Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has warned his squad that no player is bigger than the club, aiming his message specifically at wantaway midfielder Paul Pogba.
The claims from Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola that the Frenchman is keen to walk away from Old Trafford have sparked a media frenzy, with Juventus, Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain all tipped to offer him an escape route.
Despite all the off-field drama, Pogba has kept his head down and impressed on the pitch for Solskjaer side, and the boss admitted his delight at seeing the 27-year-old’s determination to play during a tricky period in his career.
“Paul was here as a kid in the under-18s, we signed him early on, he comes with the Man Utd DNA in him,” said Solskjaer (via The Mirror). “He knows what we are about. Man Utd is about being in a team. I would not stand for anyone thinking he is bigger than Man Utd because no-one is. Absolutely no-one is and Paul knows this. It is not only Paul, it is for all of us.
“Paul has always been an ambitious boy who loves playing football. He trains well, he never refuses to train or play, he has got a good attitude. He’s been injured this season, he has had Covid. Now he is just about getting back to full fitness.
“Of course he wants to do as well as he can when he is in the team, however many minutes he gets on the pitch.”
Solskjaer’s comments echo his response to Raiola, whom he encouraged to keep his mouth shut and accept that United are more than just Pogba.
Away from Pogba, United have been tipped to meet with Raiola to discuss the future of another client, Borussia Dortmund striker Erling Haaland, who has been high on Solskjaer’s wish list for over 12 months.
“I leave the negotiations with agents to the club. I rarely speak to agents,” the boss added when asked about whether future dealings with Raiola may now be compromised. “I speak to the players and that is the biggest thing for me. I need to see them eye to eye.
“That is my say on it really. I think it is important, the relationship between player and manager, it is like the old days. I want players who can handle life as well. You can’t just go through agents.”
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