Tag Paul Pogba

Tag Paul Pogba

Fergie lauds teen Pogba as Reds future but what of the present?

August 14, 2011 Tags: , , , Reads 58 comments

Manchester United’s failure to land a central midfielder this summer is with scepticism in many quarters, with the club’s inability to meet the wage demands of Wesley Sneijder and Samir Nasri pointing many critics towards a charge of Glazernomics. Yet, while United’s poor record the road last season was almost entirely down to a paucity of options in central midfield, manager Sir Alex Ferguson has chosen not to acquire new talent for the role this summer.

Far from meeting the challenge of Barcelona’s dominance in Europe, and Manchester City’s lavish spending domestically, some pundits believe that United may well have run simply to stand still this summer. Indeed, while Ashley Young offers a new flexible attacking option, David de Gea and Phil Jones are new-for-old replacements in Ferguson’s squad. The question of whether United is ‘net better’ from this summer’s transfer activity is yet to be answered.

Yet the 69-year-old Scot believes – critics might add he has little choice – that emerging youngsters can fill the void left by Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves this summer. Tom Cleverley’s positive 45 minute display against City in the Community Shield offers reason for supporter optimism. Meanwhile, 18-year-old Frenchman Paul Pogba is singled out by Ferguson as a real hope not only for the future but the coming season as well.

“We’re quite positive about him,” Ferguson said.

“If we hold Paul Pogba back, what’s going to happen? He’s going to leave in a couple of years’ time when his contract is finished. We have to give him opportunities to see how he can do in the first team. He’s got the ability, the physique and the athleticism.”

That athletic frame has drawn comparisons with Patric Vieira, a lazy analogy born seemingly of players’ similar French-African roots and height. Indeed, those who have watched Pogba’s progress in United’s FA Youth Cup winning side last season witnessed a player of significant finesse, quick feet and attacking prowess. The comparison with former Arsenal midfielder Vieira is one that Ferguson rightly rejects.

“He could be a surprise for us. I took him to the charity game in Monaco and he played 25 minutes in the second half against Marseille’s first team and he did very well. He got involved right away and I said to myself, he’s not bad,” added Ferguson.

“He’s a big physical boy. He has a great physique, 6ft 2in, athletic. The new Patrick Vieira? That’s just because of his height and build. Patrick was a great player but this boy is only 18. Look at Patrick when he was 18, he was playing centre half for Cannes. He only emerged as a midfield player at AC Milan.

“But I believe Pogba has the equipment to be successful. Seeing youngsters like him come through helps me, it helps us all. It’s still one of my biggest thrills to see a youngster coming up through the ranks. The kids are the foundation of the club. I think the foundations are looking good at the moment. This helps to drive me.”

Yet there is much work to be done if Ferguson is to fast-track Pogba into the first team picture. Despite his potential Pogba would surely struggle in the Premier League’s more physical encounters. Meanwhile, Ferguson believes that the former Le Harve midfielder must develop a greater range of passing if he is to make it to the very top.

“You don’t want to be putting the lad under pressure yet, but he’s got all the equipment all right,” added the United boss.

“He’s strong and athletic and he’s almost ready to be considered. We are just trying to work on his distribution. He has been playing a short passing game and we think he could do with a bit more range. We will be giving him opportunities this season because if you don’t use good players you end up losing them. We can’t hold him back, and wouldn’t want to do anyway.”

Along with United’s other great midfield talent in the FA Youth Cup winning side, Ravel Morrison, Pogba can expect games in the Carling and FA Cups in the coming season. Ferguson is almost certain to pick fringe sides in the early rounds of both competitions, with United entering the Carling Cup at the third round stage in September.

Morrison, meanwhile, is unlikely to be fast-tracked into the first team picture until the youngster’s many off-the-field distractions have cleared. The club’s willingness to protect the 18-year-old Wythenshawe-born player, despite multiple court appearances over the past 18 months, says much for the talent on offer; arguably the most fluid English central midfielder with the ball at his feet since Paul Gascoigne.

In Morrison, Pogba, Cleverley and perhaps Anderson – if the €30 million Brazilian can ever find some consistency – Ferguson has built with the future very much in mind. The players represent an exciting quartet of midfield talent very much in the United tradition.

Yet, for all that future promise the feeling that United has sacrificed short-term progress at the Glazer’s financial altar is inescapable. Despite Barcelona’s utter destruction of the Reds’ midfield at Wembley in May the Catalan club has acquired in Cesc Fabregas and Alexis Sanchez two talents of the highest order. That – Nani aside – no United midfielder would make Barca’s squad, let alone first team, is telling.

United vindicated over Pogba transfer

October 8, 2009 Tags: , Shorts No comments

Paul Pogba, the French teenager who United signed from Le Harve this summer, is clear to play for the club after FIFA ruled on the case last night. The transfer of Pogba caused controversy when Le Harve president Jean-Pierre Louvel accused United of illegally poaching the player. The FIFA judgement means that Pogba is free to play for the club immediately.

In a case that had echoes of Gael Kakuta, whose transfer to Chelsea has seen the London club receive a two transfer window ban, Le Harve accused United of offering Pogba financial inducements to break his contract with the French club. Louvel also said that United bought Pogba’s parents a house in Manchester. Indeed, so vitriolic were Louvel’s accusations about United that the club threatened to take Le Harve to court if he refused to keep quiet.

“Manchester United is pleased to confirm that the Football Association has been authorised by Fifa to register Paul Pogba as a Manchester United player with immediate effect,” said the club in a statement last night.

United manager Sir Alex Ferguson and managing director David Gill each insisted that the club had offered no inducement to break Pogba’s contract or made payments to the player’s parents.

The judgement last night completely vindicates Untied’s position. The ruling makes clear that Pogba was an amateur because he did not received payments over and above normal expenses, and that because of his age (16) the player could not have signed a professional contract anyway. The judgement dismissed Le Havre’s submissions and granted international clearance.

This is the second case against United dismissed by FIFA in as many months. In September the world governing body said that United had no case to answer in the transfer of former Fiorentina player Michele Fornasier to the club.

Le Harve has no case – agent

September 9, 2009 Tags: , Shorts No comments

Manchester United has no case to answer in the transfer of Paul Pogba from Le Harve, according the player’s agent. Speaking to The Times Pogba’s agent, Gaël Mahé, claimed that no wrongdoing had taken place and that the French Ligue 2 side has several pieces of crucial documentation missing.

“No money had changed hands up front, though Paul will get a very good contract when he turns professional,” Mahé told The Times.

“All he has from United is a flat in Manchester for him and his mother to live in.

“The problem is that there are three things Le Havre do not have. They do not have a contract aspirant, they do not have convention of formation and they do not have a late-trigger contract. All they have is a contract of non-solicitation, which is invalid outside France.

“We spent a long time ensuring that the document we signed with Manchester United was legally watertight.”

Mahé contradicts reports that Pogba signed a contract aspirant – a blunt pre-contract agreement in France.  Instead, Mahé’s comments back up claims that the contract aspirant was not signed by the player himself.

Sir, I challenge you to a duel

September 8, 2009 Tags: , Shorts 1 comment

Manchester United managing director David Gill has accused French club Le Harve of insulting the club in the increasingly bitter row over 16 year old midfielder Paul Pogba. Le Harve, which hasgone on a media offensive in the past few days accusing United of poaching the player, is yet to officially complain to the world governing body FIFA.

“It is an insult by Le Havre to suggest that Manchester United and the employees of Manchester United have paid the players’ parents and bought the parents a house,” said Gill.

“We will not accept the good name of Manchester United being trawled around on websites and the press to say that we have done these things which we are not allowed to do and we would never do. We’ve done everything, we think, by the book.”

United yesterday issued a written warning to Le Harve, which was relegated to French Ligue 2 at the end of last season, of legal action if the club continues to make accusations about the transfer of Pogba in the press.

Gill denied the warning was an attempt to intimidate Le Harve from making an official complaint to FIFA.

“We are not intimidating Le Havre. We have no intention of intimidating Le Havre,” said Gill. “They can do whatever they feel is appropriate. We can defend our case in the football bodies. We are very comfortable doing that.”

Gill apparently stopped short of demanding satisfaction.

United to take action against Le Harve

September 7, 2009 Tags: Shorts 2 comments

Manchester United has threatened Ligue 1 side Le Harve with legal action if the French side continues to make allegations against the reds over the transfer of teenage Paul Pogba. In a letter to Le Harve, United denies offering money or houses to the player and his parents in return his signature.

“In response to the wholly unfounded comments widely reported in the media of Le Havre AC President, Jean-Pierre Louvel, Manchester United wishes to categorically confirm that as a matter of club policy, and in accordance with the applicable football regulations, it does not offer inducements to the parents of players that sign for the club, such as monetary payments or the purchase of houses,” United said  in a statement released on the club’s website ManUtd.com.

“Manchester United has today written to Le Havre AC to put it on notice that action will be taken if such allegations are repeated in relation to the transfer of Paul Pogba.

“Manchester United is entirely satisfied that the transfer of Paul Pogba has been conducted in accordance with the regulations set down by the world governing body, FIFA. Manchester United is ready to defend any claim brought against it by Le Havre at FIFA.

“It is to be noted that all contractual documentation relating to the player’s registration with the club has already been fully ratified by The Football Association and the Premier League.”

Le Harve’s outspoken president Jean-Pierre Louvel has accused United of offering “€100,000 to the player’s father, €100,000 to the mother and a house” in Manchester in return for the player’s  signature.

Le Larve report United to FIFA

September 5, 2009 Tags: , Shorts No comments

French Ligue 1 outfit Le Harve have reported Manchester United to FIFA in the case of French under-16 captain Paul Pogba, who signed for reds earlier this summer. In a case with echoes of the one that Chelsea lost against Lens earlier last week, Le Harve will claim that Pogba had a contract with the French club and that United induced the player to break the agreement.

“The player had a no-hire agreement, and so had to sign his first contract in France,” Louvel told radio station France Info.

“But he didn’t sign it because Manchester United contacted the parents and made astronomical and excessive financial propositions for a 15-year-old boy.

“We have submitted the case to Fifa. The letter to leave has not been agreed by the French Federation, so today Fifa has been referred.

“I hope we will get the same result [as in the Chelsea case], which could justify to those clubs they can’t do anything and they have rules to respect.”

Le Harve’s argument centres on the pre-contract agreement that the player is said to have signed, which states that his first professional contract will be with the French club. Gaël Kakuta also had a similar agreement with Lens, which is widely regarded as legally unenforceable in English law.

FIFA it seems has a different view.