Paul Pogba flew out to Germany with his Man Utd teammates on Monday ahead of their crunch Champions League clash against RB Leipzig just hours after his agent claimed the midfielder’s Red Devils career is finished.
The public statement could not have come at a worse time for United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his team as they prepare for their final must-not-lose Group H fixture.
It also comes just days after Pogba scored his first goal since September to help spark United’s comeback against West Ham.
Pogba’s future has been a consistent subject of speculation, with both he and Raiola regularly hinting at a transfer elsewhere.
The Frenchman appeared to be unperturbed by his agent’s latest comments however, as United checked in for their flight from Manchester Airport.
United head to Leipzig top of their Champions League group but are level on points with their forthcoming opponents, as well as second-placed PSG.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer may have missed out on Jadon Sancho in the summer, but he still made some big moves in the transfer market with Donny van de Beek, Alex Telles and Edinson Cavani all arriving.
But their start to the season has been a mixed bag, with a home defeat to Crystal Palace and a 6-1 thrashing by Spurs at one end of the scale, and a tremendous 2-1 win over PSG in Paris at the other.
The question now is whether they can find the right balance?
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A draw would be enough to send Solskjaer’s men into the knockouts, but failure to achieve that would likely see them crash out of the competition and into the Europa League.
And Pogba has urged his teammates to be “bad losers” if they wish to book their passage to the last-16.
“For sure, we have two big games coming up. We have Champions League [against Leipzig] and we have City,” he told United’s official site.
“We know that those are two very important games, decisive games. We have to carry on this mentality of winning, always. That’s what the club is about and we want to carry on this and what we did in the second half. And yeah, that’s it.
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“It has to be inside. I mean, always. We cannot afford to lose and be happy with a loss or a draw. We have to be bad losers, that’s what we have to be, and always want to win. Even 1-0 or 6-5… We have to win. That’s what we want.”
United are without Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial for Tuesday’s clash with Leipzig, both of whom have not travelled to Germany.
Solskjaer has been boosted by the return to fitness of both David de Gea and Luke Shaw, as well as Axel Tuanzebe who is eligible again after suspension, with all three included in United’s squad.