Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is said to have played through pain in recent comeback games against Watford and Newcastle in a bid to prove his commitment to the club, prior to undergoing surgery on his troublesome injury problems.

But the news comes at a time when a different story somewhat conversely claims that his Old Trafford career is over and that both player and club are ‘desperate’ to part ways.

Paul Pogba

Pogba missed close to three months with a foot problem, but his absences since getting back to action against Watford and Newcastle in December have sparked speculation over his future.

The Frenchman was expected to face Arsenal on New Year’s Day, but it was confirmed afterwards that he had been advised to have surgery - Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has​ since clarified the operation was for a different’ issue likely ruling him out for several more weeks.

According to the Daily Mail, Pogba, who is previously thought to have played in pain in September, felt pain soon after he came off the bench against Watford.

Only four days later he came off the bench at half-time in the win over Newcastle when Scott McTominay picked up an injury. The Mail suggests that he was keen to prove that he is ‘devoted’ to United, only to see it backfire as his own injury worsened as a result.

Paul Pogba

It is explained that Pogba ‘did not hesitate’ when Solskjaer needed him to go on in McTominay’s place at Newcastle. The report also explains that Pogba is well aware of the public questioning of his commitment and ‘wanted to show he is fully on board’.

That behaviour – playing through pain and risking further injury, as was then indeed the case – is at odds with someone who is actively keen to leave the club. Nobody who is genuinely pining for a transfer would put that at risk by playing injured. It simply does not add up.

Yet The Sun still claims Pogba’s United career is ‘over’. The tabloid alleges that his teammates are ‘convinced there is no way back’ for him, and that both player and club are ‘desperate’ to part ways. It is even claimed that United could slash their £180m price tag to £100m.

Real Madrid are the obvious link, and The Sun further claims that four-time Champions League winner Toni Kroos could be the fall guy at the Bernabeu to make way for Pogba and move in the opposite direction to Old Trafford. Immediately, it sounds farfetched.

Toni Kroos

Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, insisted shortly before Christmas that his client actually wants to stay at United, stating: “Paul wants to be successful and happy and wants to win prizes and he would love to do that with Manchester United.”

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