Mino Raiola claims Alex Ferguson did not “believe” in Paul Pogba during his first stint at Manchester United and says he does not “give a f***” whether he deals with the club again.
Pogba left United for Serie A powerhouse Juventus in 2012 – a year before Ferguson stood down as United manager – after his contract expired, only to re-join the Red Devils in 2016 for what was then a world record transfer fee of £89million.
The France midfielder’s future has been the subject of much discussion since Raiola claimed his client’s time at United was “over” in December, prompting speculation of a possible return to Juve or a move to LaLiga champions Real Madrid.
Pogba’s contract is set to expire in 2022, although United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer recently said an “open dialogue” about a new deal for the 28-year-old is ongoing.
Ferguson, who enjoyed a trophy-laden 26-year reign at Old Trafford, has publicly criticised Raiola for his role in Pogba’s departure, but the agent insists he wanted the World Cup winner to stay at the club.
“When Ferguson criticised me, that was my biggest compliment anybody could give me,” Raiola told The Athletic. “Ferguson is used to people coming in and [saying]: ‘Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir. Yes, sir’.
“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. Because I didn’t want to take Paul Pogba away. [Ferguson] didn’t believe in Paul Pogba.
“So when Ferguson says: ‘I don’t like him’, it’s the biggest compliment that I could have. It’s like saying Sepp Blatter says: ‘I don’t like him’. Fantastic. I don’t care what Ferguson says.”
Never shy of expressing an opinion, Raiola was typically forthright when asked how the Pogba situation has affected his relationship with United.
“I don’t give a f*** if I never do another player with Manchester United. I’m not in their hands,” he added.
“I’m independent. We have only one party that we take care of: our players. And as long as our players like us, you do what you have to do.”
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