Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains positive about Paul Pogba’s happiness at Manchester United, despite admitting a campaign to get the midfielder to Real Madrid could be brewing in Spain.
Speculation about the 26-year-old’s future is rife at the end of his third season since returning to Old Trafford from Juventus in for a then world-record fee.
The World Cup winner was attracting interest from Barcelona last summer and fell out with former manager Jose Mourinho, although the interim appointment of Solskjaer brought a striking upturn in fortunes.
Things have tailed off in recent matches as talk about Pogba’s contentment at United reared its head, with Real Madrid strongly linked with a player they pushed strongly to sign in 2016.
Zinedine Zidane’s return to the Bernabeu helm has fuelled talk, while the wheels appear to be in motion with the kind of campaign often associated with the Champions League holders when they target a player.
“There might be a campaign, there might be press,” said Solskjaer, who claimed the player’s running stats were off the scale against Barcelona. “You never know what there is, but in my talks with Paul he’s always been positive here.
“I don’t see a difference in him when I chat to him.
“So, he’s focused on performing and he’s a proud player, who always gives his best.
“I thought first half (in Wednesday’s 1-0 Champions League defeat to Barcelona), yeah, we speak about Fred and Scott (McTominay), but I thought Paul made us play, settled us down a bit in the first half especially.
“We just fell away towards the end. But the effort that he put in physically was tremendous.”
Put to Solskjaer that Pogba’s statistics have tailed off dramatically, the United boss said: “I think he has made a difference for us in a few games, so has Romelu (Lukaku), so has Marcus (Rashford).
“There have been different players in different periods that have made the difference.
“When you’re at Man United, it’s not just about one player. And it’s not just about Paul.
“He had his highest ever output physically on so he’s never ran as much in a Man United shirt as Wednesday night. That was brilliant, the way effort and attitude is there.”