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'Pogba’s heart isn’t fully in it at Man Utd' - Real Madrid target has 'one eye on the exit door', says Ince

08:35 WAT 13/08/2019
Paul Pogba Manchester United 2019-20
The former Red Devils midfielder believes a World Cup winner at Old Trafford would still prefer to secure a switch before the summer ends

Paul Pogba’s heart “isn’t fully in it at Manchester United”, says Paul Ince, with the Real Madrid target keeping “one eye on the exit door”.

A World Cup winner at Old Trafford has spent much of the summer seeing his future called into question.

No move was made before the Premier League transfer window closed, however, with Pogba handed a starting berth by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in United’s season-opening 4-0 win over Chelsea.

The France international did make an important contribution in that contest, as he played a part in goals for Marcus Rashford and Daniel James, but Ince believes the player is still looking for a way out.

The former Red Devils midfielder told Paddy Power: "Before the game, I was concerned about the Paul Pogba situation and how the fans would react.

"The way he went about his business this summer, saying he wanted to leave, I wondered what the supporters would do. But he owes the fans because their reception was good.

"He must’ve been sceptical about the reaction he was going to get, but you have to applaud the fans because it couldn’t have been easy seeing him behave like that.

"That could have really impacted the way the team played, if all the focus was on Pogba and there was a negative environment for him.

"It has an impact on all the players, too, they wonder whether they’re going to walk out and he will be slaughtered – and it means he, once again, becomes the centre of attention.

"That being said, it’s clear that his heart isn’t fully in it at Man United and you can see that from how he played against Chelsea.

"Sometimes his concentration levels weren’t as they should have been – maybe he still has it in his mind that he’s going to get away before the European window shuts in a couple of weeks.

"He’s saying all the right things off the pitch, but I wonder if that’s because he has one eye on the exit door.

"No one is going to be totally happy and confident he’s staying until the window shuts in Spain, Italy etc.

"You’ve got a big decision after that – if he doesn’t go to Real Madrid, how’s he going to react with his performances at United, at least up until January?

"With him, the toys are often thrown out of the pram, but if he’s staying he needs to knuckle down for the club.

"It would be tough for United if he does go, though, and they are unable to replace him. Because from what I can see they don’t have someone already that can do what he does.

"His attitude was better on Sunday, but he has to continue that now, especially if he doesn’t get his transfer.

"He’s still putting himself in the shop window at the moment, and it’s clear he wants the move to Real Madrid, so I believe he’ll play to the best of his ability until their window shuts.

"It’ll be interesting to see what happens after that."