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Mino Raiola has given Manchester United a Pogba decision to make

08:00 GMT 21/03/2020
Paul Pogba press conference
The World Cup winner's club future remains up in the air and his agent has once again been hinting at a move to Real Madrid ahead of the summer

Coronavirus may be bringing the world to a standstill but that is not going to stop the Mino Raiola show from continuing.

Due to the current situation, nobody knows for sure what is going to happen with the remainder of the season, the summer transfer window or the next campaign, which has led to uncertainty over a number of things - not least transfers.

Things have gone quiet since the shutdown last week and everything is on hold. Clubs do not know what is going to happen - nor when - due to the virus. Nonetheless, Raiola is busy as usual.

The latest from Paul Pogba’s agent was a not so cryptic hint about a potential transfer to Real Madrid for the Frenchman in the summer.

“My relationship with Real Madrid is very good. I often speak to [general director] Jose Angel [Sanchez]. It’s interesting, as well as a pleasure, to talk to him about football and the events related to FIFA,” Raiola told Spanish newspaper Marca this week.

“One day I hope to bring a great champion to Real. At the moment, I have [PSG 'keeper Alphonse] Areola, but it’s on loan. This summer I would like to bring a big player to Madrid on a permanent deal. It would be a pride for me and for all my players, because Real are a great side.”

He didn’t name names but there is no secret in the fact Zinedine Zidane would like Pogba at Santiago Bernabeu. The midfielder has already said himself that he is open to a new challenge and admires the Spanish side.

United are aware that having a player who is represented by the Italian agent brings alongside it an element of drama. That's a price many would be willing to pay for a world-class talent at the club.

But there are many who believe United should cut ties with Pogba because of the outspoken 52-year-old. Former club captain Roy Keane has already made his feelings clear.

“If it’s not right for the club and people are almost laughing at you – these agents – then let these lads go,” he told Sky Sports.

“Look at the bigger picture, we’re talking about a great club like United. Don’t go chasing after these players who don’t want to be at this club, their agents don’t want them to be there.”

Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has publicly said he has no issue in dealing with Raiola but there appears to be little love lost between the pair. After the Italian took to social media to criticise the Norwegian it wouldn’t be a surprise if the United boss was put off wanting to deal with him in the future.

Raiola’s latest comments will come as absolutely no surprise to anybody at the club. While football is stopped it is unlikely his efforts to talk up players ahead of potential summer transfers is going to end either.

Pogba was finally set to make his long-awaited return from injury before the league was suspended and there had already been talk about how he and January signing Bruno Fernandes would fit together in Solskjaer’s starting XI. Instead he has been explaining why he was filming himself training in a Juventus shirt on Instagram.

It was a kind gesture from the France international in support of his team-mate Blaise Matuidi after he tested positive for Covid-19 but it didn’t take long for a number of keyboard warriors to suggest the midfielder had an ulterior motive after being heavily linked with a move back to Turin.

“I know the cheeky ones will talk about the Juventus jersey. I'm just supporting my friends that's all, nothing more,” Pogba wrote on Instagram to play down any speculation.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

🇬🇧 Supporting our Juventus and Sampdoria friends @blaisematuidiofficiel, @albinekdal and all athletes and people around the world who are facing this difficult moment.⠀ ⠀ Be strong, #StayAtHome and be safe 💪🏾!⠀⠀ ⠀ New training camp is called ...⠀⠀ Quarantine PP Arena, open 24/7! 🏋🏾‍♂⠀⠀ Having fun working at home 🏠 with my brother @victorlindelof!⠀⠀ ⠀⠀ (I know the cheeky ones will talk about the Juventus jersey 😏 I'm just supporting my friends ... that's all, nothing more 😁).⠀ ⠀ ⠀ 🇮🇹 A sostegno degli amici di Juventus e Sampdoria @blaisematuidiofficiel e @albinekdal e di tutti gli atleti e le persone del mondo⠀ ⠀ Siate forti, #StayAtHome e fate attenzione 💪🏾⠀ ⠀ Il nuovo campo di allenamento si chiama… ⠀ Quarantena PP Arena, aperto 24 ore su 24 🏋🏾‍♀⠀ Mi diverto ad allenarmi a casa 🏠 con il mio amico @victorlindelof!⠀ ⠀ (So che qualche malizioso parlerà del fatto che indosso la maglia della Juventus 😏, ma lo faccio solo per dare un segno di supporto al mio amico, non c’è nessun’altra ragione 😁).

A post shared by Paul Labile Pogba (@paulpogba) on Mar 18, 2020 at 9:14am PDT

But with his future firmly up in the air his every move is being scrutinised and his agent continues to add fuel to an already burning fire.

Raiola said Pogba is experiencing a ‘difficult time’ at United but there will be little sympathy for the footballer’s plight in the current world health situation as football takes a necessary break for everyone to focus on the pandemic.

Whenever it does resume the games from Raiola will continue and likely ramp up. United know that, and even if a U-turn is made and the midfielder decides to commit for another season, the circus will carry on. It’s up to United chiefs to decide whether or not they want to continue to be a part of it.