Manchester United hint at Paul Pogba plans for next season

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hinted he would like to keep Paul Pogba for another season after praising the midfielder’s commitment to Manchester United.

Pogba could start his first Premier League game in almost two months against Brighton on Sunday after playing just over 180 minutes across three games for France in the international break.

Solskjaer expects Pogba to have a significant role to play for United in the run-in, with nine Premier League games to go and potentially five more in the Europa League if United make the final.

But the 28-year-old is still no closer to signing a new deal at Old Trafford, which could present United with a headache this summer over whether to cash in on him or keep him for an extra year and risk losing him on a free transfer in 2022.

Pogba’s importance to United has grown as this season has progressed and they may find it difficult to replace him if he does leave this summer. Asked if he would want to keep the World Cup winner for 2021/22 and risk him departing for nothing at the end of next season, Solskjaer said he’d already made his feelings clear to Pogba.

“When he’s been at the club Paul has always wanted what is best for Man United, he’s been such an important part of the squad on and off the pitch,” the United boss said.

“Paul is a player we want to see at Man United and play well. Just to have him back fit for the last two months, he’s going to be important to us, we know he can be the difference between many, many points or going through in Europe like we did against Milan.

“The focus is now on finishing the season strongly, [but] Paul knows what my thoughts are.”

The future of Pogba is one of a number of issues United will seek to sort out ahead of the transfer window, which is again going to be impacted financially by the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the rearranged European Championship all set to take place in June and July there could be a desire to get business done early, something United haven’t always excelled at, with deals going down to the wire in the previous two transfer windows.

While Solskjaer hopes that will be different this summer, he’s aware it’s often easier said than done.
“We’d all like the squad sorted as soon as possible but I’m not the one in the trenches with the negotiations so I will leave that to the club and so far I think we’ve done a really good job,” he said.
“We have got the targets we really wanted and been building, been strengthening, the squad and this summer as well there’s always an opportunity – even though this window will be different to any other that’s ever happened because of the pandemic and the money teams have lost.”

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