Pogba remains Man United’s player, Solskjaer insists
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned that Paul Pogba belongs to Manchester United and not outspoken agent Mino Raiola amid ongoing doubts over the star’s future at Old Trafford.
Raiola cast fresh doubts over Pogba – who is recovering from an ankle injury – on Thursday when he said the United midfielder “would not mind” returning to Juventus as “Italy is like home”.
Pogba left United for Juve in 2012 but the 26-year-old was prised back to Old Trafford in 2016 for a then-world record transfer fee of €105million (£89.3m).
LaLiga giants Real Madrid have also been linked to Pogba but United manager Solskjaer said: “I’ve not spoken to Mino that is for sure. And, no, I haven’t sat down and told Paul to tell Mino what he should say. Paul is our player and not Mino’s.”
Asked if he could conclusively say Pogba will play for United again this season, Solskjaer replied: “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.”
It has been an injury-ravaged season for Pogba, who has started just five Premier League matches this term and made only seven appearances in total.
Pogba – who did not travel to Spain with his team-mates during the break – has only managed eight games across all competitions for United, who languish eighth in the Premier League after 25 rounds.
Pressed on whether it has been a “disastrous” season for Pogba, Solskjaer – speaking ahead of Monday’s trip to Chelsea – told reporters: “You’re not going to get that headline from me.
“As a player, the last thing you want to be is injured, and not being able to contribute to your team. Paul’s a footballer and he wants to play football. He knows he has to work hard now to get back to his best.
“He’s been out for so long now, it’s a challenge for him as well to get back into shape. I’ve been injured for a long, long time myself, it’s a difficult period of your career, but it’s part and parcel of being a player.
“He’s taken off his cast, so when he comes back here we’ll integrate him with us. Hopefully soon. He’s started running on the treadmill now, so he’s getting closer. It’s been a long haul, this, so hopefully, we’ll see him back soon.”