Chelsea and Liverpool stars would ‘love’ for their respective clubs to sign departing Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba, according to Darren Bent.
United confirmed on Wednesday that World Cup winner Pogba would leave Old Trafford on a free transfer when his contract expires at the end of this month.
The 29-year-old is expected to return to Juventus, but a deal has not yet been reached and Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid both remain interested.
Pogba made 233 appearances for United and while he helped the club win the Europa League in 2017, his second stint at Old Trafford is generally considered a failure.
Much was expected of the Frenchman when he completed a £89m return to United in 2016, but his second spell has coincided with a miserable spell for the Red Devils, who have not won a trophy in five years and finished sixth in the Premier League last season.
Former England striker Bent has defended Pogba and says his fellow professionals will have ‘real admiration’ for him, claiming that players from Chelsea and Liverpool would happily welcome him into their dressing rooms.
‘When you look at his stats for Manchester United, they’re not that bad,’ Bent told talkSPORT. ‘That’s not horrible stats, they’re okay.
‘For someone with that much quality, the most frustrating thing is when you see him put on that France shirt, you just want that level of performance for United.
‘He’s playing in a good team for France, a better team. I know he hasn’t been good enough [for United] but he is a good player. He hasn’t been a success but he has won two trophies there.
‘It hasn’t worked and they’ve paid a lot of money for a footballer who’s now leaving for nothing.
‘I don’t know if Chelsea fans will want him to join but I wonder if some of the players would. Footballers will think differently to fans.
‘There will be a real admiration for Paul Pogba amongst other players in the Premier League, from the players who have played against him.
‘I think other players, players in the Chelsea squad, will think “I would love a player like that to come here”. Fans will see it differently and say “he doesn’t work hard enough, it didn’t work at United, why would we want him?”
‘But players think differently. It will be the same with Liverpool. Fans might think he wouldn’t suit the system, but I bet there’s Liverpool players who would want him.’
After Manchester United confirmed Pogba’s imminent departure, the Frenchman said: ‘I feel privileged to have played for this club. Many beautiful moments and memories but most importantly an unconditional support from the fans. Thank you.’
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