Home » Why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is right to be confident about Paul Pogba

Why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is right to be confident about Paul Pogba

by Red Billy

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s comments yesterday about Paul Pogba’s future could be taken as a bit of bravado, or they could be seen as encouraging by Manchester United fans.

Speculation has been rife that Pogba may have refused a contract extension at Old Trafford and that it is only a matter of time before Paris Saint Germain come calling with a low-ball offer, some saying in the region of £43 million.

However, speaking after yesterday’s friendly outing against QPR, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sounded bullish about the Frenchman’s future at United.

‘There’s always speculation about Paul and clubs being interested, and we’ve seen Paul at his best,’ Solskjaer said.
‘Paul knows what we feel about it and I’ve enjoyed my time working with him and hopefully we can work together.

‘The talks between the club and Paul’s representatives, I’m not in the detail of every single one of them. I’ve got nothing to say about that. Let’s see what happens.

‘The talks are ongoing between Paul’s representatives and the club representatives. All the dialogue I’ve had with Paul is he’s looking forward to the season.’

The fact is that Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, could be the sticking point in contract renewals rather than the player himself.

Another Raiola client, Gianluigi Donnarumma, recently left AC Milan on a free after failing to agree a new deal. It was widely reported that a big element of that breakdown was Raiola’s own demand of €20 million to broker the deal. The Rossoneri stuck to their guns and refused to pay it.

It is possible that he is making a similar or even greater demand in the case of his own fee for Pogba’s extension.

There is little doubt that any club would welcome a player of Pogba’s talent on their books and PSG would be no exception. However, it would be akin to a livelong United fan among a family of United fans joining Liverpool (the Pogba family are devout Marseille supporters).

That fact has not been lost of the PSG fans, who have pinned massive posters at both the Parc des Princes and the club’s training facilities saying that Pogba is not wanted.

PSG are very well-stocked in midfield, with Gini Wijnaldum, Marco Verratti, Leandro Paredes, Danilo Pereira, Ander Herrera and Idrissa Gueye among their staff.

There is also the issue of Pogba’s ambition and desire to win trophies, which is something very limited by playing in the lower standard French league.

Furthermore, FFP regulations would force the Parisians to sell before they could buy, which would not be straightforward.

Of course, the 28-year-old could simply see out his contract at United and then choose any team next season – but as he enters his 30th year, what kind of contract offer would be available to him, if any, from the likes of Real Madrid or Juventus?

It is therefore very possible that Solskjaer’s upbeat comments might be coming from a place of confidence rather than defiance. As transfer guru Fabrizio Romano tweeted yesterday, ‘Man United are still convinced they can keep Paul Pogba this summer.’

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