Monday 23 September 2019

Solskjaer insists Pogba is staying put despite Real interest


Paul Pogba enjoying a revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's guidance at Manchester United
Paul Pogba enjoying a revival under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's guidance at Manchester United

James Ducker

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Paul Pogba has assured him that he is fully committed to Manchester United after face-to-face talks with the France midfielder over his future amid interest from Real Madrid.

But the future of another midfielder, Ander Herrera, remains shrouded in uncertainty, with United refusing to bow to his wage demands, despite the growing threat of the Spain midfielder leaving on a free transfer for Paris St-Germain this summer.

Pogba claimed last month that it would be a "dream" to join Real at the same time as talking up the Spanish club's coach, Zinedine Zidane.

Zidane responded by saying he liked Pogba "a lot" and that he could one day see his compatriot at Real, who have form for unsettling prospective transfer targets through the media.

Alex Ferguson, the former United manager, famously branded them a "mob" to whom he "would not sell a virus" after being angered by their public courtship of Cristiano Ronaldo before his eventual move to the Bernabeu in 2009. But Solskjaer said any fears around Pogba's situation had been allayed during talks with the 26-year-old.

Pogba has two years left to run on his contract, although United have an option to extend that by a further 12 months to June 2022.

"No, it doesn't really concern me (Zidane's comments) because my thought of action then is to sit down and speak to Paul," Solskjaer said ahead of tonight's game away to Wolverhampton Wanderers.

"And I've had my chat with Paul and we're fine. He's going to do his utmost here because he knows I'm very fond of him as a player and a person and he is important for us. There is no issue.

"Paul is a very nice and polite man who answered a general question."

Herrera's future is far less certain. United want Herrera to stay and believe their desire to keep him is reflected in the offer of a new three-year contract that represents a huge hike on his £80,000-a-week wages.

But the 29-year-old is understood to be demanding in excess of £200,000 a week amid interest from PSG and United are unwilling to budge.

Meanwhile, Solskjaer said he was involved in the process of appointing the club's first technical director, a role United expect to fill this summer.

"I've got an input in most of the things now and my advice of course (will be taken on board)," Solskjaer said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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