Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has insisted that Paul Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, plays a sideline role in the Frenchman’s future at Old Trafford.
Pogba has played just eight games for United this season due to injury and not at all since the 4-1 win over Newcastle on Boxing Day, but has stepped up his recovery programme ahead of a possible return to action.
Solskjaer was no doubt frustrated to see Raiola say earlier this week that the player views Italy as his “second home” and wants to return to Juventus and insisted that, above all, Pogba remains under United’s influence.
When asked if Pogba would play for United again, Solskjaer said: “Well of course, I’d like to say that.
“As soon as he gets fit he’ll be good enough to play for the team and I’m sure Paul’s desperate to play for us again.
“I haven’t sat down and told Paul to tell his agent what to say, but Paul is our player and not Mino’s.”
Solskjaer was able to bring in another midfielder in the January transfer window after finally concluding the drawn-out pursuit of Bruno Fernandes, but has also praised the players who have featured in Pogba’s absence.
“Paul’s an important player for us, but we’ve also learned so much about the others,” he added. “Some other players have really stepped up and taken on this responsibility and shown what they can be and what they are for Man United.
“It’s unfortunate you get some of your best players injured, but that’s just part of it, that’s part of being here. You can’t just say, ‘I feel sorry for myself because we’ve had all these injuries’ – we’re building a squad that can cope with this.”
United travel to Chelsea on Monday evening looking to close the gap to the Premier League’s top four to three points with victory.
In other news, United are reportedly considering a summer move for AC Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma.
The 20-year-old has been a regular for the Serie A side for over four seasons, despite his age, and is said to be attracting interest further afield from Chelsea.