Paul Pogba
Paul Pogba

I Didn’t Mean To Disrespect Solskjaer Or Man Utd - Mino Raiola

Felix Egbomuche

Felix Egbomuche

The super-agent, Mino Raiola, and Manchester United coach, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, have traded words recently over the ownership and future of Paul Pogba.

In a recent interview, Raiola suggested that the player could be open to a return to Juventus which he considers a "second home."

Those comments did not sit well with Solskjaer, who went on to remind the agent that the player belongs to United and not him. This was his response when asked to speak on the matter during his press conference.

The France star's representative then fired back just before United's 2-0 victory over Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Monday, insisting that Pogba is not Solskjaer's property.

Following the public dispute and criticism from United fans, Raiola has now attempted to cool off the rift between him and Manchester United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Italian agent has now suggested that the World Cup winner is open to talks regarding a contract extension.

"We are open for talks after he gets back [from injury]. For now, there is a contract and the only thing he is focused on is getting back to fitness," Raiola told Sky Sports.

"When an agent represents any player, of course, there will be talks about how to move on or move forward if you are still part of the plans for the manager, there is nothing strange about that.

"I thought my interview was very innocent when I said: 'Maybe one day he will return [to Italy] because it is like a second home.' But I didn't say he would come back next year or the year after. You never know if he will come back or not.

"For this kind of player, there can't be a lot of interest because not a lot of clubs can afford him. There are no talks with any clubs at the moment.

"I will reach out to Ole because nothing serious is going on. Certainly, I did not intend to have any disrespect to the club or towards him.

"Having players at Manchester United, I only want the best for the team and the club. I have nothing against Ole and I don't think he has anything against me.

"I did only think that saying Paul is Manchester United's was not the right reaction. I only wanted to respond to everyone who said that, because you employ a player, therefore, you own them and can do whatever you want with them.

"Paul has great commitment to the club, there is no question about that. Paul has a contract with Manchester United and wants to get back fit as quickly as possible and back into the team to be a positive factor until the end of the season.

"In this moment, there are no talks [over Pogba's future]. He is only committed to Manchester United and he respects his contract. Everybody is worried about Pogba leaving, but I am not worried."

In his Twitter response to Solskjaer after the coach had noted that Pogba was their player and not his, Raiola asked the Norwegian to worry about other things rather than the future of his midfielder.

He, however, clarified that he was talking about United's qualification for next season's Champions League, although he did accept that publishing the statement just before a match was ill-timed.

"For the club, getting Champions League is more important," Raiola added. "This again was taken out of context and has been made bigger than it should be.

"I wasn't aware that Manchester United had a game, so it wasn't on purpose that I put that out before the game and maybe it wasn't the best timing.

"My words were taken out of context and it was maybe not the right platform to discuss this.

Solskjaer has said he probably would not talk about the matter with either Pogba or Raiola.

Happenings Media