he'll still have his conflicts even with Zizou."

Optus Sport @OptusSport

Paul #Pogba went from the suburbs of #Paris to the top of the world 🌏 And the man who helped kick-start @paulpogba's journey says there's much more to come. Sit down with Franck Sale to find out about the rise, and rise of football's flashy Frenchman 🇫🇷 #OptusSport https://t.co/7UV3PD9FAl

Sale also self he feels as though Pogba would benefit from a transfer at this point of his career.

"I think he is becoming too comfortable at United," he said. "It's not as demanding for him as it was a few years ago. I think he is ready for a new challenge, that’s obvious. I can see him leaving for another big club searching for this new challenge."

As Francis noted, scouts working for Sale are said to have identified the talent of a then-12-year-old Pogba when he was playing on a city ground in Paris. He was signed by Le Havre before being picked up by United's academy in 2009.

Since then, he has become one of the biggest names in the game and has been a rumoured target of Los Blancos. Football blogger Liam Canning can see why United are holding firm against interest, though:

Liam Canning @LiamPaulCanning

At the end of the day, Manchester United have to accept a bid they deem worthy for Paul Pogba. They're in a strong position for once and will not just let him walk out the door for pennies. It's down to Real Madrid to pay up or leave it for another year. No need to panic.

Pogba excelled in a spell at Juventus, with whom he won four Serie A titles, and he was also one of France's most impressive performers when they lifted the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

At United, he won the EFL Cup and UEFA Europa League in the first term of his second spell, although he hasn't hit the consistent heights many feel his talent should warrant.

He has often been let down by the structure of the side around him. Last season, he topped a number of statistical categories for the team:

Squawka Football @Squawka

📂 Man Utd └📁 2018-19 └📁 Premier League └📁 Player stats └📁 Most goals └💿 Pogba └📁 Most assists └💿 Pogba └⚠️ Are you sure you want to open all files of this type? https://t.co/G8SD7dpjDw

As Sale references, Pogba has had his clashes with big personalities at United, most notably former manager Jose Mourinho.

Early last season, Mourinho confirmed the vice-captaincy had been taken away from the Frenchman amid speculation he also told the player he would never wear the armband for the club again.

Mourinho lost his job in December after a torrid start to the 2018-19 season, and in April, he said he always felt as though he risked losing his job if he mistreated "His Excellency," per James Ducker of the Daily Telegraph.