For the last few years, Paul Pogba’s future at Manchester United has constantly come into question. Now, it seems he has finally handed in his resignation at Manchester United.
In an emotional tell-all interview with Le Figaro, the Frenchman has all but confirmed that this season at Old Trafford will be his last after opening up on his turbulent second spell at the club.
From questioning Ralf Rangnick’s stewardship, a lack of trophies and revealing that he suffered from bouts of depression under Jose Mourinho, the writing is on the wall for a player who is in the final few months of his current contract.
Paul Pogba has surely handed in his resignation following a tell-all interview with Le Figaro
While it remains unclear where exactly Pogba’s future lies, the World Cup winner will not be short of destinations once he passes through the Old Trafford exits at the end of the season.
And in a damning assessment of United, the 29-year-old has suggested that the last five years of his career – and his prime – have frustratingly fallen short of his expectations.
The interview will surely stun the higher-ups back at United, having claimed that the season is now ‘dead’ given it will be yet another year – the club’s fifth in a row – without a trophy.
‘You have to be honest, the last five seasons have not satisfied me – really not at all,’ Pogba said. ‘This year it is dead, we won’t win anything. Whether it is with Manchester United or at another club, I want to win trophies.’
For United, they still remain in the hunt for a fourth-place finish and while it’s not a trophy, the Red Devils will not consider their season ‘dead’ just yet. But for Pogba, there’s nothing left to play for. His mind is made up.
Frenchman insists Manchester United’s campaign is now ‘dead’ as they can’t win a trophy
How Pogba has arrived at this unhappy ending, at a club he so badly wanted to succeed at, is a tragedy, especially given the fanfare of his second coming.
After becoming a serial title winner with Juventus, Pogba was the prodigal son that returned with for a record-breaking £89million and a whole lot of hope attached with it.
The pressure was on to deliver, and by the end of the first campaign, he had done just that, delivering a Europa League and Carabao Cup under Mourinho.
But it didn’t take long for their relationship to fray and a public spat during training let the world know that all was not right behind the scenes.
So much so, Pogba revealed that he ended up sinking into depression under the Special One, sparking what would be the beginning of a rocky second stint in United colours.
When asked if he’s ever experienced depression by Le Figaro, Pogba said: ‘Completely, and several times in my career. Personally, it started when I was with José Mourinho in Manchester (2016-2017). You ask yourself questions, you wonder if you are at fault, because you have never experienced these moments in your life.
Pogba says his mental health issues arrived when he worked under Jose Mourinho at United
‘Because you make money, you always have to be happy? It’s not like that, life. But, in football, it does not pass, we are however not superheroes, but only human beings.’
While Mourinho would eventually end up getting the boot from United, the problems and criticisms continued to mount for Pogba.
Seen as the poster-boy for the club – given his price and global influence – his often lacklustre performances on the pitch saw him heavily blamed for United’s shortcomings, with Graeme Souness and Roy Keane some of his most vocal critics.
After just a couple of years back at the club he came through the academy, Pogba openly admitted to wanting a ‘new challenge’ while away in Tokyo.
Continuous links with Juventus and Real Madrid surfaced every summer and the Frenchman’s apparent exit made headlines.
While the move never came to fruition, it became the first real time that Pogba admitted that he saw that his future lay elsewhere.
Five years without a trophy has left the midfielder disappointed and frustrated at Old Trafford
A glimmer of hope that Pogba could stay and thrive at United came after he guided France to the World Cup in 2018, where he was seen as a focal leader in the dressing room.
However, with the constant chopping and changing of managers back at his club, Pogba was left to question what his role was in the United set-up – an issue he doesn’t have when representing his country.
‘It’s simple with France, I play and I play in my position – I know my role and I feel the confidence of the coach and the players,’ he said.
‘It’s normal to feel a difference at Manchester United because it’s hard to be consistent when you often have a change to your position, or the team system, or your partners.
‘I get along very well with [France boss Didier Deschamps], he gave me a role that I know, but at Manchester United do I really have a role? I ask the question but I don’t have an answer.’
Pogba showed he has plenty left to offer, as proven with his performances for France
This pointed jab at United’s interim boss Ralf Rangnick will not go down well given it is yet another player to publicly question the German since his appointment late last year.
While a new manager will take over from Rangnick in the summer, it seems Pogba has no interest in sticking around to find out exactly who that will be and has flirted with a move back to France.
It’s not the first time, either, given he was linked with a move to Paris Saint-Germain last summer but with Lionel Messi’s sensational arrival, the Ligue 1 giants opted to wait a year and see if they could get the midfielder on a free this summer.
Currently away with France for the international break, Pogba revealed just how happy he is when he links back up with the national team, calling them his ‘family’.
But at United, the constant chopping and changing of managers has left him unsure of his role
Pogba has taken a swipe at Ralf Rangnick, saying he much prefers playing for France
‘We get along really well, we’re all connected, and I’m sure if you ask everyone, they’ll tell you the same thing,’ Pogba said. ‘It’s a family here. The France team is my home, even if we are all just passing through.’
When asked if he would like to play with France team-mate Kylian Mbappe at club level, Pogba responded: ‘Why not? It’s always good to play with team-mates in the France team and in the club.’
Mbappe, who is also out of contract in the summer, looks destined to Real Madrid this summer. It is not unfeasible that Pogba will join him at the Bernabeu
The confirmation that Pogba would leave this summer hasn’t always looked nailed on this season, with talks held over a new deal just a few months ago.
However, the final nail was hammered in last week for reasons both on and off the pitch.
Pogba’s ‘worst nightmares’ were realised last week when his home was burgled while he played against Atletico Madrid at Old Trafford. His two children were alseep in their bedrooms
On it, Manchester United’s fate was sealed when Atletico Madrid came to Old Trafford and dumped out of the Champions League, confirming another season without a trophy.
Off it, Pogba’s ‘worst nightmares’ were realised when his home was burgled as he played in the last-16 tie as his two children slept in their bedrooms, sparking serious concerns that he was no longer safe in his own home.
He also confirmed that his World Cup winner’s medal was taken in the five-minute raid.
‘There were jewels from my mother, my world champion medal,’ Pogba added.
‘What scared me the most was that my two children were at home with the nanny during this incident.
And now he looks almost certain to leave the Old Trafford club for a second time this summer
‘She overheard everything, called my wife and security, then locked herself with the boys in a room. For several days, she was shocked. The main thing is that my children are well.’
His security stolen, his medals stolen, Pogba has now had enough of thieves. United have robbed him of the best years of his career and the time has come to bring an end to his Old Trafford stay after five years without any domestic silverware.
It’s still anyone’s guess where he’ll be playing his football next season. But his own words suggest it won’t be in Manchester.