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Klopp laughs off question of ever managing 'world-class' Pogba

5:42 PM GMT+4 14/12/2018
Paul Pogba Manchester United 2018-19
The Liverpool boss was careful to not give the media an easy headline when he spoke at his pre-match press conference on Friday

Jurgen Klopp has claimed Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is ‘world-class’ but failed to be drawn on whether he would like to have the Frenchman in his side.

Pogba is enduring a tough season at Old Trafford and has been linked with a move to some of Europe’s top clubs, including Juventus and Barcelona.

His relationship with manager Jose Mourinho also seems to have broken down, despite the manager’s claims on Wednesday evening that Pogba remains a part of his plans.

Whether he will feature on Sunday, however, is a different matter. The World Cup winner has failed to start any of the last two Premier League games, and is once again expected to be on the bench this weekend.

That will be a relief for Klopp, who was full of praise for the 25-year-old in his pre-match press conference on Friday, speaking ahead of the Red Devil's arrival at Anfield this weekend.

“Paul Pogba is a world-class player and he's a Man Utd player - we have to prepare for that,” the German said.

Yet, Klopp was less expressive when asked whether he would like to have the former Juventus man in his side.

“You know better than I, what happens if I give an answer to that question,” he laughed. “So no answer! Make a story of that, 'Klopp denies an answer.”

The Liverpool manager may have been coy on whether Pogba would fit in at Anfield, but his current struggles at Old Trafford have raised fresh doubts over his future.

The midfielder was excellent at the World Cup last summer, as he was at former employers Juventus, but since joining United for a then world-record fee in 2016, Pogba has found consistency hard to come by.

Should Mourinho opt to not select Pogba on Sunday, he could line-up with a two-man central midfield of Ander Herrera and Nemanja Matic.

The pair started the last two league games and were both rested in the midweek Champions League defeat against Valencia.

It is a huge match for Mourinho’s men on Sunday, and one they cannot afford to lose. Defeat against their fiercest rivals could leave the Red Devils a massive 11 points off fifth-place Arsenal.