With a month to go before the transfer window closes for Premier League clubs, it’s business as usual for Paul Pogba at Manchester United according to manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Pogba has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford in recent windows, thanks in large part to comments made by the player himself and his agent Mina Raiola.
“After this season and everything that happened this season, with my season being my best season as well…I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else,” said Pogba last month.
“I am thinking of this – to have a new challenge somewhere else.”
United are in Perth, Australia to play two games as part of their preseason program and Solskjaer told reporters today that no bids have been received for the 26-year-old Frenchman.
“There has been loads of talk and speculation about many of our players, both ins and outs,” he said.
“For me, it’s business as usual. When you are at Man United you expect all of these things to pop up in the summer and of course I’ve been in touch with Paul, spoken to Paul, spoken to Rom [Romelu Lukaku], spoken to Rashy [Marcus Rashford], Jesse [Lingard]…spoken to all the players more or less over the summer as you do.
“As far as I’m aware up until now we don’t have any bids for any of our players so there’s no reason to say anything other than our players have long contracts, we are Man United, we don’t have to sell players.”
Solskjaer pulled no punches when he suggested that there is a media agenda against Pogba, as evidenced by this week’s story of an altercation between the midfielder and team mate Jesse Lingard which turned out to be nothing more than some playacting.
“He’s a top, top bloke and a great, great professional,” said Solskjaer. “He’s never been any problem, he’s got a heart of gold.
“He’s a top, top bloke. He’s a great professional. He’s never been any problem.
“Jesse and Paul were walking around and it’s been portrayed as a fight between the two boys. There are no problems between the boys, preseason has been very good so far.”
Raiola, Pogba’s agent, has stated that he is hopeful of a resolution to the saga that will benefit everyone involved.
“The player has done nothing wrong. He has been respectful and professional in every way,” said Raiola while being interviewed on talkSPORT.
“The club has known his feeling for a long time. It is a shame other people only like to criticise without the right information, and I am also sorry that the club does not take any position against this.
“Hopefully there will be soon a satisfying solution for all parties.”
Back in Perth, Solskjaer was growing visibly tired of the line of questioning around Pogba and was keen to move on to other matters.
“I can’t be sitting here talking about Paul all the time and what agents are saying,” he said.
“We’ve got a few years left of his contract and for me he has been fantastic when he has come back into training.”
In other transfer news, Solskjaer remains hopeful that David De Gea will ink a new deal to extend his stay at the club.
“David has had a summer now where he has been negotiating and thinking about his contract, so we hope that we’re going to get it sorted soon,” he said.
“I’m positive; of course, with David I’ve said many times how lucky I am and how happy we are to have him in the goal so we hope that he stays here for many years.”
So far United have brought in youngsters Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James from Crystal Palace and Swansea City respectively and Solskjaer says that they are still in the market for further reinforcements.
“We’re still in the market and looking to do some business,” he said.
“We’re patient and we’re Man United, we don’t have to sell but we’re Man United, we don’t have to overpay either.
“You have to have the right players for the right price and if we look at the squad we have now there’s so many good players there.”
United take on A-League side Perth Glory at Optus Stadium on Saturday before facing Leeds United at the same venue next Wednesday.
Neil Sherwin is in Perth covering the #MUTOUR, you can follow him on Twitter for more updates.