Football

Pogba hasn’t played enough for Real Madrid to be genuinely interested in him

Goal: The Manchester United midfielder continues to be linked with a switch to Spain, but a former star at Santiago Bernabeu doubts a deal will be sought

Paul Pogba “hasn’t played enough” this season for Real Madrid to be “genuinely interested in him”, says former Blancos star Steve McManaman.

Speculation continues to suggest that the Manchester United midfielder is a top transfer target for those at Santiago Bernabeu.

Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has helped to keep the rumour mill ticking over with regular admissions of all options being considered when it comes to another change of scenery.

A return to Juventus for the World Cup winner has also been mooted, with form and fitness issues having blighted a second stint at Old Trafford.

McManaman is not convinced that Real will join a transfer scramble for Pogba if one is sparked, as he has been restricted to just eight appearances for United in an injury-ravaged 2019-20 campaign.

The ex-Madrid winger told HorseRacing.net: “He hasn’t played enough football this season for sides like Madrid to be genuinely interested in him.

“If he stays, plays and gets back to full fitness at Manchester United, I certainly think that he will get back into the starting XI very easily.

“Nemanja Matic is a year older, Juan Mata is a year older and Paul is definitely good enough to play in those positions alongside Bruno Fernandes, so I don’t think there’s any problem there.

“He’s certainly got the quality to play in the Manchester United midfield as long as he’s fit and healthy, but we’ve been waiting to hear from Paul Pogba all year regarding his future.

“Pogba has yet to say whether he wants to stay or whether he wants to leave.”

Pogba admitted in the summer of 2019 that he was ready to take on a new challenge, having faced regular rounds of criticism throughout his time at United.

No deal was done then and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has maintained that the 27-year-old remains part of his future plans.

The Red Devils have moved to bring alternative options into their engine room, with Portugal international Fernandes settling quickly in new surroundings, while transfer talk is never far away when it comes to possible raids on Aston Villa or Leicester for Jack Grealish and James Maddison.

A fully-fit Pogba would expect to still figure prominently for the Red Devils regardless of who they bring in, but issues outside of his control are currently conspiring against him – with a return to training made just as competitive football shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Source: Published by Goal

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