The Manchester United legend Bryan Robson has advised Paul Pogba to keep his head down amid uncertainty surrounding his future at Old Trafford, and says players are “influenced far too much by their agents”.
Pogba and his agent, Mino Raiola, have both been vocal over the past few weeks about the France international’s desire to leave United this summer, with Real Madrid and Juventus interested in signing him.
After Pogba said he was keen on a “new challenge”, Raiola confirmed his desire to move on, said he was “in the process” of finding a new club for the midfielder – and then later defended his client’s behaviour at United.
Pogba dodged the media after Saturday’s win over Perth Glory
Despite fears he would go AWOL, Pogba travelled with United for their pre-season tour of Australia, Singapore and China – and Robson, the former United captain, had some advice for the 26-year-old regarding his future.
“You’re a Manchester United player, you’re contracted to them so you have to give everything for the club, the team and the fans,” said Robson, who is on on tour with the squad as a club ambassador.
“There’s a lot of speculation in the media about Paul. He is a top player.
“Get your head down, do your pre-season as well as you can – which, from what I’ve seen in the training sessions, he has done – and if something happens and the club want it to happen, or nothing happens then you’ve got to get on with it.”
‘Agents want players to move because they make money’
Unlike Pogba, Antoine Griezmann and Laurent Koscielny were both absent when Atletico Madrid and Arsenal respectively returned from their summer break for pre-season as they looked to force moves away.
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Griezmann has since secured his transfer, going from Atletico to Barcelona after the Catalans paid his £108m release clause. Although Atletico dispute the fee, claiming an agreement was reached before July 1 – when the French forward’s buy-out clause was £180m.
Asked for his thoughts on these players’ failure to report for pre-season training, Robson added: “I think players are influenced far too much by their agents – instead of making their own decisions.
“Sometimes maybe you want some advice on who to sign for and when to move, but at the end of the day, you’re your own person and you can show the path that you want to follow in your career. And I don’t think many players do that – they’re always taking advice from their agents.
“Agents want players to move on because they make money. If a player is loyal to a club and stays there, the agent doesn’t make as much money. I think that’s a big influence not just at Manchester United, but all over the game.
“I think players should sometimes take a good look at themselves in the mirror and make what they want to of their career.”
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