Matteo Darmian has claimed that the issues with Paul Pogba at Manchester United have all stemmed from the huge price-tag the Red Devils paid to sign the midfielder.
Pogba moved back to Old Trafford in the summer of 2016 after the Red Devils paid a then world-record transfer fee to bring the Frenchman back to the club.
The 27-year-old has struggled to produce consistent performances in a Manchester United shirt since his move, despite having won the Europa League and League Cup under Jose Mourinho in his first season back at Old Trafford.
Pogba has been regularly linked with a move away from Old Trafford, with Real Madrid often touted as a possible destination for the World Cup winner.
The midfielder has endured an injury-hit campaign this term, with Pogba having only managed to start five games in the Premier League before undergoing ankle surgery back in January.
Now, former Manchester United defender Darmian has outlined what he thinks the main issue has been with Pogba since his move back to Old Trafford.
Speaking in an interview with The Guardian, Darmian said: “Paul is my friend and I have an excellent relationship with him.
“First of all: we are talking about a real champion here, a great footballer, but even they can have some periods when they don’t do as well [as they would like].
“The real ‘problem’ with Pogba at United, I think, was the price the club paid for him and that conditioned the way people perceived him.
“There has been a lot of unjustified criticism towards Pogba, for example that he doesn’t work hard enough, but he always gave his best, I can assure you, in every training session.
“In my opinion his performances were good in recent years, they talk about him too negatively [in the UK].
“Did I see Pogba unhappy or willing to leave? No, I honestly didn’t see him sad or unhappy, quite the opposite, for all the time I was in Manchester, Paul was absolutely happy with his decision to go back there.
“He really cares about doing well at Manchester United.”
Manchester United are currently fifth in the Premier League table and three points adrift of the top four.
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