News Live Scores
Manchester United

'I wouldn't want Pogba in my dressing room' - Souness re-opens war of words with Man Utd star

09:38 WAT 11/08/2019
Paul Pogba Manchester United 2019-20
The ex-Liverpool midfielder believes the France international's actions during the summer have further destabilised matters at Old Trafford

Former Liverpool boss Graeme Souness has renewed hostilities with Manchester United’s Paul Pogba ahead of Sunday’s season-opener, claiming he would not want the midfielder in his dressing room if he was in charge at Old Trafford.

France international Pogba has endured an unsettling summer, but has offered reassurances to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer that he will not create a divide in the dressing room, and is even understood to be under consideration for the club’s captaincy ahead of the new campaign.

The 2018 World Cup winner became the subject of almost constant speculation during the off-season, with a purported move to Real Madrid and subsequent rumours regarding his old club Juventus top of the agenda.

However, ex-Scotland international and Sky Sports pundit Souness, who has a history of launching scathing attacks on the 26-year-old in front of the cameras, has questioned whether the player remains fully committed ahead of the Red Devils’ curtain-raiser with Chelsea. 

Romelu Lukaku, who left the club to join Inter on Thursday after a similarly destabilising spell, has also found himself in the line of fire, with suggestions that the pair are the reason United missed out on Champions League qualification last season.

Speaking to The Times, Souness said: “If I’m sitting in United’s dressing room, I’m glad Lukaku has gone and don’t want Pogba in there with me either if he’s not up for the fight ahead and is also keen to get away.

“They’re as responsible as anybody for the predicament United are in, yet have effectively said to their team-mates: ‘It’s everybody else’s fault’.

“No, let’s get it right, lads, you’re part of the reason United are not in the Champions League this year.

“Madrid are looking to nick Pogba on the cheap because they’re suspicious of his form, while Inter haggled over the asking price for Lukaku because he didn’t pull up any trees at United either.”

United forward Marcus Rashford, who could play a pivotal role up front following Lukaku’s move to Italy, also found himself being questioned by the former Rangers and Newcastle boss. 

The 21-year-old, alongside the likes of Anthony Martial, will form the backbone of Solskjaer’s attack, but Souness says the England man might not be up to the job.

"I’m not convinced he’s ready for it yet,” he added. “It’s not ideal and it would not have happened under (former manager) Fergie (Sir Alex Ferguson).”