Evra: Pogba will stay at United, Neymar will return to Barcelona and rediscover best form

Former Manchester United left-back Patrice Evra advised Paul Pogba to stay at Old Trafford, and also leapt to the defence of Neymar amid ongoing links to former club Barcelona.

Manchester United star Paul Pogba has been linked with a move away from Old Trafford as Real Madrid and his former club Juventus are looking to sign him.   -  Getty Images

Patrice Evra says Paul Pogba will stay at Manchester United, though he does not know how long the reported Real Madrid target will remain with the Premier League giant.

Pogba has been linked with a move away from United as Madrid and former club Juventus reportedly circle the French World Cup winner.

Madrid is keen to bring Pogba to the Santiago Bernabeu before the European transfer window shuts on September 2, though United is believed to want close to the world-record €222million fee Paris Saint-Germain paid Barcelona for Neymar in 2017.

Earlier this month, Evra claimed Pogba does not feel loved in Manchester, though the former Red Devils left-back advised his countryman to stay at United.

"Paul is focused, Paul is in Manchester and he will stay in Manchester," said Evra, who won five Premier League titles and the Champions League among other honours at Old Trafford.

"There have been discussions, but it's good for the club and it's good for him [that he stays]. Now we have to concentrate, we'll see over the years if he stays, but now it would be difficult for him to leave Manchester.

"Leaving at the end of the transfer window when the season has already started, no. I hope he will have a great season with Manchester.

"I'm not divided. Paul, he's my brother, so he's the best for me. If he's not happy in Manchester, I'll tell Paul to leave. If he's happy in Manchester, I'll tell him to stay. But to tell you the truth, I would advise him to stay."

Pogba and United have experienced a mixed start to the season, with a win, draw and loss from their opening three Premier League matches. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's United routed Chelsea 4-0 in its opening before drawing at Wolves and losing to Crystal Palace last week. United, which will be without injured pair Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial, is away to Southampton on Saturday.

- Neymar will return to Barcelona and rediscover best form -

Evra also opined that Neymar would "return to Barcelona and become the player he always was." La Liga champion Barcelona is reportedly negotiating with PSG to bring Neymar back to Camp Nou, just two years after his world-record €222million transfer.

Neymar – who is also believed to be attracting interest from Real Madrid – is yet to feature for PSG this season, while the 27-year-old was the subject of criticism by the club's fans during the August 11 fixture against Nimes.

"I think Neymar, there are a lot of people who don't like him," Evra said. "The problem in this world is that when you are yourself, people hate you, and when you lie, people love you.

"Neymar, I often speak with him and I wish that God would realise his plans. It's always like that, when you arrive you are the king of the world, and when you leave... Looks like Neymar murdered someone. This is not the case.

"You'll see, people miss Neymar for his genius, his way of playing. It's true that with his dribbling, he sometimes gets annoyed, but it's his football, he has to stay himself. And I assure you, people will regret him very much."

Evra added: "It's simple, a football player must feel loved. When you feel too much negativity, you leave."

"There are people, and maybe even the media, who use that, who criticise him for diving too much during the games," Evra continued. "They create all this hatred around him. But Neymar is a good guy. He gave a lot to Paris.

"And then I'll tell you, we're talking about Neymar, but when Neymar didn't play in the Champions League, Paris didn't go any further. Neymar was not there for the two semi-finals. Neymar is too important for the PSG to lose him.

"I don't know if they're going to lose him, but if they do, they'll lose a great player. And he will return to Barcelona and become the player he always was."

Neymar has scored 34 goals in 37 Ligue 1 appearances despite both his seasons at PSG being interrupted by serious foot injuries. In total, Neymar has managed 51 goals in 58 games for PSG – which will be without the Barca target against Metz on Friday.

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