Manchester United staff greeted news of Paul Pogba’s publicly stated desire to leave Old Trafford with a weary sigh.
It was, after all, nothing new.
Last August, Pogba’s high-profile agent Mino Raiola put together a deal for the France midfielder to join Barcelona. Four months before that, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola revealed Raiola had offered Pogba to him.
It is the kind of agitation that persuaded Sir Alex Ferguson to get rid of Pogba back in 2012, the former United boss concluding that the Frenchman’s undoubted talent was not worth the hassle that came with having him around.
Pogba is a brilliant player. A World Cup winner. It may have been a surprise to many but he was the only non-City or Liverpool player to make it into last season’s PFA Premier League team of the year.
As the impact of Pogba’s interview in Tokyo sank in, the message from United was the same as it was last year. They have no interest in selling their £89m record signing and expect him to be in their squad when they open their Premier League campaign against Chelsea on 11 August.
On social media at least, many United supporters lamented their club’s stance. To them, as with Ferguson, the 26-year-old is not worth it.
Yet, there are some very good reasons why the club are in no rush to push Pogba out.