Midfield general Paul Pogba should not be allowed to quit Manchester United and join Spanish giants Real Madrid, according to former Old Trafford star Paul Ince.
Instead of making the summer switch from the Premier League to La Liga to sign for the Bernabeu powerhouse, Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should sit the Frenchman down and explain that he is ready to rebuild United around him.
So says Ince, who won two Premier League title and two FA Cups in a six-year stint at the club after he signed from West Ham United back in 1989. But Ince cedes he may be clutching at straws to think Pogba will stay — and he says he hopes keeper David De Goa isn’t allowed to leave, either.
Pogba, who is aged 26, is being linked with Madrid and Galacticos coach Zinedine Zidan has made little secret of his intention to recruit the influential midfield mastermind. And while former England ace Ince agrees that Solskjaer needs to shuffle his pack in the transfer window, he is adamant that while others must be shown the door, Pogba should not be one on them.
In an interview with Paddy Power, he said: “There are players which need to move on if Ole wants to re-build. But also, there may well be a few players who seem to want to move on themselves regardless.
“The main culprit of that, I believe, is Paul Pogba. Ole needs to convince him that he’s going to build the team around him going forwards if he wants him to stay. Honestly, I don’t think Pogba will be at Old Trafford next season. Ole’s come in, changed the way he feels about the game since Jose Mourinho left and because his form has improved, the big boys have come calling again.
“It’s always hard when Real Madrid come knocking, but I’m not sure Pogba’s ever settled at United since he came back, and a move could be on the cards. It’s Ole’s job to do some convincing now, convince players like Pogba and David De Gea that they’re better off at Old Trafford.”
If you go by Pogba’s reaction to the reports that he is on his way, then it is a fair conclusion to think he will be Zidane’s player next season. He admitted: “Like I’ve always said, Real Madrid is a dream for anyone. It’s one of the biggest clubs in the world.”
Pogba was in the United team which failed to collect three points in their quest for a top four spot as they slumped to a 2-1 reverse at Wolves on Tuesday night. The defeat meant Solskjaer’s men missed the opportunity to jump to third in the Premier League. The visitors went 1-0 up when Scott McTominay’s low shot went in on 13 minutes.
But Wolves weren’t behind for long and levelled 12 minutes later thanks to Diogo Jota slotting home from a pass from Raul Jimenez. And to compound the misery for United, skipper Ashley Young was shown a red card just before the hour mark for a second booking following two fouls on Jota within a five-minute period.
Nuno Espirito Santo’s side snatched a second goal when David de Gea failed to collect the ball and it bounced awkwardly off defender Chris Smalling and into the back of the net.
Solskjaer praised Scott McTominay but said the defeat was a disappointment. He added: “We played some fantastic stuff, first 20 minutes we should have been two or three up and I’m not exaggerating, but we didn’t pounce on big moments in the game.
“Scott McTominay played really well tonight, he’s been excellent. He gave us a goal threat, energy and legs — I’m very pleased with him. There were a couple of mistakes from us. We gave them that first goal, we have to be honest.”