Man Utd: Pogba hones skills amid exit talk
Manchester United star Bruno Fernandes has lifted the lid on the early conversations with Paul Pogba that helped the Portugal midfielder upon his arrival in England. Pogba has been a divisive figure throughout his stay at United, and recent reports have once again tipped the 27-year-old to leave the club with Paris Saint-Germain the latest side to be linked with a move for his services.
Fernandes is an admirer of the Frenchman, who has made 178 appearances for United in all competitions since returning from Juventus in 2016.
The pair have played alongside each other on 33 occasions since Fernandes arrived in Manchester during last year’s January transfer window.
After finalising his move from Sporting Lisbon, Pogba would repeatedly tell the 26-year-old that he was looking forward to linking up on the pitch after completing his recovery from injury.
Fernandes has revealed that this allowed him to feel comfortable about sharing a dressing room with the 2018 World Cup winner.
“Straight away when I arrived, he was injured,” Fernandes told NBC Sport. “I saw him recovering and training on the pitch away from us.
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“He was calling me sometimes when I was training and he said: ‘I’m seeing the games, I’m seeing your movement, don’t worry. When I’m fit, I will show you that I can find you. I see you move, you move to the right and to the left, in behind. When I come back, I will show you how I can find you a lot.’
“It shows you the confidence he gives to you, like when he comes back, he’s trying to help you become better and you help him to become better.”
Pogba has come under fire from supporters at times this season amid speculation that he could be set to call time on his United career in the near future.
The Frenchman missed an early chunk of the season after testing positive for coronavirus back in August, a setback that Fernandes believes was tricky for him to manage.
However, the Portuguese dynamo is optimistic that Pogba is closing in on a return to his best with a title challenge looming on the horizon for United.
The Red Devils are level on points with leaders Liverpool at the top of the Premier League table despite having played a game less than their Merseyside rivals.
“We ended the [2019/20] season really well playing together. But of course the beginning of the season was hard for Paul because he had Covid,” Fernandes continued.
“We know it’s not a joke, it’s hard to come back after 15 days isolated doing nothing. It was really difficult for Paul to find his form but I think he’s much better and feeling much more confident.
“The goal against West Ham [in December] gave him much more confidence. The team needs him and he has the quality to help us.”
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