Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects Paul Pogba to stay at Manchester United despite reports linking him with a move to Real Madrid this summer.
Pogba, the France midfielder, has been one of United’s best players since Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in the dugout, though his form has faltered over the past couple of weeks.
These poor performances started after the end of the recent international break, during which Pogba appeared to flirt with a potential exit from Old Trafford amid interest from Real Madrid.
The 26-year-old admitted while on France duty that playing for Los Blancos would be a dream, especially now Zinedine Zidane has returned to the Bernabeu hot seat after initially leaving the LaLiga club last summer.
Real are allegedly ready to pay a stunning £125million to sign Pogba this summer, and keeping the former Juventus star at Old Trafford will be one Solskjaer’s hardest tasks as he prepares for his first full season as United’s permanent manager.
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The Norwegian, who was confirmed as the club’s full-time boss last month, does not think Pogba will leave the Red Devils this summer, however.
Speaking at a press conference ahead of United’s Champions League quarter-final first leg clash against Barcelona, Solskjaer admitted he expects Pogba to remain with United – for next season, at least.
“Paul is looking forward to tomorrow,” Solskjaer said. “He’s a Manchester United player.
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“He’s one of our, of course, big performers on the big stage.
“He knows the game against PSG [when Pogba was sent off] was not his greatest moment so he is only focused on playing well tomorrow against Barcelona and I cannot see him not playing for Man United next season either.”
Solskjaer faces a selection dilemma heading into Wednesday evening’s match, with four of United’s first-team players missing training on Tuesday.
Marcus Rashford did train, but questions have been raised over his fitness after the forward started the session doing individual work, and Solskjaer provided an update on his chances of featuring against Barca.
“He needed the extra warm-up and hopefully he won’t get a reaction,” Solskjaer added. “He joined parts of it (training) at the end. Let’s see tomorrow. Hopefully he’ll be ready.”