MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM (AFP) – Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said yesterday that French World Cup-winning midfielder Paul Pogba will not leave the club in the January transfer window.
The 26-year-old – persistently linked with Real Madrid – has only played two matches for United since the end of August due to an ankle injury and speculation has been growing that he would not play for the club again.
Pogba, whose return was delayed by a mystery illness despite him being seen dancing at his brother Florentin’s wedding last weekend, admitted in the summer he was looking for a new challenge, but that will not be in January according to Solskjaer.
“Paul is not getting sold in January, no,” he told reporters at a press conference ahead of tomorrow night’s Premier League match at Watford.
“I understand the interest. Paul is a fantastic player and a charismatic personality and we’re happy that he is here.”
Pogba has missed 26 of a possible 28 matches for club and country this autumn and United have missed his midfield dynamism.
Solskajer has always maintained Pogba would make it back before the end of the year and he has now returned to first-team training.
But for the Norwegian, the most important thing is to reincorporate a fully fit and firing Pogba into his youthful team.
“When he comes back, we want him to play well, play with a smile on his face and do what he did a year ago when I came in,” said Solskjaer.
“His form was fantastic and it has been fantastic. We know we have one of the best players in the world when he’s fit and playing well. Of course he needs time to get fit, but he will make a difference for us.”