Mino Raiola has insisted Paul Pogba remains focused on returning to action for Manchester United but refused to back down in his war of words with Red Devils boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Pogba has not played for United since Boxing Day due to an ongoing ankle injury and his future at the club is a cause for constant speculation.
Raiola, Pogba’s agent, sent an angry message on social media just moments before United’s 2-0 Premier League win at Chelsea on Monday night, hitting back at Solskjaer for comments the Norwegian made in the build-up to the game.
Asked again about Pogba’s situation and whether he would leave Old Trafford in the summer, Solskjaer had replied: “Paul is our player and not Mino’s.
“I haven’t sat down and told Paul to tell his agent what to say. I’ve not spoken to Mino, that’s for sure.”
Raiola posted a reply on Instagram and Twitter defending his position and claiming Solskjaer had misconstrued his previous words about Pogba and the possibility of returning to play in Italy.
He then clarified his stance on Tuesday and said he had no intention to drive a wedge between Pogba and Manchester United.
“I thought what Solskjaer said was out of line because he took parts of sentences of an interview of mine and acted a bit, let’s say, offended that I was offering Paul to other clubs,” Raiola told talkSPORT.
“I was asked if Paul would fancy Italy, I said it was his second home, as it is for (Zlatan) Ibrahimovic, but that is not the case – now he is focused on Manchester United.
“I have been asked something, I haven’t said something. Would he like Italy? I was just answering as Mino Raiola I am not allowed to do that?
“I’m not allowed to talk about players I represent because they are owned by Manchester United or Barcelona or Juventus?
“I don’t think it was inflammatory. He (Pogba) is committed only to Manchester United and the European Championship this year, after that we will talk to the club if necessary.
“I said that in Italy and am saying it now – all the other things is just a bunch of bull****.”
Raiola also claimed he has kept quiet about recent criticism from Solskjaer but was upset that, in his view, the United boss had said the club “own” the player.
“I have never spoken about Ole in the papers or the press,” he said.
“He always talks about me if I talk about (Erling) Haaland, or Paul Pogba’s injury or surgery, he is always talking about me.
“I have the right to an opinion and the right to represent players the way I want. I was not talking about Ole and Manchester United.
“I have not created any culture of division in the last years, I don’t need to defend myself here it is just to my player. They should read the whole interview where I say he is committed to Manchester Untied to and the European Championships. Ole should have read the whole interview.
“There is absolutely no way of me or Pogba not respecting Manchester United. There is no division between me and Manchester United, Ole already snapped out at me on two other occasions.
“It can be my opinion that his comments about an article that actually said that Paul is committed to Manchester United was taken out of context.
“The only focus there is to get back into the team as soon as possible and focus on making a good end of the season at Manchester United.
“I’m not publicly trying to embarrass the club. I don’t see where I have embarrassed the club. I have not offended Manchester United, their owners or fans in any way.”
There is still no firm return date for Pogba but the France international remains the talk of the town, with former United defender Gary Neville also speaking about player and agent on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football saying the situation “will end with Paul Pogba leaving Manchester United”.
Raiola was dismissive of Neville’s comments and made a jibe about his ownership of Sky Bet League Two side Salford City.
“Gary Neville has such a big know-how of football that I am surprised his Salford City are not in the Premier League already,” he added.
“He should be on the board of directors of United and ask them for a job, I don’t care what Gary Neville says.”
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