Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects Manchester United fans to welcome Paul Pogba back to Old Trafford next season, despite the player wanting to leave the club.
Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola said this month they were “in the process” of facilitating a move away from United, but the midfielder has continued to feature in Solskjaer’s squad on their pre-season tour of Asia.
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He was subjected to abuse in United’s final match at Old Trafford last season, but Solskjaer said the 26-year-old will not face a bad reaction when he returns to Manchester for the new campaign.
“Our fans know what Paul has given the club and what he can give us,” Solskjaer said on Wednesday. “Obviously there’s some small minority.
“Paul has been absolutely top in the group, both me and the players will testify to that. He’s never for a second been a problem. We’re just grateful when he performs as well as he does.”
Solskaer has no regrets over taking Lukaku
Romelu Lukaku, the subject of a rejected £54m bid from Inter Milan this week, will miss his fourth pre-season match on Thursday after Solskjaer confirmed he will not play against Tottenham in China due to injury.
Inter cannot get close to the United valuation of more than £79m and time is running out on Lukaku as United must find a replacement.
Asked if he regretted taking Lukaku on tour, Solskjaer said: “He got injured in training so he had to stay here: if it was worse we would have sent him home, but he’s been working with the physios in the gym, so no.”
Solskjaer added: “Of course it’s never nice to be a player who misses out on important fitness work, but also team-building work – understanding the tactical approach.
“He’ll just have to make up later on.”
Solskjaer: We must be patient on transfers
Manchester United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward will not be joining the club’s pre-season tour, Sky Sports News understands, as he is expected to remain in the UK to conduct transfer business ahead of the new season.
The club have brought in Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, but have has bids rejected for Leicester City and England defender Harry Maguire.
United are also interested in Newcastle’s Sean Longstaff and Sporting Lisbon’s Bruno Fernandes.
Solskjaer maintains he is not growing “frustrated” with the lack of incomings this summer.
“I believe in these players,” said Solskjaer. “I’m sure we could do well, but it’s both short term and long term. When we’re working on something that means we’ve identified something that could improve us.
“If it’s to be or not to be we will see.
“It will take time for any player to adjust to Manchester United – apart from me, it took me six minutes.
“We’ve got to be patient, it’s a long haul and it’s very important we get the right ones in.
“When you hit a hurdle you can’t just jump on a different path. I’ve not had a frustrated feeling at all.”
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