That’s the verdict of ESPN FC pundit Craig Burley, who however admits he can somewhat see why Paul Pogba wants to depart Old Trafford.The France mi
That’s the verdict of ESPN FC pundit Craig Burley, who however admits he can somewhat see why Paul Pogba wants to depart Old Trafford.
The France midfielder admitted yesterday: “There is a lot of thinking [going on]. I have been three years in Manchester and have been doing great – some good moments and some bad moments, like everybody, like everywhere else.
“After this season and everything that happened, with my season being my best season. It could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else.”
The 26-year-old has long been heavily linked with Real Madrid, with a return to Juventus another mooted possibility, though both would seemingly need to generate sales to afford a big-money move for Pogba.
The World Cup winner has been tipped to leave the Red Devils for the second time in his career for some time and appeared near an exit under Jose Mourinho, who has since been replaced by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Manchester United.
Yet while the Norwegian is said to be keen to make Pogba a focal point of his side going forward, United’s club-record signing – who cost a then-world record £89m when he signed from Juve in the summer of 2016 – sees himself at pastures anew.
And Burley believes Pogba may be quitting while it’s convenient, given that United are without Champions League football next season after finishing sixth in the Premier League.
He likened United academy graduate Pogba’s decision to go public with his wish to leave with the exit of Di Maria, who departed the club for Paris Saint-Germain after 12 underwhelming months following a £59.7m move from Real Madrid.
Yet former Chelsea and Celtic midfielder Burley acknowledges the current state of United means for players of Pogba’s ilk, there is no confidence in the club to be a threat on the domestic or European stage in the immediate future.
Burley told ESPN FC: “I’m kind of with him [Pogba] and I’m not.
“I thought Angel di Maria caved in too early and wanted to take the easy street to PSG when the chips were down and in some sense I think he’s doing the same because the chips are down.
“But then that’s arguably one of the reasons why he wants to get out. I think there’s a 50-50 blame here in my opinion.
“I don’t think he can see enough structure behind the scenes to think, ‘What age am I now? Europa League football? Finishing third, fourth, fifth, in the Premier League. Is that really what I want to be doing?’
“I think he sees that where United are going to be, barring a miracle, and he thinks it’s time to go.
“You can say, ‘He’s not rolling his sleeves up.’ The other side of the coin is, ‘Well he’s had enough of bad management behind the scenes.’
“Quite clearly, what he’s saying here in a roundabout way is, ‘This football club is not going anywhere in the structure and the people making the decisions are not good enough to take this club back to where they need to go and back to where they should be going.’”