Paul Pogba has expressed his pride at seeing Antoine Griezmann establish himself as one of the leading attackers in the world as speculation mounts that the two could soon be playing together at Manchester United as well as with France.

Atletico Madrid’s Griezmann has been linked with a big-money switch to Old Trafford either in the January transfer window or this summer, and he has spoken in the past of wanting to play with Pogba at club level one day.

Pogba and Griezmann are friends off the pitch and played central roles in helping France to the Euro 2016 final on home soil, with the latter finishing as the tournament’s top scorer with six goals.

“I’m very proud of him. I know what he’s been through,” Pogba told FIFA’s official website. “When he arrived at Atletico Madrid the first year, he wasn’t playing all the time, he was on the bench. He talked to me, saying he was frustrated, that it was hard as he wasn’t playing.

“After that he kept working hard, and now he’s one of the three nominees for the Best FIFA Men’s Player Award. I’m very happy for him, especially to see a French player doing so well.”

Griezmann will vie with Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi for the award on Jan. 9

Pogba believes Ronaldo and Messi can be beaten when it comes to individual awards, saying: “Of course, there are other players who can do that. We have Zlatan [Ibrahimovic] at Manchester United. Even he could do it. He’s 35 years old, but the way he’s playing, the way he’s scoring goals, you can see that he’s been in the top level for more than 10 years.”

Pogba himself was named in the 23-man shortlist for FIFA’s award but says he will not be satisfied until he wins it.

He said: “I’m still far away. It’s good to be in the top 10, five or three but that’s not really what I’m about. If I’m in the top three, I want to be the No. 1 — so that means I’m still very far away.”