Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is having an “open dialogue” with the formidable Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba about his future.
The 27-year-old has been the subject of regular speculation since returning from Juventus to Old Trafford in 2016 for what was then a world record fee, thanks in no small part to the comments of his outspoken agent.
Mino Raiola caused a stir in December when he claimed his client was unhappy and “has to change teams,” which prompted Pogba to post on Instagram, suggesting he had no intention of leaving anytime soon.
The France international’s contract expires in 2022 after United triggered the one-year extension clause in their contract and said last week he would “speak to the club and see what is going on”.
Saturday, February 6th, 7:45 p.m.
Start at 8:00 p.m.
Mathias Pogba has since said the club will have to sell his brother this summer if he wants to get a fee back, but Solskjaer said, “Speculation about Paul will always be there.
“We have a good open dialogue with Paul. So what we discuss and how we see this situation remains between us of course.
“I’m just glad he’s focused, he plays really well and he’s happy in himself and that’s important. You can see Paul now enjoys playing football with a red shirt on.”
Pogba struggled for fitness and form after shining in the hot seat in Solskjaer’s first few months, but now he appears to be getting back to his best and was named United Player of the Month in January.
“I think you should ask Paul what he did because the answer is that Paul is really down,” said Solskjaer.
“He’s worked hard, he’s got his fitness. I’ve said this many times, he had a bad season with injuries last season, he had Covid this season, he had an injury but he works really hard and he plays in one Team that plays well.
“He’s a great inspiration to everyone. He always has a big smile … well, not always a big smile, because in training yesterday when his team lost, you can see how that affects him and he wasn’t happy. But today it was such a new day and he’s ready to go tomorrow. “
Pogba was a key player for United during a hectic time, but was an unutilized substitute in Tuesday’s 9-0 shellacking nine-man Southampton.
Solskjaer says, “Nobody here has guaranteed a place on the team like a season ticket,” thanks to the great competition at a club that is more concerned with its summer transfer plans at this time.
“I still think we’re doing the same planning and preparation, but of course the pandemic has changed the market and the world – and it could have an impact on what we can do,” the United manager said ahead of the game on Saturday against Everton live on Sky Sports Premier League.
“We just have to see where we are in the next few months, of course, but we look at players and goals the way we normally would.”
“But we’ve done some very good business in the last couple of windows I feel, and it’s not a huge change to have to make. It’s the weird contribution and addition to the roster.”
“Tom Brady an example for every athlete”
United’s vicious owners have been criticized by managers for their support, but the glasses are likely to be far more popular in Tampa Bay, where the Buccaneers host the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl this Sunday.
“I think if you operate at the top and try to broaden your horizons, of course you have a network to talk to,” said Solskjaer. “I’m very happy for the glasses and the owners that they are playing the Super Bowl this weekend.
“For me, the big lesson from this may be the story of Tom Brady – what he does to keep going at such an age and being so professional.
“He came to the club and got them to the Super Bowl. Of course he’s not alone, but we tell our young players that not only do they have natural talent, but also commitment, hard work and focus.” .
“We have the example of Edinson (Cavani) in our place and how much a player can influence a team. We brought Eric Cantona into the team with that experience.
“So Tom Brady is an example to every single athlete out there that whatever he is now is still possible at 42 or 43 years of age.”
Watch Manchester United vs Everton live in the Sky Sports Premier League from 7.45pm on Saturday. Kick-off at 8 p.m.