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Manchester United

I don't care if Pogba leaves Man Utd, Grealish is my man! - Ferdinand

19:48 GMT 04/01/2021
Jack Grealish, Paul Pogba, Manchester United vs Aston Villa
The former England defender has compared Grealish's style with that of greats such as Lionel Messi and Ronaldinho

Rio Ferdinand has said he does not care if Paul Pogba departs Manchester United in the summer, as he believes the club should go all out for Aston Villa star Jack Grealish.

Pogba’s position at the club has been the subject of speculation for some time, with his agent Mino Raiola saying he sees his client’s future away from Old Trafford.

Those comments came at a time when United were struggling in the Premier League and had just been eliminated from the Champions League.

Since the loss to RB Leipzig in December, United have won four and drawn two of their last six games in the Premier League and are level on points with Liverpool at the top of the table.

Pogba has worked his way back into the fold, but Ferdinand is unfazed if he moves on in the summer and would love to see the Red Devils make England international Grealish their marquee signing.

“I don’t care if Pogba goes or not, Grealish is my man,” Ferdinand said on Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE. “I have known him since he was in his early teens. He came to my restaurant and I got him and his dad some tickets for a game.”

Grealish has been involved in some off-field controversies, but Ferdinand feels the attacking midfielder has been working hard on and off the pitch and his performances prove the point.

“He’s a great kid with a great family,” Ferdinand said. “He loves his football. What the young kids don’t see with Jack Grealish is the hunger and hard work behind closed doors - the attention to detail and the way he trains. He has changed his regime and looked at himself and asked what he can do better.

“I have heard from a lot of people that he is diligent in all the work he does off the pitch to get to where he is now. You are seeing results week in and week out.

“He is one of those players that has looked at himself in the summer and thought, 'Yes, I’ve done well last season, I’ve signed a new deal at my boyhood club, and I am going to go again'.

“If I am a manager of a top team in England, a top three or four team, then I would not allow him to stay there, I would go and take him.”

Ferdinand feels Grealish’s style of play is frightening for defenders and compares favourably to the likes of Ronaldinho and Lionel Messi.

“As a defender, as much as pace behind you frightens you, it is also the player who can find pockets of space, turn and run at you,” he said.

“[Pablo] Aimar who played at Valencia and Argentina, [Ariel] Ortega, players like that who could run with it and dribble - Ronaldinho and [Lionel] Messi. I am not saying he is in that class yet, but that style of player who runs at you. He is a fantastic player.

“When you talk about big numbers like £100 million or whatever price tag you want to mention, it is not about how good they look, it is about are they putting up the numbers to justify that price tag? 12 in his last 14 games suggests he is and that he is going to go for big, big dough.”