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Is Pogba 1st footballer to use COVID19 to push for a transfer? Man United midfielder shows 'solidarity' by wearing Juve shirt

Is Pogba 1st footballer to use COVID19 to push for a transfer? Man United midfielder shows 'solidarity' by wearing Juve shirt
Even in quarantine Paul Pogba can summon the ire of Man United fans; this time, the Frenchman donned a Juventus shirt in isolated training in support of a COVID19-infected teammate, although some think he has an ulterior motive.

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The midfielder, who has come under consistent criticism from the Old Trafford faithful for a string of under-par performances and lengthy absences on the sidelines, posted footage of himself training in quarantine wearing a Juventus shirt supposedly in honor of coronavirus-positive countryman Blaise Matuidi, which has riled United fans.

Also on rt.com FA prolong English football suspension until April 30, extend Premier League 2019/20 season indefinitely

Pogba and teammates have been ordered to train by themselves amid the pandemic, forcing the entire squad to keep in shape behind closed doors. 

Pogba took to undertaking his isolation training in a camp which he has named the ‘Quarantine PP Arena’, and posted a video on Instagram of himself with Swedish teammate Victor Lindelof completing training drills.

In the clip, the pair decided to honor their national teammates stricken with the disease which has claimed over 9,000 lives worldwide; Lindelof donning a Sampdoria shirt in support of Swedish midfielder Albin Ekdal, and Pogba wearing a Juventus shirt with ‘Matuidi 14’ printed on the back.

Sampdoria reported a total seven infected first team members and Italy has since become the epicenter of the spread of coronavirus in Europe, where the nation is currently in lockdown and nearly 3,000 people are recorded to have died from the virus.

Pogba captioned the clip: “Supporting our Juventus and Sampdoria friends Blaise Matuidi and Albin Ekdal and all athletes and people around the world who are facing this difficult moment. Be strong, #StayAtHome and be safe!”

“New training camp is called...Quarantine PP Arena, open 24/7! Having fun working at home with my brother Victor Lindelof!”

In a pre-emptive move, the 27-year-old then directly addressed the expected “cheeky” critics of his choice of attire: “I know the cheeky ones will talk about the Juventus jersey. I'm just supporting my friends ... that's all, nothing more,” he added in brackets and with a choice of sarcastic emojis.

It could be the latest coronavirus conspiracy, but some Manchester United fans think Pogba is leading a covert COVID19 operation in trying to steer his way away from the club and simply using Matuidi’s plight as a ruse, despite the seemingly candid explanation.

If so, it would make Pogba the first footballer to try and capitalize on coronavirus by attempting to speed up a move to another club.

Pogba cost Man United a then-record £89 million from the Serie A club in 2016, and has been linked with a move back to the Old Lady of Turin, thanks in no small part to his agent Mino Raiola using every opportunity to stir up rumors.

But that theory seems unlikely, and just as much as Pogba received a backlash, he also received a fair share of defense for acting in solidarity with Matuidi.

Raiola on Thursday fuelled more talk of a transfer for Pogba away from Manchester, by dropping the hint he wants to take a “great player” to Real Madrid. 

"My relations with Real Madrid are very good," Raiola told Spanish publication Marca. "I want to take a great footballer there and I will try this summer."

Earlier on Thursday, the English Football Association (FA) announced they would suspend the 2019/20 season indefinitely and at least until April 30, with Manchester United languishing currently in 5th place in the table.