Rio Ferdinand laments Man Utd's "biggest mistake" – nearly two years after Gary Neville warning

Rio Ferdinand has slammed Manchester United for not taking a firmer stance with players’ agents as the club face the threat of losing stars like Paul Pogba for free due to his contract situation

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Rio Ferdinand believes Manchester United’s biggest error in recent times is not getting a grip of outside noise generated by players’ agents.

The Red Devils have endured a fall from grace since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.

Without a Premier League title since 2013 and any silverware since 2017, the club’s structure and conduct continues to come under fire.

Millions have been spent on players, the bulk of it unsuccessfully, with big name stars coming and going.

Ferdinand believes their representatives have been able to talk publicly about their clients, their circumstances and future moves.

That has created a knock on affect which means individuals like Paul Pogba, who works alongside Mino Raiola, have seen their futures played out in public.

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Rio Ferdinand has taken aim at Man Utd’s handling of outside noise


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“I think Man United’s biggest mistake they’ve made in recent years is allowing certain players and people externally who are part of players’ circles and networks to disrespect the club publicly,” Ferdinand said on his YouTube channel.

“They haven’t slammed the door shut in their face and really put them people in the place they should be.

“You can’t allow that because the minute you allow that once, one step out of line, other players and people in their circles start thinking ‘oh he got away with it, I’ll say my thing because there’s no repercussions, my player isn’t going to come under any type of fire at the club,’ no.

“You nail that person immediately and I don’t understand… that’s the mistake hierarchy at the football club in recent years have done poorly.

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“They’ve let stuff slide too much. They’ve got to be drilled those people.”

United face the threat of losing Pogba, their £89m record signing, for nothing as his contract has just months to run.

For several seasons the midfielder has flirted with moves away whilst also teasing the possibility of a new deal.

Raiola, who has had several players at Old Trafford in the past, has copped plenty of criticism for his conduct.

Gary Neville warned back in 2020 that the club needed to cut ties with the super agent.

Mino Raiola has been outspoken regarding Paul Pogba’s future

He said on Sky Sports: “What the club need to do is make a stance on that agent. He has messed them around for years with Pogba and others.

“Why they allow themselves to be played I will never know. He is a serious thorn in the side for them.

“United should stand strong and not do business with him and tell players if they are represented by him we won’t do deals with you.”

That would rule the club out of a move for Erling Haaland, who could be on the move from Borussia Dortmund this summer.

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