Wednesday 21 August 2019

Paul Pogba flies out with United for summer tour as Solskjaer seeks talks

Paul Pogba is most likely to move this summer once the price is right. Photo: Reuters
Paul Pogba is most likely to move this summer once the price is right. Photo: Reuters

Paul Wilson

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will seek face-to-face discussions with Paul Pogba before Manchester United make any decision over the unsettled midfielder's future.

Pogba has been included in United’s squad for their pre-season tour, as the France midfielder had been a doubt for the trip following reports that he is angling for a move away from Old Trafford picked up pace.

Please log in or register with Independent.ie for free access to this article.

Log In

But he travelled with the team as they headed to Australia on Sunday to kick-off their preparations for the new season.

Romelu Lukaku, another player linked with a summer departure, is also included among the 28-man party - as are new signings Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James.

Solskjaer’s side will take on Perth Glory next Saturday and then Leeds before continuing on for pre-season games in Singapore and China.

Pogba has struggled for consistent form since returning to Old Trafford in a club-record deal in 2016.

He was included in the PFA Team of the Year last season but split opinion among supporters and reportedly had a falling out with former United boss Jose Mourinho.

Speaking last week, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola said he had made the club aware he was looking to move the player on and offered no assurances that the 26-year-old would travel for the tour.

"Everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on. We are in the process of that. Everyone knows what the feelings of Paul are," said Raiola.

It's understood that both Matteo Darmian and Fred are absent due to family reasons and will link up with the squad later in the tour.

Alexis Sanchez, who limped out of Chile’s Copa America third-place play-off defeat to Argentina overnight, is missing but would not have been included at this stage due to his international exertions.

While Solskjaer has also taken a host of young players, there were notable absentees in the shape of defender Timothy Fosu-Mensah and goalkeeper Dean Henderson.

Solskjaer is still targeting more transfers ahead of the new season.

United are interested in Newcastle’s Sean Longstaff, with latest reports suggesting the Tyneside club are holding out for as much as £50 million for the young midfielder.

Sporting’s Bruno Fernandes is also on Solskjaer’s radar, while the Reds have been linked with the likes of Radja Nainggolan and Real Madrid’s Isco and Gareth Bale — the latter two as part of a proposed swap with Pogba.

Centre-back is the other position United want to target, with club legend Alex Ferguson understood to have recommended they sign Leciester and England centre-back Harry Maguire, after a £70million bid was rejected earlier this week.

United are also believed to have  opened negotiations with  Sergej Milinkovic-Savic.

According to Marca, United are pursuing the Lazio midfielder and would like to bring him in prior to any Pogba move.

The agent of Milinkovic-Savic is reportedly in London for talks about the player’s future.

Italian outlet Sport Mediaset say United are pressing to sign the Lazio midfielder, who was the subject of much transfer speculation 12 months ago.

Milinkovic-Savic is reportedly valued at €100 million by Lazio but it is claimed that they are likely to accept €80m for the Serbia international.

Sunday Indo Sport

The Left Wing: The 'hell' of World Cup training camp, Ireland's half-back dilemma and All Blacks uncertainty

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport