Pogba lifts lid on Man Utd decision that led to Raiola saying he wants to leave

Paul Pogba has opened up on how much he "hates" being benched after a stop-start season that culminated in his agent announcing he wants to leave Manchester United.

France international Pogba was dropped by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after Man United were beaten by Tottenham on October 4.

Pogba started only one Premier League game in four after the defeat by Spurs, with Solskjaer also leaving him out of Champions League matches.

Pogba's absence from the United team prompted him to admit that the international break was like a 'breath of fresh air', sparking suggestions he was unhappy at Old Trafford.

His agent Mino Raiola then went one step further by confirming Pogba was indeed unhappy at United, adding that he should be allowed to leave in January.

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Raiola made his announcement on the eve of United's clash with RB Leipzig, in which the Reds Devils were beaten and knocked out of the Champions League.

"I can say that it's over for Paul Pogba at Manchester United, said Raiola. "Paul is unhappy with Man United as he is no longer able to express himself in the way that he would like and as he is expected to.

"Paul needs a new team, a change of air. He is under contract for the next 18 months and it will expire in the summer of 2022. However, I think that the best solution for both Pogba and Man United is that he goes in the next transfer window.

"If not, the Old Trafford club know that they risk losing him on a free transfer as it is not Paul's intention to extend his contract. Manchester United board know the risk losing Pogba for free given the player has no intention of extending.

"If somebody does not understand that, then they do not understand football. In any case, let them blame me if Paul leaves."

Raiola later retracted his statement somewhat, saying Pogba would probably leave Manchester United in the summer window instead.

Pogba was returned to the United starting XI in earlier December and impressed for the Red Devils in their win over West Ham.

His consistently good form means he is now one of the first names on Solskjaer's team sheet, and his goal in the win over Burnley saw United go top last time out.

After the match, Pogba revealed he is happy at United again.

"I'm always happy when I win," announced Pogba. "Obviously today we won so I'm very happy. I'm happy we played well and happy we are at the top.

"But like I said, it's still a long way to go, there are big games coming up, so we have to focus on that, too."

Pogba has now spoken out about the period earlier in the season, when he was being left out by Solskjaer, admitting he "hated" it.

"I've been feeling very good in myself, physically and mentally as well. I've been playing and when you're playing, you get your form," Pogba told Sky Sports.

"It's a huge difference when you start one game and don't start another one, or if you don't start for a few games.

"Obviously, the team helped the players to be in good form, we've been playing very well. The players and the staff have been playing me, trusting me.

"I have to focus in myself and give my best. On the left, on the right, in the middle, striker, defender, anything. As long as I'm on the pitch I give my best and as much as I can do to help my team.

"I hate to be on the bench, I don't like it. It doesn't mean that other players don't deserve to be playing but for myself, I don't like it.

"I'm a winner, I just want to play football and help my team. When I'm on the bench and I don't come on, I feel like I can't help my team-mates so I feel bad and I don't like it."

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