Paul Pogba's Agent Mino Raiola: Man United Would Ruin Pele, Maradona, Maldini

Christopher Simpson@@CJSimpsonBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2019

TURIN, ITALY - JULY 17: Agent Mino Raiola accompanies Matthijs De Ligt as he arrives in Turin ahead of his signing with Juventus FC on July 17, 2019 in Turin, Italy. (Photo by Stefano Guidi/Getty Images)
Stefano Guidi/Getty Images

Paul Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, has hit out at Manchester United amid rumours his client could leave the club. 

Per MailOnline's Sam Blitz, Real Madrid and the Frenchman's former club, Juventus, are among those who have been linked with a move for him.

Raiola told La Repubblica (h/t Blitz):

"Pogba's problem is Manchester United. It's a club out of touch with reality and without a sporting project.

"I wouldn't take anyone there. They would even ruin [Diego] Maradona, Pele and [Paolo] Maldini.

"Paul needs a club and a squad, one like Juventus was before."

Pogba rejoined United in 2016 for a then-world record £89 million fee after four years with Juve.

Raiola's comments come after another of his clients, Erling Haaland, opted to join Borussia Dortmund ahead of United.

Pogba is contracted at Old Trafford until 2021, so he'll have just one year left on his deal by the end of the season. Given Raiola's comments, it may be more likely the midfielder will be on the move in the summer than penning fresh terms.

Ankle problems have restricted Pogba to just eight appearances this season. His most recent was as a second-half substitute against Newcastle United in the Red Devils' 4-1 win on Boxing Day.

It was an impressive performance, and football statistician Dave O'Brien provided the numbers behind it:

Rob Blanchette @_Rob_B

I love Scott McTominay. He's been a revelation. But #MUFC had a Rolls-Royce running the midfield in the second half. United fans have to understand what Paul Pogba does. The nuance and the tactical brain he provides. The forwards punished everything. #MUNNEW

Statman Dave @StatmanDave

Paul Pogba’s game by numbers vs. Newcastle United (45 minutes): 100% successful take-ons 91% pass accuracy 5/6 long balls 4 ball recoveries 3 shots (2 on target) 3 tackles won 2 key passes Good to have him back. 👍👍👍 https://t.co/cGZmIj3Fa2

The 26-year-old has shown plenty of flashes of his considerable talent since he returned to Old Trafford, but he has had difficulty demonstrating it consistently.

While the player himself bears some responsibility for that, so too do United for failing to support him with the personnel or structure that can get the best out of him.

The club's lack of coherent recruitment and philosophy in recent years has made it difficult for their more talented players, Pogba included, to shine.

United will need to address that if they're to return to the summit of English football, and they'll need to learn the lessons from their struggles in making the most of Pogba if and when they need to replace him.