Paul Pogba: 'Inevitable is going to happen' after agent says Man Utd player is unhappy

Paul Pogba sits on the Manchester United bench
Paul Pogba came on as a second-half substitute as Manchester United were knocked out of the Champions League

Paul Pogba needs to leave Manchester United and a transfer away from the club would suit everyone involved, says their former defender Phil Neville.

The Frenchman's agent Mino Raiola said on Monday the midfielder is "unhappy" and "needs to change teams".

Pogba, 27, returned to Old Trafford for £89m in 2016 but has endured a turbulent second spell at the club.

"Ultimately, the inevitable is going to happen that Pogba has to leave United," Neville told BBC Radio 5 Live.

Pogba came off the United bench and scored as they were eliminated from the Champions League with a 3-2 defeat by RB Leipzig on Tuesday.

He has made only eight Premier League appearances this season, starting five, and scored his first league goal of the campaign on Saturday.

"The agent's comments, to me, were pre-planned, pre-rehearsed - knowing when Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was doing his press conference, knowing exactly the right words to use," added Neville, referring to the fact Raiola's emerged after Solskjaer had spoken to the media on Monday.

"When I read those comments I wasn't surprised; it wasn't a bombshell. Paul is not happy - he doesn't look happy, he's not playing to his full potential and hasn't been for a long time.

"Ultimately, the inevitable is going to happen that Pogba has to leave United. The sooner you get rid of players like Pogba, players who don't want to be there - in a dressing room that's thinking about the long term with energy and that vision of maybe going to win something - you have to sieve out the weeds.

"At the moment Pogba needs to get out of that dressing room and that would suit everyone at United and Pogba as well."

'Timing is disgusting'

Rio Ferdinand spent 12 years at Manchester United and witnessed striker Wayne Rooney's flirtation with a move away from Old Trafford in 2013.

The former defender told BT Sport that Solskjaer and the club should look to how Sir Alex Ferguson handled that situation as a guide for what to do with World Cup winner Pogba.

"The timing is disgusting from an important player's agent but I'm going to shift the focus to Manchester United, to Solskjaer and to [executive vice-chairman] Ed Woodward," said Ferdinand.

Wayne Rooney and Sir Alex Ferguson
Rooney tried to leave Old Trafford twice in three seasons but was not allowed to do so by Ferguson

"How are you allowing an agent to come in and talk like this? This isn't the first time Mino has spoken about it. They should have nipped it in the bud the first time it happened.

"I was at United when Rooney was talking about leaving. Ferguson went in the media and said he's being advised badly by his agent and I'm going to nip it in the bud. A few days later he signed a new contract.

"If I was a player I'd say 'shut up, don't speak on my behalf and make me look bad'. Pogba should own that situation, don't be dictated to. Every other player who comes in, their agent is going to be in the paper talking if they're disgruntled.

"Donny van de Beek comes in, doesn't play and after the first month his agent's speaking in the media. How is that happening?

"This affects the mood at the club and the more Manchester United allow this to happen, the more they are under a cloud.

"Georginio Wijnaldum is an important player at Liverpool who wasn't playing earlier in the season. He's got a new contract being negotiated maybe. You don't see his agent come out and talk because you know he'd get slapped down by [Jurgen] Klopp."

'You've got to ask Paul if he's happy or not'

Solskjaer's first opportunity to speak publicly about Raiola's comments came in his pre-match interview on the pitch in Leipzig.

He dismissed the suggestion the comments had been a distraction in the build-up to the game, saying his decision to omit Pogba from the starting line-up was "tactical".

After the match, he added: "You've got to ask Paul if he's happy or not happy, I can't speak for him. He's working hard in training and he needs to focus on his performances.

"Now is not the time to discuss transfer ins and outs at the club."

In his news conference, Solskjaer said: "As soon as Paul's agent realises it is a team sport, the better. I don't want to spend energy on that."

Former United midfielder Scholes said he "does not think the club has to respond" to Raiola's comments.

"Paul Pogba is the problem," he told BT Sport. "He pays this man to represent him and he represents him badly because Paul is a good lad, but looking from the outside people will think he's a bad lad and is trouble in the dressing room. He isn't. He either needs to tell him to shut up or he sacks him.

"Manchester United have enough on their plate trying to get the team where they need to be.

"A leader in the dressing room like Harry Maguire should be saying to him in the dressing room 'ring your agent on the way home and tell him to shut up or sack him'."

Another former United midfielder, Owen Hargreaves, added: "The only person who gains out of this is the agent.

"Manchester United haven't got the player they anticipated, Pogba's stock isn't where it was. Paul is a good kid but he shouldn't let the agent talk."

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