Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has complete faith in Paul Pogba’s commitment to Manchester United and is convinced he will remain at the club beyond the end of the transfer window.
The 28-year-old has entered the final year of his contract at Old Trafford and has again been linked with a move away this summer, with Paris Saint-Germain interested.
But Solskjaer expects Pogba to still be a United player when the transfer window closes at the end of this month and even if the campaign progresses with no new deal signed he has backed the World Cup winner to remain committed to the cause.
Pogba expressed a desire for a new challenge two years ago and agent Mino Raiola said as recently as last December that his client wanted to leave the club, but he was magnificent on the opening day of the season, creating four of United’s five goals, and Solskjaer has challenged the midfielder to continue to hit those heights during the season.
“That’s the challenge for everyone – that you play to a high standard every weekend when you’re a Manchester United player,” he said.
If you’ve got a five-year contract or a one-year contract, when you sign for Man United you have to rise to the challenge of performing on a consistent level.
We can’t expect Bruno to score a hat-trick every time, of course we can’t, we can’t score five goals every game. That’s not how the world works.
“What I expect is that the attitude and the approach to every game is the right one.
“That we have the same focus, the right focus, the right professionalism and, with that, I have no worries about Paul whatsoever. I expect him to be here when September 1 comes.”
Pogba will be free to talk to overseas clubs on January 1 unless he signs a new deal before then. United have offered him a new contract, but the former Juventus midfielder could decide to wait and see what other offers are on the table.
It’s expected PSG are likely to retain an interest, while Real Madrid and Juventus were interested before the finances were decimated by the pandemic.
But as United continue to make progress it’s not inconceivable that Pogba decides his long-term future lies at Old Trafford and Solskjaer knows a winning team could help convince him to stay.
“As a footballer, when you look around and you see good footballers next to you that puts another layer of responsibility on yourself and your own performances,” he said.
“You have to play well to be in the team, you have to play well to be successful in this team.
“Sometimes, you’ve got to accept being on the bench because we need a strong squad, a big squad to win trophies.
“Say Paul, he’s enjoying his football and I’ve said many times, my job is to make sure we’re getting the best out of Paul and Bruno and all the individuals – all the very good players we’ve got – within a team structure.
“I knew the headlines were going to be about Paul and Bruno with four assists and three goals.
“But it’s all the other boys as well and the balance in the team.
“For me, to make players stay at Man United, when you see a good squad and get good results that helps and we want to win things.
“There was no better place to be when I was a player because we kept on winning.
“I want to take this team to the next level, we want to start winning trophies, but that requires consistency. We’ve played one game and (people) are talking about us winning the league.
“We’ve cut the deficit to the winning team last season by quite a few points but we still have to take another step or two into the next level.”