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Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand gives his verdict on Paul Pogba ban 

Manchester United legend Rio Ferdinand has offered support and advice to Paul Pogba after his four-year drug ban

The 30-year-old has received the lengthy ban after testing positive for illegal substances in October last year. 

The Frenchman released a statement, saying he was ‘sad’ and ‘heartbroken’ but planned to challenge the decision at the Court of Arbitration for Sport. 

Ferdinand, who also faced a doping controversy in 2003, urged Pogba to speak up now if he is innocent. 

Speaking on his Rio Ferdinand Presents FIVE podcast, he said: “I am well placed to sit here and chat about this because I have been through this.

“I am not going to jump in straight away and say he is guilty, as I have been in this position and I know Paul. I need to hear from him and see some facts.”

“I was told by my lawyers and the club, to let the lawyers deal with it and let it run its course and hope they do the right thing by you.

“If I had my time again and I was Paul Pogba now and I’m innocent – I’m chatting – I’m telling the people this is what happened.

“I think he needs to speak – whether they think it messes up the court case or not – they have given him a four-year ban.

“I don’t think it will be two if he appeals because these people will want to make sure they get their amount of blood. He has to look after himself here.”

Pogba was an £89m failure at United 

Pogba returned to Man United with a big reputation after his stint at Juventus, where he lifted four Serie A titles and two Coppas Italia. 

The Premier League giants spent a then-world-record £89 million fee to secure his services in 2016. 

But he never fully justified his enormous price tag. He often made more headlines for his fitness and attitude problems rather than his performances on the pitch. 

He bagged 39 goals and 51 assists in 233 appearances in all competitions.

The Frenchman showed flashes of quality in various roles at United, but inconsistency was one of his biggest problems. 

Pogba finally left Old Trafford to return to Juventus on a free transfer in 2022. 

It was a disaster spell for the player and the Turin club as injury issues limited him to just a single Serie A start last season. 

The doping controversy started in August last year, and the lengthy ban now threatens to end his career.