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Paul Pogba

‘Pogba unfairly criticised & should stay at Man Utd’ – Berbatov wants to see Fernandes partnership

13:45 GMT 20/03/2020
Paul Pogba Manchester United 2019-20
The former Red Devils striker feels the French midfielder would thrive at Juventus or Real Madrid, but hopes to see him remain at Old Trafford

Paul Pogba is unfairly criticised at Manchester United, says Dimitar Berbatov, with the World Cup winner urged to shun interest from Juventus and Real Madrid and prove a point at Old Trafford.

Transfer talk continues to swirl around the France international midfielder, with long-standing interest in his services held by leading sides in Italy and Spain.

It has been suggested that United no longer need the 27-year-old, with January signing Bruno Fernandes filling a creative void in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s engine room.

Berbatov, though, wants to see Pogba – who has been restricted to just eight appearances through injury this season – paired with the Portuguese playmaker and silence his detractors in style.

The former United striker told Betfair: “Once again there is a lot of talk about Paul Pogba and his future.

“He hasn't played for a long time, people are asking questions of him: does he want to play, how long will it take for him to return, when he comes back will he be able to play with Bruno Fernandes, how will he fit into the team - these are all unanswered questions that sooner or later we will find out.

“I want him to stay at United and I want to see him play alongside Fernandes and the team, if not there will always be a team waiting for Pogba, if that is Real Madrid, Juventus or someone else who knows, but he will fit in anywhere.

“The criticism Pogba gets is unfair and he, like some other players, get criticised just for the sake of it, it doesn't matter what he does.

“He is doing everything he can to get fit and to help his team because I have seen first-hand how he used to train with us as a boy, with ambition and the aspiration to be one of the best, so I don't doubt his work ethic and desire to become even better. All he will want to do right now is play football, we are all human beings and as much as you try to avoid it, criticism always gets to you.

“I would like to see Pogba get fit as soon as possible and not get injured again, so that he can do what he does best and we can see him play great football.

“If he was to move, wherever he goes he will be fine.

“He knows that if it isn't working out that there is always a team waiting for him some place else and if he goes he'll play and do well. Look at Romelu Lukaku, I mean what the f*ck? It didn't work out for him at United and now he has been reborn at Inter, how do you explain that?

“It's human nature, sometimes you just don't feel comfortable in one place because the criticism is too much, you close yourself off and don't let people in. You think to yourself: 'It doesn't matter what I do, nobody appreciates it,' then you move and you score 23 goals for your new club.

“One thing I will say about the Real Madrid rumours is, don't forget Zinedine Zidane is manager there and when you have a manager or other players from the same country you always speak and know that you will get on, especially speaking the same language, it makes you feel comfortable and that is not to be underestimated in this situation.”

Zidane has spoken of his admiration for Pogba in the past, which has kept the Madrid gossip ticking over, while various figures at Juventus have admitted that they would welcome the opportunity to bring the former fan favourite back to Turin.