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'I would like Pogba to stay at Man Utd, he's on another level' - Berbatov hopes midfielder puts transfer 'soap opera' behind him

07:53 GMT 19/01/2021
Paul Pogba Man Utd
A former Old Trafford favourite has been hugely impressed by the Frenchman's recent performances

Dimitar Berbatov has expressed his hope that Paul Pogba remains at Manchester United and puts a long-running transfer "soap opera" behind him.

Pogba's future at United has been the subject of intense speculation over the last couple of years.

The World Cup winner has struggled for consistency in the famous red shirt, while also battling against a string of injury problems.

He has also fueled rumours of a move away from Old Trafford by admitting that it is his "dream" to play for Real Madrid one day, but Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's faith in the playmaker has seemingly never wavered.

Pogba has won plenty of his critics around since returning to full fitness in November, playing a key role in United's rise to the top of the Premier League standings.

Berbatov has been impressed by the Frenchman's recent resurgence and hopes he will now commit to staying in Manchester for the long-term, with his current contract set to expire in 2022.

"It's been a long time since I've seen him open on the pitch fighting, intercepting, reading the game," The former Red Devils striker told Stats Perform News.

"In the game against Liverpool, again, he continued on that trend for me. He was solid on the pitch again, trying to read and control the game, defending and intercepting.

"The chance that fell to him was because he was again in the box trying to score, though it didn't happen this time. Next time, it's going to happen.

"But as I said many times before, I hope that the TV soap opera over him - whether he's going or staying - is going to end, and we're not going to speak about that.

"I would like him to stay because I knew him back in the day, he was coming to train with us when he was still very young. You could see the talent straight away.

"If he's concentrated 100 per cent for the team, then he's on a level I think not many players can reach in the way he does."

Pogba put in another solid display in the middle of the park during United's 0-0 draw with reigning champions Liverpool at Anfield on Sunday.

He also came closest to grabbing the winner, with his point-blank effort saved well by Alisson in the Reds' net late on, as Solskjaer's side missed the chance to open up a six-point lead over their rivals in the title race.

Berbatov was encouraged by his old club's latest performance though, with the Bulgarian adding on United's disciplined approach to the game: "United had a good game, a solid game.

"I think I said before the game to a couple of reporters that for them it was going to be important not to lose," said the Bulgarian, who won the Premier League twice during his time at United.

"They had good chances to score in the game as well, especially Pogba. That chance was probably the best one in the game, one where I was almost screaming, but it didn't happen.

"But it was a solid performance, especially in defence, tactically the discipline was there on the pitch. As I said, a couple of chances to score came up, as well.

"Probably, if you look from the perspective of a neutral, you can say that the draw was okay for both teams."