Paul Pogba has played his last game for Manchester United – and also appears to have sent his final message to the squad group chat on WhatsApp.
Ralf Rangnick confirmed that Pogba is out for the rest of the season after picking up an injury early on in the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool last Tuesday, and is not expected to sign a contract extension. The 29-year-old is a free agent at the end of the season, and United’s £89million club-record signing looks certain to leave Old Trafford.
Pogba, who rejoined United from Juventus in 2016, has offers to join Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer this summer. Real signed David Alaba on a free from Bayern Munich last year, and are looking to do the same with Kylian Mbappe (PSG) and Antonio Rudiger (Chelsea) this summer – with Pogba the latest high-profile free agent to pique their interest. Real’s Clasico rivals Barcelona are also interested in Pogba given a recent £236million sponsorship deal with Spotify to alleviate their financial woes, though Liverpool star Mohamed Salah is understood to be top of their six-man shortlist.
Pogba and his agent, Mino Raiola, have repeatedly talked about the prospect of the midfielder leaving United over the course of his Old Trafford career, and the player’s relationship with Red Devils fans has soured to the point where he sarcastically cupped his hand to his ear as he walked off the pitch to boos and jeers following United’s 3-2 win over Norwich earlier in April.
While Pogba’s ultimate destination has yet to be confirmed, it is clear that the World Cup winner will not be a United player next season. Mirror Football understands that Pogba has told his United team-mates he is on his way this summer, and is even said to have left the WhatsApp player group the squad uses to stay in touch.
Pogba laid bare his frustrations with the situation at United in March, declaring himself “not at all” satisfied with the club’s trophy tally since he rejoined and calling the current season “dead” Pogba also vented his tactical frustrations with interim manager Rangnick compared to his role at international level: “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. 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… do I really have a role? I ask the question but I don’t have an answer.”
Rangnick responded by stating Pogba and other United players had to be adaptable, and recently added of the midfielder’s situation: “He was quite like a few other players struggling to get his best performance sustainably on the pitch for a team like Man United. This has not only been the case this season or in the last couple of weeks. As far as I remember it was also the case in earlier years.