Ralf Rangnick has all but confirmed Paul Pogba has played his last game for Manchester United.
Pogba has been ruled out for four weeks with a calf injury he sustained in the 4-0 thrashing by Liverpool and he is out of contract on June 30. Rangnick said it is ‘most likely he won’t be here anymore next season’.
The 29-year-old’s 10th-minute substitution marks an appropriate end to a turbulent six-year career back at United. Although capable of brilliance, Pogba was too mercurial in a United shirt and revealed in former manager Jose Mourinho’s sacking on Twitter in 2018.
Read more: Rangnick gives team news vs Arsenal
Pogba wanted to leave United in 2019 but, due to unacceptable offers and the Covid-19 pandemic, he has been marooned at the club for the last three years. Exactly 10 years on from leaving on a free for Juventus in 2012, Pogba is about to run down his second United contract.
“He’s injured, he’s a player who won the World Cup with France, he’s such a good player that he was a regular starter for a team like France,” Rangnick said. “We all know what kind of potential he has and what kind of good player he can be.
“He was quite like a few other players struggling to get his best performance sustainably on the pitch for a team like Man United. This has not only been the case this season or in the last couple of weeks. As far as I remember it was also the case in earlier years.
“It’s difficult to say [why]. If myself or other coaches knew it would be easier to change that but I don’t know. Right now it doesn’t make sense to think about that because he won’t be available for tomorrow and most likely not for the upcoming games.
“As it seems right now he will not renew his contract and I don’t know, maybe the club or Erik [ten Hag] will not want to renew his contract, I don’t know. It’s most likely he won’t be here anymore next season.”
In a potential final riposte, Rangnick criticized Pogba’s game-management in the moments prior to Liverpool’s opening goal.
“Tomorrow it’s about showing the basics, being compact, coming behind the ball being able to attack and sprint in the right moments,” he said of the Arsenal match. “It was never part of the game plan to stand at the halfway line, even more so since Pogba was already hobbling across the pitch.
“He should have laid down or sat down on the ground but he was trying to hobble behind the referee and telling him that he’s injured. We were effectively one player down and still attacking high up and against a team like Liverpool, who is probably one of the best in the world in transitional moments, that wasn’t particularly smart from our side.
“For tomorrow we need to be compact, get close together we need to be on the front foot whenever it is possible to put them under pressure and then create our own transitional moments. This is the basics of the game.”
the Manchester Evening News revealed last month Paris Saint-Germain had submitted an offer to Pogba. Juventus are also interested in re-signing a player they sold for a then-world record £89million to United in 2016.
United’s remaining fixtures after this weekend’s trip to Arsenal are at home to Chelsea and Brentford and away at Brighton and Crystal Palace. The domestic season ends four weeks on Sunday.
George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.