Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains hopeful of keeping Paul Pogba at Manchester United after confirming there is an “open dialogue” with the in-form midfielder about his future.
The 27-year-old midfielder’s contract expires at the end of next season, and his agent Mino Raiola recently indicated that he could leave the Old Trafford club.
Pogba has endured a topsy-turvy time in Manchester, but his recent good form has helped turn United into Premier League title contenders. Even his biggest critic Graeme Souness has acknowledged an improvement in the player.
The France international’s contract expires in 2022 after United triggered the one-year extension clause in his deal.
However after recapturing his mojo, the player announced last week he would “speak with the club and see what’s going on”.
Mathias Pogba has since said the club need to sell his brother this summer if they want to recoup a fee.
However, Solskjaer insists talks over extending his stay ay Old Trafford have been held.
And in regards the future of the midfielder, Solskjaer had a message for the cynics.
“Speculation about Paul is always going to be there,” the United boss said.
“We’ve got a good open dialogue with Paul. But what we talk about and how we see that situation remains between us of course.
“I’m just happy he’s focused. He’s playing really well and he’s happy in himself and that’s important. You can see Paul now enjoying playing football with a red shirt on.”
Pogba has struggled for fitness and form after shining during Solskjaer’s first few months in the hotseat.
However, he was named United’s player of the month for January and now looks to be back to his best.
“I think you should ask Paul what he’s done because the answer is Paul has really knuckled down,” Solskjaer said.
“He’s worked hard, he’s got his fitness. I have said this many a time, he had a bad season last season with injuries. He’s had Covid this season, he had an injury but he really works hard. Now he’s playing in a team that plays well.
“He’s a big inspiration for 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 a new day and he’s ready to go again tomorrow.”
Solskjaer makes transfer hint
Pogba has been an important player for United over a frantic period. However, he was an unused substitute in Tuesday’s 9-0 shellacking of nine-man Southampton.
Solskjaer says “no one’s guaranteed a place in the team like a season ticket card here” thanks to the great competition at a club who tend to look at their summer transfer plans around this time.
“I still think we’re doing the same planning, preparation but of course the pandemic has changed the market. It’s changed the world – and it might affect what we can do,” Solskjaer added.
“We just have to see where we’re at in the next few months, of course. But we are looking at players and targets as we normally would do.
“But we have done some very good business in the last few windows. I feel and it’s not wholesale changes that we need to make. It’s the odd contribution and addition to the squad.”