U.S. markets close in 2 hours 36 minutes

Real Madrid should target 'humble' players over Pogba, suggests Stielike

Former Real Madrid midfielder Uli Stielike would prefer the La Liga giants targeted "humble players" ahead of signing Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba.

Pogba, 27, has regularly been linked with a move to Madrid, while the midfielder is also reportedly a target for former club Juventus.

Stielike, who won three La Liga titles and numerous other trophies as a Madrid player in the 1970s and '80s, said the club should only go after Pogba if they were returning to the days of the Galacticos in the early 2000s.

"If you want to return to the idea of the galactics, maybe yes," he told AS. "But I am more in favour of humble players with great talent and sacrifice for the team."

Madrid lost plenty of star power just two years ago, when Cristiano Ronaldo left for Juventus.

After a spectacular career at the Santiago Bernabeu, Ronaldo left Madrid for Juventus before the 2018-19 season, a campaign during which the La Liga side had three coaches and won just the Club World Cup.

Stielike stressed that any club would struggle to replace a player like Ronaldo and that Real deserve time to rebuild. 

"There is only one Cristiano," he said. "That's why I see that any team needs a certain adaptation time when a fundamental piece is gone."

While Stielike has questioned Real Madrid's pursuit of Pogba, former France international Christophe Dugarry recently backed the Manchester United midfielder to rediscover his spark under the guidance of Zinedine Zidane.

"We have all observed that this [Real squad] is aging a little. It is [a team] that has problems projecting, breaking lines and reaching the second line when there are centres," Dugarry told RMC Sport.

"Pogba can do it. He is a boy who can score goals. For me, he is the ideal boy to give Real Madrid what is missing.

"A year has passed that has been difficult for him, because he has injuries and his team does not perform well, but every time he has been able to play, he quickly recovers his level. Knowing Zizou, if he was in love with Pogba, there is no reason for him to be gone a year later."