Paul Pogba’s attraction to Real Madrid and Zinedine Zidane is understandable, says Dimitar Berbatov, with Manchester United warned they will regret letting the Frenchman leave if a summer sale is sanctioned.
Speculation regarding a big-money switch to Spain continues to build around a World Cup-winning midfielder.
He has aired his admiration of the Blancos, while fellow countryman Zidane has admitted that the 26-year-old is a player he would like to work with at some stage in his coaching career.
Berbatov can see why a move is being mooted, with Pogba continuing to attract criticism for supposed inconsistency and a questionable mindset at Old Trafford.
The former United striker is, however, of the opinion that the Red Devils are playing a dangerous game in allowing a player with undoubted “brilliance” to edge towards the exits.
Berbatov told Betfair of a long-running saga: “One player people always talk about is Paul Pogba and the transfer rumours seem to swirl around him all season long.
“I hope that he will stay, because I like him as a player and as a person.
“I know that he is capable of much, much more and I know he wants to show that in every game and sometimes it doesn’t work. That happens to every player though – it definitely happened to me.
“Sometimes people criticise too much and it can get personal and not constructive at all.
“In the end, when that happens, it can push a player out. And when you have a club like Real Madrid, coached by a Frenchman, then I can see why Pogba might be asking questions.
“But the worst thing for United would be to let Pogba go and see him flourish at Real Madrid.
“I know Ole and I spoke with him at Carrington last week. Ole used to coach the second team at United when Pogba was there and I know that the current United manager will be trying to do everything he can to bring the best out of Pogba.
“Pogs brings the quality, the final pass, that can make United dangerous.
“It is his brilliance in that part of the pitch that may work against him – Pogba is the one in the opponents’ half trying the high-risk passes and when they don’t come off he attracts the criticism. That sort of Busquets figure would give him the freedom to roam.”
United are expected to bolster their ranks over the summer, but it remains to be seen whether that process will involve bringing in players to work alongside Pogba or options to replace him.