LONDON (AFP) – Manchester United midfielder Juan Mata hopes Paul Pogba remains at Old Trafford next season and rubbished suggestions the Frenchman could be a disruptive influence if he is not allowed to move.
Pogba has publicly stated his wish for a “new challenge,” amidst interest from Real Madrid.
The World Cup winner’s agent Mino Raiola also told The Times earlier this month that “everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on”.
However, Pogba has travelled with United on their pre-season tour of Australia and Singapore and shone in victories over Perth Glory, Leeds United and Inter Milan.
“We all know Paul and he is a fantastic midfielder, and a very good guy, very positive, and a good influence for everyone,” Mata told Sky Sports.
“I think he is happy and brings everyone together, but I cannot speak for other people – I speak for myself.
“As a teammate and a friend I would like him to stay and be happy because he is a very good player for us.”
David de Gea does look set to remain with the Red Devils despite entering the final year of his contract with a new deal for the Spaniard reportedly to be finalised in the coming days.
“David is the best goalkeeper in the world and one of my best friends so I want him to stay,” added Mata, who himself signed a new two-year contract to stay at United last month.
“On a professional level, it would be great if he stays because he will give us many points over the next season, so I’m very happy if he stays.”