'It's a good time for a new challenge somewhere else' - Pogba drops major Man Utd exit hint
Paul Pogba has poured fuel on speculation that he is about to depart Manchester United by admitting that it "could be a good time to have a new challenge" away from the club.
The France international, who has been linked with a move to Real Madrid, as well as a host of other European giants, including Barcelona, reflected on the idea of leaving Old Trafford during a promotion trip to Tokyo with adidas.
“Like you said, there is a lot of talking and a lot of thinking as well,” Pogba told reporters.
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“For me I have been for three years in Manchester and have been doing great; some good moments and some bad moments, like everybody. Like everywhere else.
“After this season and everything that happened this season, with my season being my best season as well ... I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else.
"I am thinking of this: to have a new challenge somewhere else.”
The 26-year-old’s future in English football has been under the microscope for a number of weeks following a difficult season at Old Trafford that saw Ole Gunnar Solskjaer replace Jose Mourinho mid-way through.
Though his form benefitted from an initial upturn after Mourinho’s departure, United’s – and Pogba’s – fortunes fell away badly towards the end of the campaign, with the club failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
After a disappointing end to 2018-19, the former Juventus star was captured arguing with a supporter and has struggled to live up to his £89m price tag since his move from Italy in 2016.
There is even a suggestion that, such is his desire to leave the club, the World Cup winner is prepared to go on strike in an attempt to force Solskjaer’s hand and secure his exit.
Pogba's demeanour last season, which was no doubt influenced by a widely publicised rift with Mourinho, created friction among the club’s supporters and drew widespread criticism from some of the game’s most famous pundits.
One such detractor was former Liverpool midfielder Graeme Souness, who claimed Pogba needed “to have a long look at himself” after one fixture, accusing him of “not doing the things proper players do”.