Paul Pogba is not excited by the prospect of being a talisman at Manchester United and probably regrets returning to Old Trafford in an £89 million ($117m) deal, says Paul Ince.
The France international midfielder became the most expensive player on the planet when being brought back to England from Juventus in the summer of 2016.
Big things were expected of the 26-year-old, but a man who now has a World Cup winners’ medal to his name has struggled to deliver on a consistent basis at club level.
Further transfer talk has been sparked as a result, which has become an unwelcome distraction for all concerned, and Ince believes the time has come for United to part with a problematic performer.
The former Red Devils star told Paddy Power: “I’ve always felt, from the moment that Jose Mourinho had a spat with him, that Pogba has wanted out.
“It’s felt as though there’s only one conclusion to all this speculation. He’s in the situation now where he needs to win the fans over – but I’m not sure he wants to do that and I’m not sure the fans even want him to. The fans have had enough of him, and of the situation.
“With Man United’s performances being so inconsistent, and with so much discussion around Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the last thing they need is all this speculation around Pogba. He needs to just come out and say where he’s at.
“But instead, as we’ve seen, he hides behind Mino Raiola rather than saying it himself. In fact, even allowing his agent to come out and say all of the stuff he has is ridiculous. If that was my agent, and he came out saying the things he has – I’d get rid of him immediately.”
Ince added on a player who currently finds himself back on the sidelines with an ankle injury: “Pogba isn’t excited by being the talisman of the team, so let him go. It’s clear he regrets returning to Old Trafford.
“The fact is, though, when Pogba plays and he plays well there’s no way Ole would drop him. Really, he should be the talisman of that team.
“He should be enthused and excited by the fact that the team could be built around him and he could be the main man, but he doesn’t seem interested in that to me. He’s not bothered about being the captain of Man United. It doesn’t excite him to be the leader of this club.
“It feels as though we all bought into the romance of him returning to Man United. But it’s never really happened for him, has it?
“It’s not gone the way either he or the club wanted it to go. I would say he regrets making the move, now.”
On what needs to happen now, Ince said: “Ole has said he’s waiting for Pogba to come in and talk to him, even. But it shouldn’t be like that, it should be Ole dragging him in and asking him what exactly he sees for his future of the club. As a manager, he should be asking him what’s going on and what his issue is.
“You’re telling me Fergie would’ve dealt with it this way? No chance – he’d have pulled Pogba in and then decided whether he wanted to then pass that message on to fans and media.
“Where it’s really frustrating is we’ve heard this story about Pogba wanting to leave several times now, but yet here he still is. Unless someone’s going to come in for him at the price United want, for someone who’s still injured, he’s still going to be there at the end of the month. It’s a vicious circle.
“I’m not convinced he’s going anywhere in January. He wants to, yes, but realistically I don’t know who’s going to have him.
“At the moment though, it feels like it’s all about Paul Pogba. And Man United have never, and should never, be about just one person. It’s about being a team – not what Paul Pogba wants now.”