Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has reiterated Paul Pogba will not leave Manchester United this summer – despite the France international saying there is a “big question mark” over his future.
Ahead of Monday’s trip to Wolves, live on Sky Sports, the United manager fielded questions on Pogba – and where he might end up – following the midfielder’s latest remarks after the 4-0 win over Chelsea last Sunday.
“You always put question marks around Paul, don’t you?” Solskjaer asked the journalists gathered for his weekly news conference.
“I’ve got no concerns on Paul. For me, he is going to stay,” the United boss continued.
“I don’t think it is odd saying, ‘I enjoy playing, I have fun with my team-mates, I enjoy what I’m doing, I love my job – and I’ve enjoyed the game’.
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“Of course, that sentence with the question mark about him – there’s always question marks about Paul Pogba.
“There’s not one press conference where I have not answered a question about Paul Pogba.
Wolves vs Man Utd
August 19, 2019, 7:00pm
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“Eighty per cent of what he said is ‘I enjoyed the game’ and his time now.”
Pogba has been linked with Real Madrid since he admitted, while on international duty with France in March, that playing for the La Liga club under Zinedine Zidane would be a “dream for anyone”.
Since the end of last season, Pogba said it might be time for a new challenge, with his agent, Mino Raiola, later confirming the 26-year-old wants out of United.
United insist he is not for sale while Real appear unable to afford the deal – despite Zidane’s insistence he get his man. They had a player-plus-cash offer, including James Rodriguez, turned down in July.
‘I have too many centre-backs to keep everyone happy’
For Sunday’s Premier League opener against Chelsea, Solskjaer favoured a centre-back pairing of Victor Lindelof and Harry Maguire, with Axel Tuanzebe on the bench.
It meant there was no room in the matchday squad for Phil Jones, Chris Smalling and Marcos Rojo. Eric Bailly is recovering from a knee injury that will keep him out for four to five months.
“I do have too many centre-backs to keep everyone happy,” Solskjaer said. ” But we need to win games, we need to perform – so we will pick the players that give us the biggest chance to win games.
“They’re all quality centre-backs and we will need quite a few of them. With Eric Bailly’s injury, we have six fit centre-backs – which is maybe one too many to keep everyone involved.”
Rashford or Martial – who is the more natural finisher?
Meanhwile, upfront Solskjaer surprised against Chelsea by choosing to play Anthony Martial through the middle with Marcus Rashford on the left of a fluid front three. He says it will rotate throughout the season.
“Anthony has had spells where he has played as No 9 under Louis van Gaal and then on the left in the last few years. I think him and Marcus are capable of playing both positions,” added Solskjaer.
“Sometimes it will be Marcus through the middle and Anthony on the left – or Dan James on the left and maybe one of them on the right.
“But, of course, the goals are scored between the posts and not the ‘worldies’ that we’ve seen both of them score – Marcus and Anthony – curlers in the top corner.