Man Utd take Paul Pogba stand as star is told to go on tour

Date published: Sunday 7th July 2019 11:20

Paul Pogba has been included in Manchester United’s squad for their pre-season tour, the club have announced on Sunday morning.

The Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford this window, with Juventus reportedly keen on the idea of bringing Pogba back to Turin.

Real though have also been heavily linked, while Pogba himself recently dropped his biggest hint yet that a summer exit is firmly on the cards by admitting he is looking for a ‘new challenge’.

But with United due to fly to Australia for the first leg of their 20-day pre-season tour on Sunday, United – who appear adamant in their wish to keep Pogba at Old Trafford unless any side meets their £140m asking price – have made a stand by including him in their touring party.

Romelu Lukaku, another player linked with a summer departure, is also included among the 28-man party – as are new signings Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James.

United will hope the decision to include Pogba on their tour will go some way to helping build some bridges with the player – and also underline their commitment to keeping him at Old Trafford.

Reports on Saturday had suggested the player was ready to disobey orders at miss the tour, but news of his inclusion will put those rumours to bed.

 

It is understood that both Matteo Darmian and Fred are absent due to family reasons and will link up with the squad later in the tour.

Alexis Sanchez, who limped out of Chile’s Copa America third-place play-off defeat to Argentina overnight, is missing but would not have been included at this stage due to his international exertions.

Pogba has struggled for consistent form since returning to Old Trafford in a club-record deal in 2016.

He was included in the PFA Team of the Year last season but split opinion among supporters and reportedly had a falling out with former United boss Jose Mourinho.

Talking to The Times last week, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola said he had made the club aware he was looking to move the player on and offered no assurances that the 26-year-old would travel for the tour.

“Everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on. We are in the process of that. Everyone knows what the feelings of Paul are,” said Raiola.

United take on Perth Glory at Optus Stadium on July 13 before playing Leeds United at the same ground the following Wednesday.

Solskjaer’s side then face Inter Milan (Singapore), Tottenham (Shanghai), Kristiansund (Oslo) and AC Milan (Cardiff) before they kick off their Premier League campaign at home to Chelsea.

 

 

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