Cape Town — Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has played down reports of a January move to Barcelona, although he stopped short of denying a desire to leave.
The 2018 World Cup winner has been the subject of ongoing transfer speculation, with Barca among the clubs linked with his signature.
Pogba did little to cool rumours with what appeared to be subtle criticism of manager Jose Mourinho following United’s opening-day win over Leicester.
The France international has now once again hinted that his relationship with Mourinho was not entirely ideal but played down the significance of this.
“Talking about a transfer, I’m under contract,” he told Telefoot. “There have been some little things with the coach, the relationship is always the same — coach and player. We have common goals, which are to win.
“As long as you don’t see me in the Barcelona jersey, it’s because I’m at Manchester, there will always be rumours.” Although he was not quite as complimentary of Mourinho, Pogba was full of praise for Les Blues boss Didier Deschamps, who he credited for helping him change in a positive way.
“The change in me was made during the World Cup, I needed to become more mature, growing up, it was everything,” the 25-year-old said.
“I have a very good relationship with coach Didier Deschamps, he told me about his experience and I took it into account.”
Meanwhile, Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has claimed that Pep Guardiola should be the manager of the Red Devils and that Jose Mourinho doesn’t suit them.
Cantona, who wrote his name into United folklore under Sir Alex Ferguson in the 1990s, nevertheless admitted to being a fan of the former Chelsea boss.
“United is a great club and will always be great. They will win things, I know they will,” he told the Mail on Sunday.
“But the way they play? Not good. The manager has them playing the wrong way for the fans. No fun, no creativity.
“I like Mourinho. He has a good personality but not for United —they should have Guardiola as coach. He should be there, but he is doing magic with that other club. The club I cannot name.”
In support of his claim, Cantona went on to call Guardiola the “spiritual child of Johan Cruyff”, even claiming that the former Barcelona boss was the only person who should be in charge at the Red Devils besides the Frenchman himself.
“I would like to coach. If they called me, I would go; I would enjoy it. They know where I am. Then we would play creative football once again,” Cantona said.
“It would be great for the fans, like it was with Alex Ferguson — he allowed players to be creative, treated them as individuals.” — Sport24.