Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed a transfer fear over the future of young starlet Paul Pogba is one of the major reasons he has turned his back on Wesley Sneijder.
Ferguson has insisted on several occasions that he is not interested in Sneijder. There has been evidence to the contrary, with chief executive David Gill hinting there had been discussions at some stage, Sneijder claiming there had been unofficial talks and Ferguson himself being quoted as saying it was make-your-mind-up-time for the Dutchman, even if the United boss distanced himself from that demand.
However, with the Premier League about to get underway, Ferguson highlighted the faith he has not only in the youngsters who dazzled at Wembley in last Sunday’s Community Shield but also in Pogba.
Signed as a 16-year-old from Le Havre in 2009, the tall midfielder has made a big impression at Old Trafford and was part of the side that lifted the FA Youth Cup last season.
Ferguson does not need any reminding that Gerard Pique and Guiseppe Rossi made a similar impact on their arrivals from Spain and Italy respectively but eventually left, frustrated at a lack of first-team opportunities.
“The young boy Pogba is showing great promise,” Ferguson said. “We are quite positive about him. If we hold him back, what is going to happen? He will leave in a couple of years’ time when his contract has finished.
“We have to give him the opportunity to see how he will do in the first team. He has great ability. He has the physique and athleticism. He is a possibility. We have Darren Fletcher to come back and Michael Carrick tends to develop more from November onwards, so when you take that roll call of players, I am not looking to add to it.”
Not that Ferguson is scared of reminding his inquisitors about the statements he has been making.
“I have been saying it for weeks,” he said. “Everyone has been writing differently. We are just carrying on with our business. You can forget anyone you like. I am happy with the young players I have got.”