English Premiership

Raiola admits Pogba has struggled this season

Paul Pogba (PA Images)
Paul Pogba (PA Images)

Mino Raiola admitted Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is "going through a tough time" as the super-agent revealed his intention to take a "great player" to Real Madrid this summer.

Having returned to Old Trafford from Juventus in a then world-record deal in 2016, the 27-year-old last summer publicly admitted he was open to a new challenge.

Raiola's comments fuelled speculation at the time and have continued to punctuate a poor season for Pogba, whose ankle problems have restricted him to just eight appearances in all competitions.

What appeared to be an imminent return has been halted by the coronavirus pandemic, meaning the Frenchman had to train at his house with United team-mate Victor Lindelof on Wednesday.

"Paul is going through a tough time," Raiola said.

"However, let's be clear, because in England they are very sensitive, Pogba is only focusing on bringing a great end to the season with Manchester United.

"He wants to come back into the team and ensure that United can reach the Champions League."

Asked about Pogba's future, his agent told Marca: "You can never say what will happen, today we just don't know.

"At this moment, the only things that matter are the club and the team.

"Then, after, we can see what is possible; there was great interest in him last year, but it wasn't possible. We'll see what happens."

Sensitivities regarding Raiola's comments are understandable given ongoing speculation about Pogba's future, so his views about taking a client to Real Madrid this summer will naturally raise eyebrows.

Zinedine Zidane is a well-known admirer of the France international, whose United contract runs to 2021 with the option of an additional year.

"I definitely want to take a great player to Real Madrid, and I will try to do so this summer," said Raiola, whose client Erling Haaland recently spurned United for Borussia Dortmund.

"It would be a source of pride for me and my players because Real Madrid are a great club.

"My relationship with Los Blancos is very good. I am in contact with Jose Angel (Sanchez) and I love discussing football with him."

- TEAMtalk media

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