Paul Pogba will be convinced to stay at Manchester United and sign an extension to his contract, one pundit has insisted.
Despite a season of huge frustration at long inactivity, Pogba has rarely found himself out of the news and his put-down of his fiercest critic – Scottish firebrand Graeme Souness – is the amusing story of the week you simply have to read.
The player continues to be strongly linked with a return to previous club Juventus or Spanish giants Real Madrid and while Pogba himself has not commented on his future, he has received some recent words of encouragement from his manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“Paul and Marcus [Rashford] have been out, now we’ve still got games left, and I think everyone in the league will start more or less on the same level,” Solskjaer told Sky Sports.
“Maybe they’ve got more motivation to keep going now, as they can see when they’re back they may be on the same level or even a better level physically.
“In a way, they have got an opportunity here to play a bigger part in this season than they had hoped.
“And they are big players for us, some of the most important players.”
Despite ongoing speculation suggesting he may have played his last game for the club, Sky Sports’ Spanish football expert Guillem Balague believes the player will not only stay at Old Trafford, but he will commit to a new contract to extend his second spell at the club.
“Real Madrid I don’t think have Paul Pogba as a priority,” the reporter said in a YouTube video.
“Paul Pogba has suggested both, that he wants to go and he wants to stay.
“So he’s playing his cards but at the moment I do feel that a player like him would be better serviced to be at Manchester United where he will be the leader.”
Balague added: “It’s not a good time to leave I don’t think and I believe that they’re going to convince him to stay with a new contract.”
Balague also claims that sources inside the coaching team at Old Trafford say that Pogba is a good leader for the team but only under certain circumstances.
“I know that the coaching staff at Manchester United feel that Pogba is a good leader, perhaps not so much when things are going wrong.
“But when they are going right, and you’ve got to hope, for Manchester United fans anyway, that the finances are in the right place to at least be able to get a stable team, improving with two or three players, meaning he has the chance to shine.”
Pogba names two biggest career influences
Pogba, of course, made his way in the game through United’s academy and he said he learned first from Paul Scholes and then Andrea Pirlo at Juventus on what was necessary to become a top level midfielder.
“You learn a lot and you look at them,” Pogba told the United Podcast. “I really learned and have been learning. It was unbelievable for me, seeing them training like that, and it pushed me.
“Okay, I have to work hard and have a lot more to do. Pirlo and Scholes, those are midfielders who control the game, the players to look at, and I learned from them, a lot.
“I started as a striker and then a number 10 and then a number six. Thank God, I didn’t go to centre-back! It was because I wanted to touch the ball too much.
“I was the striker and dropping too much, so one coach told me: ‘Okay, play the number 10 and touch the ball more.’ I still loved the ball too much and had too many touches, so he put me at number six.”
Pogba sends message to his critics
Pogba, who this weekend has spilled the beans on the frustration he has felt this season, was also asked if he had any opinion in general about his army of critics.
“I guess they miss me, I don’t know? I’m not someone that looks at always at Sky News. After the games, when I watch it again I watch the game, not the comments,” said Pogba.
“One day maybe I will meet them [the critics] and ask them because I really want to know why. I am doing my recovery, I can be somewhere else and I hear something but I’m just doing my recovery, you know?’
“If they want to speak they are allowed to speak, it’s their job to speak. I am used to it now. I am really used to it, it doesn’t bother me. It’s good to hear good stuff instead of bad stuff but when you play football, you know yourself. It’s what your manager and team-mates want, the rest is just talk. It’s selling stuff I think.”
In other United news, Bruno Fernandes has named the one player he would sign to strengthen their midfield.