Paul Pogba defended over ‘flirting’ with Real Madrid and Juventus

Former Manchester United centre-back Rio Ferdinand has defended Paul Pogba over his agent “flirting” with other clubs and insists players should not expected to be loyal to clubs.

Mino Raiola has often touted his client out to other clubs, but Ferdinand feels Pogba is well within his rights to weigh up his options amid suggestions that he may want a move to Real Madrid or a return to Juventus.

The former England international insisted that clubs cannot expect loyalty either from players or fans, especially the so-called ‘big six’ in the Premier League following their attempts to create a European Super League.

United were joined by Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Tottenham and Manchester City in being among 12 founding members of the breakaway proposals, although all six eventually reneged on the plans following a significant fan backlash.

However, Ferdinand alluded to that as an example of how loyalty no longer exists at that level of football and clubs should not expect their players to display it to them if they do not receive it back.

Ferdinand told Vibe with Five : “People say to me about loyalty in the game and moan about the players not showing any loyalty – there ain’t loyalty in this game no more, it’s gone.

“All this talk about ‘he’s got to be loyal’ and a ‘one-club man’. Yeah that’s great, if you can do it you’re lucky. Like Gary Neville, Steven Gerrard, Paul Scholes etc, they’re lucky to be one-club people.

"You’re not gonna see that much of it no more, because loyalty doesn’t exist in this game no more. It’s been proved by these six clubs. These clubs can’t go to a player or a fan and mention the word loyalty ever again.

“For instance, someone like Paul Pogba has been getting hammered because maybe his agents been flirting with other clubs. Can you shout at him? Should you really be shouting at him?

"Because he might not be getting any loyalty back, the club aren’t getting loyalty back, the fans aren’t getting any loyalty back from the other side, so why are you expecting him to be loyal?

“I know it’s tit-for-tat etc, but please I don’t want to hear people keep talking about loyalty. Respect the club yes, but loyalty? It ain’t in the game no more, I don’t see it.”

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