Paul Pogba’s future continues to be up in the air, and those links away from Manchester United just won’t go away.
The French midfielder has left United in spectacular fashion in the past, when he walked away from Old Trafford in order to sign for Juventus.
Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, has recently stated that he never wanted to take the midfielder away from United, but that Sir Alex Ferguson simply refused to play ball over a bumper new contract.
Just four years later, and with Ferguson long retired, United broke the world transfer record to re-sign Pogba for £89million.
Raiola recently insisted that the Glazer family told him he was right to take Pogba to Italy to continue his development.
So, what happened to lead to the talented wonderkid walking out of United after three years in Manchester?
Impressing in the youth team
Pogba didn’t just appear out of nowhere and start making demands, he had worked his way through the academy system at United.
The French teen had joined from Le Havre and went on to thrive in the youth sides, including the FA Youth Cup-winning side of 2011.
Pogba was promoted to the first-team mid-way through the 2010-11 season and given the number 42 shirt, but remained in the under-18 team and flourished.
The fateful Blackburn game
The final straw for Pogba came during a Premier League match against Blackburn Rovers on New Year’s Eve 2011.
Despite dropping Wayne Rooney, Jonny Evans and Darren Gibson, coupled with Michael Carrick having to play at the back, Pogba remained on the bench.
Right-back Rafael was started in the middle of midfield in his place, as Pogba watched United crumble to a 3-2 defeat. Despite Will Keane and Anderson coming off the bench, Pogba stayed put.
That proved to be the straw that broke the camel’s back for Pogba, who left at the end of that season.
Ferguson vs Raiola
Ferguson and Raiola never saw eye to eye, and the legendary Scotsman blamed the super-agent almost exclusively for Pogba’s departure.
Writing in his autobiography, Ferguson claimed: ““We had Paul under a three-year contract, and it had a one-year renewal option which we were eager to sign. But Raiola suddenly appeared on the scene and our first meeting was a fiasco.
“He and I were like oil and water. From then on, our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to ingratiate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus.”
Raiola recalls the debacle through a different lens, and insists he never wanted to take Pogba away from Old Trafford.
Speaking to The Athletic last week, the Dutch-Italian agent blamed Ferguson for not believing in Pogba’s potential.
“All I have to say that when Ferguson left Manchester United the club’s owner [the Glazers], by buying back Paul Pogba, told me that I was right,” he said.
“Because I didn’t want to take Paul Pogba away. He [Ferguson] didn’t believe in Paul Pogba.”