Man Utd: Solskjaer praises match-winner Pogba
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Manchester United must present a winning project if they want to keep hold of Paul Pogba, according to the player’s agent Mino Raiola. The France international has been linked with Juventus and Real Madrid ahead of the summer transfer window. However, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants him to stay put and help end the club’s wait for the Premier League title.
Manchester United have seen Pogba sparkle since the turn of the year.
The France international experienced a problematic start to the campaign, not helping by contracting coronavirus.
But Pogba has upped the ante to turn things around, becoming a vital asset for United and Solskjaer in the process.
As a result, talk of his future is beginning to dominate the headlines again.
Pogba’s current deal with the Red Devils expires next summer and, as of yet, there’s been no extension signed.
Solskjaer has made it clear on multiple occasions he wants the midfielder to stay, believing he’s coaxing the best from the 27-year-old at present.
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But Raiola, speaking to AS, has insisted Pogba needs a winning project and the guarantee of challenging for the Champions League in order to stick rather than twist.
He said: “When a player asks you what we are going to do, it is a great responsibility.
“That’s when you stay up all night thinking what is better… I try to make it a process together with the footballer to see what is really in his heart.”
“Ibrahimovic knows that I was against him going to Barca, and he wanted to because it was a Barca of a very high level.
“And although people may think otherwise, I believe that (that failed move) was a great thing, not a great defeat. Because he learned much more in six months than in long stages of his life.
“With Pogba, the important thing now is to know what United wants, what project they are proposing to Pogba.
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“Pogba is interested in one thing, winning the Champions League and winning titles, and we are going to see where this is possible, if [it is] at United or at other clubs.”
Raiola was also asked why Real Madrid hadn’t signed Pogba yet, despite years of interest.
And he added: “It is a question [one should] ask Madrid.
“At one time Pogba felt a lot of love and trust from United, and there were several other clubs.
“Later, it is very difficult for United and Madrid to understand each other for a great transfer, because strong clubs do not want to sell strong players to other strong clubs.
“And I’m not going to kid you, for Pogba, playing at Real Madrid was always a really attractive thing, because of Zidane. He’s his [Pogba’s] childhood hero.”
Raiola was also quizzed on whether a move to the Bernabeu for the United star was still positive.
“I don’t know. I think that nothing is impossible, but football depends on the day,” he explained.
“As it is. And you have to be flexible to think of all the possibilities. And if tomorrow Madrid wants to make a Hazard-Pogba change? It is just an example. And if all four parties like it, why not?”
Former United star Lee Sharpe recently expressed a belief Pogba must be kept.
“If Paul Pogba’s heart is at Manchester United I’d be trying my best to get him a new contract before the end of the summer,” he told the Mirror.
“I think if he doesn’t want to sign and his head has been turned to go elsewhere then I would sell him right at the start of the summer so I’ve got all summer to find a replacement and go and get another world-beater, but for me I’d try and keep him at the club.”
Sharpe then added: “I’m a bit of a Paul Pogba fan if I’m in honest.
“I love him, love watching him. I think he’s a class above most players in the Premier League when he’s on his game.
“If we can get him fit and keep him fit and give him a run in the team I think he’ll win games for you.
“I know defensively he’s a little bit lacking at times but I think sometimes the greatest players that go forward and create for you are not great defensively.
“So I think you need to put players around them to protect against that.
“But going forward he’s the type of player who gets in situations, takes defence into attack, goes past people, we’ve seen he can score goals and create goals, a wonderful player.”
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