Paul Pogba is focused on doing well for Manchester United despite his agent’s comments about wanting to leave, says manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Mino Raiola said this week Pogba had no interest in signing an extension to his contract, which ends in June 2022.
He added it would be better for all parties if Pogba left in January.
“Paul’s got the hunger and appetite to play. He wants to train and he’s focused on performing when he gets a chance,” said Solskjaer.
It is not entirely clear who has the money to pay the kind of fee United would want, although Pogba’s former club Juventus have repeatedly been mentioned as being interested in the 27-year-old France World Cup winner.
Solskjaer had offered curt answers when questioned about Pogba since Tuesday’s Champions League elimination by RB Leipzig, when the midfielder was introduced as a second-half substitute.
But when questioned about the matter on Friday, Solskjaer said Pogba’s attitude contrasted with that of other former United players when they were looking for the exit door.
“There’s been other players refusing to train and refusing to play – they’re not here any more, of course – but Paul’s not once done that,” said Solskjaer.
“He’s got the quality and the desire to do well when he comes on, like he did against Leipzig, when he had a positive impact.”
Although United have won four league games in a row, the Norwegian is again under pressure because of his side’s inconsistencies and defensive frailties, which were laid bare in Germany.
At times, Solskjaer almost seems too nice to deal with the scrutiny but he says it was something he thought about before he accepted the job – and he can handle it.
“There’s always pressure on you when you manage Manchester United,” he said.
“That’s something I had to think about when I accepted the role. Do I have what it takes to be in such a situation? Can you handle setbacks? Can you handle success? I think I can.”