Zinedine Zidane claims his Dubai meeting with Paul Pogba was no more than a coincidence

Zinedine Zidane

Zinedine Zidane insists that his meeting with Paul Pogba in Dubai came about “purely by chance”.

It was revealed on Friday that the two Frenchmen had met in the city, sparking more speculation over the Manchester United midfielder’s future.

Real Madrid boss Zidane was keen to bring his compatriot to the Bernabeu over the summer, but the Old Trafford club knocked back any attempts to prise him away.

Pogba himself admitted he was ready for a “new challenge”, but Zidane brushed aside the suggestion that their meeting over the international break was anything other than a coincidence.

"My encounter with Pogba was purely by chance,” he said, as reported by the Mirror.

“We know each other well so we talked. What we spoke about is private, a conversation between me and him. We've known each other a long time."

Pogba was spending time in Dubai as he continues his recovery from an ankle injury, a knock which has ruled him out of contention for Sunday’s visit of Liverpool.

Zidane was in the UAE to speak at a conference about Artificial Intelligence in the sports industry.

Their encounter has heightened speculation that Pogba could swap Manchester for Madrid in the future, although the 26-year-old has another two years left to run on his Old Trafford contract, with the option of a third.

United resisted Real’s advances to keep Pogba available for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in the summer, but the Reds have started the new season poorly.

Solskjaer’s side have picked up just nine points from their opening eight games, leaving them two points above the relegation zone.

They welcome leaders Liverpool to Old Trafford this weekend and their rivals are in terrific form, having won all of their league games so far.

Real Madrid are top of the La Liga table on 18 points and remain unbeaten on league duty. 

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