Solskjaer plays down rumours of Paul Pogba row

LONDON (AFP) – Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played down any suggestion of a disagreement over Paul Pogba’s recent ankle surgery on Friday.

The Norwegian boss said on New Year’s Day that Pogba’s “people” had advised that the player, who has only started six matches in all competitions this season due to ankle problems, required surgery.

Speculation continues to surround the 26-year-old Frenchman, who has been regularly linked with a move away from Old Trafford and whose agent, Mino Raiola, has been scathing about the club in comments made in the Italian media.

Solskjaer sought to set the record straight regarding the World Cup winner, who joined United for a then world record GBP89 million fee in 2016.

“Paul came back after a long spell out, (featured in) a few games, had a reaction, and didn’t go to Burnley,” he said yesterday.

“He felt his ankle was sore, we did a scan. It’s not the same injury, it’s a different injury, of course when you get that scan you (as a player) consult your own medical people as well, like I did. He wanted a second opinion and the advice was to have it done.

“It’s not a major (injury) and probably, as I said, (he will be out) three or four weeks.”

When asked again about why he had suggested it was Pogba’s “people” behind the decision to undergo surgery, he added, “As in when you consult your surgeon and the ones you trust.

“That’s maybe my bad English – you have people you trust and you speak to. When I had my injuries, knee operations, I had my people in Norway and Sweden that I spoke to and Paul obviously has people as well that he trusts, and that’s important.”

Pogba featured as a second-half substitute in the matches against Watford and Newcastle over the Christmas period and had been expected to feature against Burnley before his latest setback.

An injury to Scott McTominay on top of Pogba’s problems has further limited Solskjaer’s choices in midfield.

File photo shows Manchester United’s Paul Pogba controlling the ball as a Newcastle United player defends. PHOTO: AP