Solskjaer insists Paul Pogba will not leave Manchester United in January
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insists Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba will be going nowhere next month.
Speculation has been rife about the 26-year-old’s future ever since the World Cup winner admitted over the summer that he was open to a new challenge elsewhere.
Pogba has subsequently only appeared six times since then due to an ankle injury and a report on Thursday evening suggested that team-mates and club officials felt the midfielder had almost certainly played his last game for United.
Real Madrid have a long-standing interest in the France international but Solskjaer insists he is not leaving Old Trafford during the January window.
“He’s not getting sold in January, no,” Solskjaer said.
“He’s training but he’s not been training with us for long. He’s training and that’s a step forward for us.
“Yeah, of course (I understand all the interest around him) because he’s a fantastic player, a charismatic personality and for us we’re happy that he’s here.”
Solskjaer had expected to have Pogba back before the end of the year, only for illness to hamper his return to first-team training.
The 26-year-old will again be absent when United travel to Watford on Sunday but the midfielder was seen in good spirits on Friday, just hours after the manager sung his praises once again.
“When he comes back, play well, play with a smile on his face and do what he did a year ago when I came here,” Solskjaer said when asked how Pogba stops the background noise.
“Paul was fantastic. He has been fantastic when he’s played for us.
“We know that we’ve got one of the best players in the world when he’s playing well, when he gets fit.
“He needs time to get fit of course but he’ll make a difference for us.”
Pushed on whether the midfielder will play before the end of the year, the United boss added: “Well, I hope so. Still.
“Let’s see how he feels. I’m not going to push him, of course. Then what he feels, his ankle, we need him to be 100 per cent fit. I can’t risk any setbacks on the injury.”