Rio Ferdinand questions Mino Raiola’s handling of Paul Pogba’s Manchester United future

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has suggested that Mino Raiola’s handling of Paul Pogba’s future has increased levels of negativity being hurled at the midfielder.

The France international, who returned from a lengthy injury lay-off in United’s FA Cup defeat to Middlesbrough on Friday evening, is out-of-contract at Old Trafford this coming summer and is not expected to commit his future to the club.

Despite maintaining a stance that he will make a decision on his future at the end of the season, Pogba has been heavily linked with a move to the likes of Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain in recent months, making it fairly clear that he will not be signing a new deal at Old Trafford.

Although almost all United supporters have accepted that he will depart when his contract expires in June, a large number of them have been calling for greater levels of insight into what the future might hold for him.

Ferdinand, however, sees both sides of the coin, but understands why the supporters do want to know more.

“I just think that in all of these situations you just want clarity,” Ferdinand told Vibe with Five. “You want to know, as a fan, where your players stand, where their flag is being put.

“‘Are you on our side, are you in the middle, or are you thinking about going over there? Just give us a little bit of insight.’

“But at the same time I know from a player’s point of view that it is very difficult. When an agent comes in and antagonises situations, that then leaves the fans, and that player, especially the fans, very bitter, but that uncertainty and that antagonizing also makes the player look in a bad light.”

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Although Pogba has not spoken to the media much about his future, his agent, Raiola, has certainly not shied away, frequently discussing his client’s future in front of a TV camera.

With that in mind, Ferdinand believes it is impossible to have a “perfect scenario” when a player’s agent is speaking so openly to the watching world.

He continued: “My agent was certain of one thing: you don’t talk for me in public, unless I say. There is no way that there would have been mad quotes coming out from Pini Zahavi saying this, that and the other, I would have said: ‘OK, you can say that unless’.

“We don’t know where Paul sits with what his agent has said.

“Knowing Paul, he wants to play football. He wants to fulfill his potential, be as good as he can and win trophies, that is all that he cares about.

“He may be of the mind that his agent is speaking and he can say what he wants. But at the end of the day he may be saying: ‘My situation will get sorted, I’m cool’.

“He may not hear the noise from the fans and that might just be the way that he sits and that might be fine for him.

“Some fans won’t accept that, won’t want that and would want to have more clarity. But you can never have a perfect scenario when it comes to this type of thing.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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