OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER is pushing to get Paul Pogba signed up on a new contract and keep him at Old Trafford. The club record signing returned fro
OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER is pushing to get Paul Pogba signed up on a new contract and keep him at Old Trafford.
The club record signing returned from a ten-game injury absence to score the winning goal against AC Milan on Thursday night and put Manchester United into the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Pogba netted the winner for Man Utd against AC Milan in the Europa League last night[/caption]
But doubts about his future remain with just next season left on his current deal.
Solskjaer said: “Of course we’ve got discussions and talks.”
Those talks are around a new four-year deal with the option of a further year to take Pogba, 28, most probably to the end of his career.
With the economic downturn due to the Covid-19 pandemic, few would be able to afford a player Man Utd valued at £180million when he was on the market two summers ago.
Then again, right now, they don’t want to let him go even if there is a bid after what he showed when he came on as a half-time substitute in the San Siro, scoring the winner three minutes later.
Solskjaer said: “When you see Paul playing like he did against Milan, when you see him come back training, it shows how much he cares for us and how much he enjoys playing and how much we can benefit from having him here.”
That 1-0 win on the back of a 1-1 first leg put United into the draw for the last eight where they were pitted against Granada.
They are now favourites to go on and win the trophy that they lifted in 2017.
This Sunday they turn their attentions to the FA Cup and a quarter-final trip to face Leicester and Solskjaer says he will have to weigh up whether to start fit again Pogba.
He said: “We have to see how much Paul can play. I don’t think he can last 90 minutes, I’m not sure he can start, but you can see the impact he can make if he comes on as a sub. If he feels OK maybe we can start him as well. We have to see who the runners and riders are.”
On the back of a 14-game unbeaten run Solskjaer understandably believes his team are well up for another big challenge as they search for their first silverware under him.
He said: “The belief and the attitude is there. I have to say I’m really impressed by the way they recover and get ready for the next game because it is relentless.
“They are preparing to perform at the highest, highest level. It’s not like we’ve had any gimmees in the draws. “Every game has been a game you have to dig deep to win. This is another one. Leicester away, of course we drew in the league against them, and we know we have to defend well against them.
“We know we’ve got a game on our hands.”
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United will have to assess Marcus Rashford ahead of the game after he went off at the break with an ankle injury, while Edinson Cavani and Anthony Martial were left out of the squad for Milan with muscle and hip injuries respectively.
Solskjaer said: “With Marcus I don’t really know, I can’t say. I hope, but most unlikely that he’ll be fit, but I hope so.
“With Edinson, he has worked really hard, he’s joined in training sessions and towards the end he needs to top it up to feel 100 per cent ready for the game and hasn’t really got there yet. It’s down to him, he wants to be 100 per cent when he joins in, he doesn’t want to come in and look off the pace.
“Hopefully he can be ready for Sunday but I’m not sure either.
“With Anthony it was a hip injury he got against AC Milan a week ago. it’s not reacted how we hoped but he’s working really hard to get the treatment in the pool and the bike work and everything to get ready and that’s the pleasing thing, that he’s desperate to come back.”
While they may be short up front, they have no problems at the back.
Sunday’s 1-0 win over West Ham was the first time they had recorded four consecutive league clean sheets under Solskjaer.
After the 1-0 win in Milan they have now conceded just once in seven games in all competitions.
But Solskjaer admits that did not stop them from having a major inquest into how they conceded that one goal in injury time in the first leg of their last 16 tie with Milan at Old Trafford.
Solskjaer said: “We work on things, when you have a setback like we had against Milan in the last minute, we had a big… not row, but we had a little bit of a meeting. You saw against West Ham and you saw against Milan there was no chance we were going to let any goals in.
“They’re proud defenders and even though they can play football and play out from the back and all this, when you see defenders wanting to defend things you’re pleased.”