Manchester, Aug 5 (IANS) Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand has said that failing to sign star French midfielder Paul Pogba could dent team morale ahead of the upcoming season.
Pogba was allowed to leave United on Alex Ferguson’s watch four years ago, but current United manager Jose Mourinho has isolated the French midfielder as the final component of his four-pronged transfer strategy this summer.
“As a player in the changing room, you’ve been thinking for so long: ‘He’s coming, he’s coming’. If he doesn’t sign it could have an adverse effect mentally on the players in the changing room. For a short period of time at least. It’s important they sign him,” Ferdinand was quoted as saying by the Independent on Friday.
Ferdinand further admitted that the nine-figure sum it would take to sign Pogba just four years after United cut him adrift reflects badly on his former employers but insists they won’t lose too much sleep if they can get back to winning major trophies.
“Of course, it isn’t (good value) but, listen, when Chelsea sold [Nemanja] Matic and bought him back for £20m-plus it was the same… it’s bigger than that but it’s still a loss. That’s the way it goes. When he comes it’s just going to be down to the black and white: Will he perform? Will Manchester United win trophies?,” he added.
“When you can say you’ve won six Premier League titles in 12 years, it’s okay. If he goes there for £100m and in 10 years he wins five titles and earns £100m worth in shirts sales, you’ll say ‘well done, good business’,” he added.
The 37-year-old former England international further spoke about Pogba and said that for him it’s all about football and players don’t hold the deals it’s all about the clubs.
“I speak to Paul, I know him. He’s someone for whom it’s all about football. It’s not about money. The biggest thing for me and my own family (upon joining United in 2002) wasn’t the money, it was: ‘What’s Giggsy like? What’s Keane like?’.”
“Paul’s like that. He loves football. It’s all about improving and being the best. When he left I asked him why and he said: ‘I want to be the best player in the world.’ He’s on the right track. He’s not there yet,” Ferdinand said.
“Players don’t hold deals up, they either want to go or they don’t. It’s not the players, it’s the details between the clubs that’s the problem. His personal terms with the club would have been sorted, if they’ve spoken, all them things will be agreed. It’s just about the clubs agreeing on little details,” he added.