Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba will be fit when the season resumes, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed that both Marcus Rashford and Paul Pogba will be fit when the 2019/20 Premier League season resumes, which could be next month. Rashford has been out of action since January with a back injury and Pogba being on the sidelines since December with an ankle injury.

Rashford, 22, has made a total of 31 appearances for the club this season, scoring 19 goals and five assists, playing in the Premier League, the Emirates FA Cup, the Carabao Cup and the UEFA Europa League. He he still the top scorer for the club this season, despite his long layoff due to injury and could have so much more to offer.

Pogba, 27, has made just eight appearances for the club this season, playing in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup. The Frenchman has not scored any goals this season, assisting twice in the opening match of the season, a 4-0 victory over Chelsea, the team United will be trying to knock out of the top four this season.

The duo are currently training with United since group training resumed in the past week or so but the pair, and their teammates, have been training in their own time during the lockdown, maintaining their fitness levels. It will be a welcome return for the pair, as will the return of United with them being missed by many during the past few months.

It was reported earlier today that United’s players all returned from the lockdown not putting on any additional weight during the lockdown, which is a good thing for United as it will be much quicker to attain match fitness. Solskjaer confirmed on the clubs television channel, MUTV that both Rashford and Pogba will return, saying:

“They’re both looking good. They’ve joined training now and they’ve done everything the other boys have been doing.

“No reaction so far, touch wood. When we get started, it looks like we can have a full squad to choose from.

“We’re back in training which has been great. The boys have been fantastic, the weather’s been good and they’ve enjoyed it.

“Hopefully now we’ve proved we can do this safely and we can move to the next step.

“It’s been really enjoyable being on the training ground again.”

Once the final details of the resumption of the 2019/20 season has been confirmed, United will have nine Premier League matches to contend with against Tottenham Hotspur (A), Sheffield United (H), Brighton and Hove Albion (A), Bournemouth (H), Aston Villa (A), Southampton (H), Crystal Palace (A), West Ham United (H), and Leicester City (A).

They will also have a UEFA Europa League match against LASK (H) to play, the second leg in the round of 16, after winning 5-0 in the first leg, presumably playing two matches in the quarter-finals, should they get through. United will also have a quarter final clash with Norwich City (A) in the Emirates FA Cup. Top four and more is still to play for this season.

Paul Pogba told to take a pay cut to seal Juventus return this summer – reports

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has apparently been warned that he must take a pay cut if he is to return to Juventus this summer, according to reports. It has been suggested that the Frenchman is desperate to leave United this summer and that he has grown disillusioned with life at the Old Trafford club.

United manager, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is said to be willing to cash in on the player this summer as long as the price is right, curtailing any further unrest in the dressing room. Four years ago, United signed the Frenchman, returning to the club after four years, in an £89 million club and world record transfer.

Four years later, it would seem, based on the seemingly constant speculation, that the 2018 FIFA World Cup winner is seeking to move on again, back to the club he has been the most successful. at least in terms of winning trophies, however, Juventus have continued winning trophies without him at the club.

If United were able to sell Pogba for anything close to their valuation of the player, which last summer was £150 million, then United would be able to reinvest the money into the players that Solskjaer would like to bring to the Old Trafford club, namely Jadon Sancho from Borussia Dortmund and Jack Grealish from Aston Villa.

Pogba is reportedly on £290,000 per week at United, which is something that will not be matched by Juventus, which has become an apparent stumbling block in the bid to resign the Frenchman. Based on this, it has been stated by Italian news source, Tuttosport that the player will need to accept a drastic drop in his current salary.

The coronavirus pandemic is currently having a big financial impact on world football all teams will be tightening the purse strings in some way or another, including United, who have made huge losses already and will continue to do so, along with every club out there, as long as supporters are kept away from stadiums when football returns.

Pogba signed a five-year contract when he returned to United in the summer of 2016, which is due to expire in the summer of 2021, but the club added an option to add one a sixth year, which is what they have been doing for new signings and contract renewals since David Moyes managed the club, meaning United are in the driving seat.

United will be ensuring that Pogba is not allowed to leave the club as a free agent, which would see a prized asset walk away from the club with no recompense at all. Real Madrid had shown interest in the player but wages are a stopping point there, which leave Juventus left in the race, with wages an issue too.

Perhaps, if money is the players motivation, he will sign a new contract at United but if he does not want to be at the club, he will just have to take a hit in his wallet and leave the club he once called his destiny, also stating that ‘the time was right to go back to Old Trafford’. Forgive me for thinking that these were just words, no real meaning intended.

Could Paul Pogba regain his top form at Manchester United, saving the club money post-coronavirus?

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has long been linked with an exit from the Old Trafford club, in fact almost as soon as he returned to the club in the summer of 2016 for a then world record transfer, which is still a club record transfer today. Last summer, the French World Cup winner stated that he wanted a new challenge.

At the time, it was expected that the player wanted a transfer away from the club, which is not something he has admitted to and not something that he had denied. However, his agent, Mino Raiola, has kept talking, saying many things about the player he represents and his future, which was seemingly away from the Theatre of Dreams.

The coronavirus pandemic suspended world football in mid-March with only the Bundesliga back in action and La Liga to return in a matter of weeks. The Premier League has launched Project Restart with clubs in the first stage – a socially distanced return to training. It is expected that the season will resume either from the 12 June or the 19 June.

This season at United, Pogba has been limited to a total of seven appearances, playing in the Premier League and the Carabao Cup. He has not scored any goals but has two assists to his name, playing 610 minutes of football. He has suffered various ankle injuries this season, seeing him miss a total of 39 matches in all competitions this season.

At the time the coronavirus pandemic suspended football, Pogba was on the final stretch of his recovery and has been cleared to return to training, albeit on his own during the lockdown, now training in groups of five at the clubs Carrington training complex. He could feature for the club during the remainder of the season.

United have nine Premier League matches still to play, seeking to find a way into the top four this season, which would earn them UEFA Champions League football, currently sitting in fifth place in the league. The club is still in the Emirates FA Cup with the club facing Norwich City in the quarter finals, also in the UEFA Europa League round of 16 stage.

Pogba could play himself back into he team, partnering the likes of Scott McTominay and January signing, Bruno Fernandes at the club, which could bring out the best of Pogba, seemingly with him playing a deeper role in midfield, laying off the ball to a teammate and running forwards to get into the box, which could bring more goals to his game.

United were once expecting him to be the creativity in the squad and during his absence due to injury this season, that was clear as creativity was a problem, resulting in the club making a successful move for Fernandes in January, the rest being history. Pogba stated on his return to the club that it was his destiny, he needs to make that true.

Many are waiting for Pogba and Fernandes to work together on the pitch, brining out the best for United to the point that pictures of the duo training, when the players returned to the Aon training complex last week, showing the level of excitement. Pogba has it in him to be the best he can be, which will make things so much easier for him at United.

Mino Raiola ‘opens talks with Juventus’ ahead of summer transfer for Paul Pogba – reports

Mino Raiola, the agent of Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has apparently opened talks with Juventus about a return to the Italian club this summer, according to reports. The 27-year-old French midfielder has been pushing for a ‘new challenge’ since saying so on a promotion tour of the Far East last summer.

It was stated that both Real Madrid and Juventus were interested in the French FIFA World Cup winner with the former recently reported to have pulled out of the race to sign Pogba due to his wage demands. Raiola would seemingly prefer Pogba to move back to Juventus with reports of him opening talks reported by Le10Sport.

Pogba’s most successful stage of his career was at Juventus after leaving United in the summer of 2012 before returning in the summer of 2016, winning four Serie A titles, two Coppa Italia’s and two Supercoppa Italiana’s. At United, the Premier League is still elusive whilst the player has won the EFL Cup (now Carabao Cup) and the UEFA Europa League.

Pogba himself stated that his return to United was his ‘destiny’ and that he had unfinished business at the club. However, if you look at his performances over nearly four years, there is little to talk about in a positive context. Granted, the player has done some special things at the club but consistency is not something associated with that.

This season, despite the coronavirus pandemic suspending world football, Pogba’s appearances have been limited due to two ankle injuries. He’s made just eight appearances for the club, scoring no goals but assisting twice, both against Chelsea in the opening Premier League match of the season. He is now fit and should be ready to play again.

This summer, Pogba will effectively be into his final year of contract at United, although there is an option for another year to be added, which will give United some weight in demanding a certain fee for the player, although, if he really wants to leave, it could upset him but at the end of the day, he knew it was a possibility, so should understand this.

Juventus could offer a player or two as part of the deal with reports that Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot could be involved, but personally, I think Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and United should demand a straight sale, with no players included, adding more pressure on Juventus to stump up the cash. United do not need cast offs at this time.

Any money received for Pogba could be reinvested into the squad, should the Glazers not want to make the money disappear – as we know that is what they have been doing for years now, using the club as a cash cow, which in these tumultuous times, could be a massive negative for them, especially with the fan base being against them.

If Pogba does want to leave the club he once said was his destiny, it would suggest that his destiny was not at the Theatre of Dreams at all and seemingly failing at the club, during what should have been the peak of his career, could be damning, at least to the people who do not idolise him, which many seemingly do despite a lack of consistency.

Juventus advised to ‘sacrifice’ Aaron Ramsey for Paul Pogba; Manchester United told Welshman is the ‘perfect fit’

Juventus have reportedly been told to part company with Welsh midfielder Aaron Ramsey, who the club signed as a free agent last summer, along with French midfielder Adrien Rabiot so they can afford to bring Paul Pogba back to the Italian club this summer. The Frenchman has long been linked with a return to the club.

Former Juventus star Alessio Tacchinardi has also suggested that two midfielders would be needed by his former club, which seems silly considering they have two midfielders, who have been at the club for less than a year. I understand the urgency to get Pogba back, but is this logical? I guess nothing will ever surprise me in football. He said:

“In order to get [Paul] Pogba back, I would let [Adrien] Rabiot and [Aaron] Ramsey go, even if the Welshman did show a few signs of life in the last few games.”

Ramsey, 29, has struggled for consistency at Juventus since he move as a free agent last summer, making 24 appearances, scoring four goals and one assist. Tacchinardi believes that Rodrigo Bentancur would be better in the team, especially paired with Pogba, should the Italian club end up re-signing the player this summer, which could be likely if Pogba pushes.

Former Wales manager Chris Coleman believes that Ramsey is the ‘perfect fit’ for United. It is suggested that Maurizio Sarri will be seeking to sell the Welshman this summer which has reportedly interested Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Coleman, speaking about the Welshman and his apparent suitability for United, said:

“I’ve been fortunate to see the best of Aaron when I was manager of Wales. He’s at his best when he’s under a bit of pressure, when he’s playing against the best teams and when he’s playing in the big games.

“If it’s not going to happen for him at Juventus he’s definitely the type of player who can handle playing for Manchester United.

“When you play for a club like Manchester United the jersey is much heavier than when you are with a smaller club in the Premier League.

“If you play for a big club you’ve got to handle that extra weight. He certainly has the appetite for that.”

United were interested in Ramsey back in 2008, maybe earlier as Sir Alex Ferguson contacted Cardiff City manager, Dave Jones about the player. It has been stated that Ramsey was a United fan whilst growing up but in the end decided to sign for Arsenal. It was a blow to United at the time, who really wanted to sign the player.

However, three Premier League titles, one FA Cup, three League Cups, five FA Community Shields, one UEFA Champions League, one UEFA Europa League and one FIFA Club World Cup, which United achieved during the time he was at Arsenal, does not compare to three FA Cups and two FA Community Shields, obviously.

Ramsey has seemingly not convinced Sarri that he is the player that Juventus need to help them conquer Europe again, which is something United have done twice since they last did during the 1995/96 season. Coleman, suggesting that he did not understand by Ramsey signed for Juventus further commented by saying:

“I understand why Aaron went to Juventus. They are a great club and they always have a great chance of winning the League.

“He had been at Arsenal a long time, probably didn’t achieve what he wanted to achieve because Arsenal haven’t achieved what they would have liked in the last 10 years.

“He went there for good reasons but he’s too good to be sitting on the bench. If he’s got a chance at Juventus and Sarri likes him then okay.

“He might be out of form, maybe it’s taking him a little while to get used to a different culture. It’s not a walk in the park when you move from one country to the next, a different type of football, a different ask.

“But he wants to be in the starting eleven. In my opinion he’s good enough to be in it.”

It does seem puzzling why the 29-year-old signed for Juventus last summer but the reported £400,000 per week contract could have been something to do with it. That said, it is unlikely that United would agree to such terms, if they were to allow Pogba to leave the club this summer. The Frenchman is on a lot less than this each week.

Ramsey would have to see what United would consider offering him, if they are in fact interested in signing him. He would be a ready-made replacement for Pogba and has established himself in the Premier League. The discontent from Arsenal supporters would be hilarious but the last player United signed from Arsenal was short-lived.

Paul Pogba might actually want to stay at Manchester United linking up with Bruno Fernandes

There has been a lot of speculation surrounding the future of Paul Pogba with Real Madrid interested in the French FIFA World Cup winning midfielder to Juventus wanting him to return to the club he left four years ago. However, the coronavirus pandemic might actually stop any of that from happening. There is a chance the player never wanted to leave.

This might be more of an opinion rather that fact as I don’t actually know what Pogba wants but a move this summer, for the money United would be seeking to get for him, is unlikely, especially in there fact that United are unlikely to spend £100 million or more on Jadon Sancho, Phil the club has been linked for much of the past year.

If United, who are one of the richest clubs in the world, cannot sign a player like Sancho, breaking Pogba’s club record transfer fee from the summer of 2016, it is unlikely that any other club could afford to pay for Pogba, with United still in the driving seat regarding his contract, which expires next summer but had an extra year which could be added.

It is fair to say this season has been pretty much a failure for Pogba, who has been out for much of the season with ankle problems, recovering from one injury, then injuring the other ankle. If the coronavirus pandemic had not happened, he might not have played much football. With Project Restart on the horizon, he might get some football after all.

Since January, when United signs Bruno Fernandes from Sporting Clube de Portugal, Pogba was the man in midfield that every other player, and support, relied upon to get something going on the pitch. However, not that the 25-year-old Portuguese midfielder is at the club, and playing well, Pogba will not be the only man to get things started.

Fernandes has played nine times this season, scoring three goals and a further four assists. The Portuguese magnifico has literally turned the tide in terms of ability from the midfield and left supporters of the club wondering what kind of effect he and Pogba could have in midfield together. That prospect has even left Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dreaming.

If Project Restart actually happens, which we could know at some point on Monday, Solskjaer could have both players available to start, presumably with the first match being against Tottenham Hotspur, which was United’s next match after the coronavirus pandemic suspended world football. Marcus Rashford could also be back in action.

The prospect of both Pogba and Fernandes in midfield is an exciting one and if the Frenchman’s mind is not already ,Ade up regarding his future, he could see that magic the pair could make on the pitch, which might resurrect his aspirations to finish what he started at the club. United is Pogba’s destiny after all.

Pogba has played eight times this season, seven times in the Premier League and once in the Carabao Cup. He has yet to score a single goal but did assist two goals in the league against Chelsea in the opening match of the season, a 4-0 victory at Old Trafford. United’s spark could reignite with both Pogba and Fernandes pulling the strings in midfield.

Manchester United offered two players by Juventus to bring down Paul Pogba’s price – reports

Manchester United have reportedly been offered Aaron Ramsey and Adrien Rabiot by Juventus for Paul Pogba in a bid to try and bring down United’s selling price for the French World Cup winner. Presumably, the Italian club would be offering money for the player also, as I do not think this would be a great move considering the money spent on Pogba.

The Frenchman signed for United in the summer of 2016 with the club then led by Jose Mourinho. It is safe to say that the seemingly unfinished business that Pogba had at United, after leaving as a free agent in the summer of 2012 will remain unfinished if the player is allowed to leave the club this summer, which seems likely based on reports.

Last summer, United were asking £150 million for Pogba, who was being courted by both Real Madrid and Juventus, however, it is reported that the Spanish side have pulled out of the race to sign the player based on the financial limitations that the coronavirus pandemic would implicate on the game for the foreseeable future.

It has been reported over the past few weeks that Juventus would like the player to return to the club and reports have suggested that players such as Miralem Pjanic and Douglas Costa could be offered to United. One report suggested that former Arsenal midfielder, Aaron Ramsey would be offered and seemingly has, along with Adrien Rabiot.

Ramsey was a player that was wanted by United some years ago with the Welshman choosing Arsenal instead. Nearing the age of 30, it is questionable as to whether he would be seen as a player that would be well-received by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is trying to overhaul his squad to get them challenging for the Premier League title again.

Rabiot was linked to the Old Trafford club this week with reports suggesting that the French midfielder, who signed for Juventus as a free agent last summer, like Ramsey, did not want to return to the Italian club after the coronavirus pandemic with players in Italy returning to training from today, getting ready for the continuation of the Serie A season.

Despite Solskjaer recently talking about the link up between Pogba and January signing, Bruno Fernandes, which could actually happen this season, if Project Restart actually happens, which will be known in a week’s time but after that, it might be something resigned to the past. Pogba’s stay at the Theatre of Dreams could be over this summer.

Four years ago, Pogba returned to United, stating that he was ‘back home’ and that this club was his ‘destiny’. In my opinion, despite a handful of good performances and those who have an agenda talking about his individual achievements for the club last season, I am not too convinced that Pogba wanted to return to United, let alone stay at the club.

The player could have reignited his career at United, partly down to the clubs failings and also down to the player himself. I get the feeling that it is only a matter of time before Mino Raiola takes his client elsewhere again and Pogba starts to light up world football again. It looks clear right now that United is not Pogba’s ‘destiny’ or ‘his home’. We shall see.

Real Madrid pull out of race to sign Paul Pogba because of wage demands – reports

Paul Pogba’s dream move to Real Madrid is reportedly ‘on the rocks’ over the wage demands of the French FIFA World Cup winning midfielder. Pogba, 27, is apparently desperate to leave the Old Trafford club this summer with Juventus and Paris Saint-Germain also interested in the player. United will need to find out if this is true.

All newspapers are guilty of making things up time after time, which in the modern day seems to be more often than not. There are many reports, seemingly on a whim that are paraded as factual despite being fiction. To be a good journalist today, you just need to be a good liar. Of course, not every journalist is like this – there are some still passionate about it.

Currently, Pogba is contracted to United for another year on his £290,000 per week wage, although United have the option to add another year onto his contract, which was agreed at the time he re-signed for the club back in the summer of 2016, meaning he could be made to remain at the Old Trafford club until the summer of 2022.

It is suggested that Pogba’s wage is the main thing that is stopping Real Madrid from signing the player this summer following the financial implications which will come from the coronavirus pandemic, which has raged across the world and has suspended world football, although some league have restarted with plans for other to restart.

United paid a club record fee of £89 million for Pogba back in August 2016, a world record at the time, and with the current financial situation, it is suggested that United have had to lower the fee they would take for Pogba, which last summer was reported to be £150 million. It find it funny that United have to lower their demands but other clubs do not.

If you look at the Jadon Sancho situation, Borussia Dortmund want more than £100 million for the player this summer, even after the coronavirus pandemic, which has seemingly forced United to lower their demands. If this is the case, why are other clubs not forced to lower their demands too? This seems to be something rather pertinent that needs answering.

United are said to be asking for £100 million to let Pogba leave the Old Trafford club this summer, a £50 million drop on the asking price last summer, according to reports. The Madrid club have made no secure of their desire to sign Pogba but financially, it will need to be the right deal for them – which suggestively means Madrid get Pogba on their terms.

This is not likely to happen with United demanding their valuation of the player be met. They could easily add that extra year on the player’s contract, meaning their demands will need to be met. The competition from Juventus and PSG could work for United too. But for those clubs, wage demands could be an issue also.

I would like to see Pogba continue his career at United. Back in 2016 he described the club as his ‘destiny’ also stating that he wanted ‘to achieve everything he hoped to’, suggesting he had unfinished business at the Old Trafford club after leaving in 2012. That business could still remain unfinished if the player leaves this summer, meaning his return was for nothing. Pogba could always be remembered for that.

Paul Pogba still wanted by Real Madrid in £70 million deal; player happy to stay at Manchester United for another year – reports

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba seems to be a player that is dominating the headlines once again with his future supposedly in the air once again. The French FIFA World Cup winner wanted to leave the Old Trafford club last summer after announcing that he wanted a new challenge, however, that did not happen for him.

During the 2019/20 season, before the coronavirus pandemic stopped world football, Pogba’s season had not been the best with him missing 158 days or 36 matches due to ankle injuries, on both ankles. The Frenchman was a big miss during the first half of the season with Scott McTominay missing for large spells also.

However, during the January transfer window, Bruno Fernandes arrived at the club and it showed what United were missing with Pogba. When the coronavirus pandemic stopped world football, Pogba was seeking to return from injury, however, he never got back into the game with the Premier League et al being suspended until further notice.

Real Madrid still seem to be interested in the Frenchman and with the coronavirus pandemic, they could make a £70 million move for the 27-year-old, presumably because the value of players will drop because of the uncertainty. United will probably decline any offer that low. Last summer, United were seeking £150 million for the player.

Pogba’s contract will expire at United in the summer of 2021, meaning he will be into the final year of his contract this summer, although there is the option of a further year to be added, which might be something United activate just to quell, maybe for a short time, the uncertainty of the player wanting to stay or to leave – he’s not actually said anything yet.

A report last week suggested that United would ass the final year onto Pogba’s contract if a bid of at least £83 million did not arrive at the end of the season. It would seem unlikely that a bid of that amount would be submitted by any club right now. I would like to see how Pogba links up with Fernandes but if he does not want that, he should leave the club.

That being said, the coronavirus pandemic could change the landscape for Pogba and result in no club making a move for him this summer, given that the financial uncertainty surrounding big money transfers effectively ensures that nothing happens until next summer, when things have settled and a vaccine may be available.

Another report suggests that Pogba has been convinced to stay at the Old Trafford club until next summer, after the UEFA European Championships which should have been happening in just over a month’s time. Because of this, the player may be able to play himself into the attention of clubs he wants to play for, which seems selfish to me.

If a player ends up staying at United, it should be because they want to achieve with the club, not just because something has happened which makes a transfer difficult, therefore settling for what you have right now, still wanting something different in the future. If this is the case, United should get rid of the player this summer, even for £70 million.

Will Paul Pogba ever play for Manchester United again? The past season has seen him on the sidelines more than on the pitch

There is a question in the minds of Manchester United supporters at this moment in time; will Paul Pogba ever play for United again? It is something that many have been asking this season, well since he last played for the club in the 4-1 Boxing Day victory over Newcastle United in the Premier League where he replaced the injured Scott McTominay, playing 45 minutes in that game.

Of course, after this match, Pogba suffered another ankle injury, something he had just recovered from which started back in September, meaning he missed three matches. A recurrence of the injury put him on the sidelines for a further 17 matches, meaning he had missed 20 matches because of this particular injury. Currently, he has missed 10 matches with his most recent ankle injury.

There have been many rumours surrounding Pogba, which has been the case since he returned to the club; in the summer of 2018. just two years after his return to United, the Frenchman was linked to Barcelona – the summer France won the FIFA World Cup. Nothing ever materialised with this rumoured interest. The following summer, after stating that he wanted a new challenge, Pogba was linked to Real Madrid, which never materialised either.

“Like you said, there is a lot of talking and a lot of thinking as well. For me I have been for three years in Manchester and it’s been great – some good moments and some bad moments, like everybody, everywhere else.

“After this season, and after everything that happened this season, with my season being my best season as well… I think for me it could be a good time to have a new challenge somewhere else. I am thinking of this  to have a new challenge somewhere else.”

Does Paul Pogba have the hunger, determination and ability to have this team built around him?

This is something that I question. When Pogba returned to United in the summer of 2016, he made out that he had unfinished business at the club. Granted, in the time he has been back, he has won the EFL Cup and the UEFA Europa League. In November 2018, just before the sacking of Jose Mourinho, Pogba gave an interview to Inside United where he talked about returning to United being the ‘best feeling ever’. Yet just months later, a new challenge was seemingly on the cards.

“When I came back to United, it was the best feeling ever. I came back home.

I always dreamed of playing for United, to have many games and score goals. Nothing had really changed, except for maybe the team and the manager, but the rest of the club was the same.

“I just came back home, it was like I didn’t really leave – I just went on holiday! [laughs]. It was a great feeling to come back home.”

A lot could have happened in the background to change the stance of Pogba from the above comments, which are overtly positive to the ‘new challenge’ comments around eight months later, something must have changed. Pogba seemed to be under-fire by Mourinho and his sacking may have changed things but the fact that the player still does not seem to be happy, perhaps he is not happy with the club based on the things that have happened recently.

United are a fallen giant and perhaps Pogba was sold on coming back to United because he was promised something that has not materialised. Maybe Ed Woodward, the clubs executive vice-chairman promised to build the squad around him, which has not happened as it needed to. Looking at the way United are right now, there will need to be a lot of money spent on players that have the right skills, disciplines and mindsets to set the club in the right direction. It may be too late to change Pogba’s mind. However, this may not be the case.

Does Paul Pogba have the right attitude to play for Manchester United?

It is well-known that Sir Alex Ferguson was not a fan of Pogba’s attitude when he walked away from the club as a free agent back in the summer of 2012. The French midfielder was apparently offered a new contract by United but decided to sign for Juventus instead, spending four years at the club, playing 178 times and scoring 34 goals for the Italian club, winning the Series A four times, the Coppa Italia twice and the Supercoppa Italiana twice.

At the time Pogba left United in the summer of 2012, Ferguson, who had given the player chances but felt he was not ready to step into the first team at the time, which is why Paul Scholes stepped back out of retirement for a while – to bolster the ailing midfield. This may have made Pogba’s mind up about leaving – especially if a player in his late 30s was more highly-rated than him. Speaking about Pogba leaving back in 2012, Ferguson said:

“[Paul] Pogba signed for Juventus a long time ago as far as we’re aware. It’s a bit disappointing because I don’t think he showed us any respect at all. To be honest, if they carry on that way, I’m quite happy that he’s away, from me, anyway.”

Of course, it was not just Pogba that Ferguson had a problem with, it was his agent, Mino Raiola. I must say, I can see why Raiola is not liked. He’s greedy, abrasive and seems to think he can always get what he and his clients want all of the time, which is not always the case. Raiola is not liked by many in the footballing world but seems to get many high-profile clients, seemingly entrusting in them when they were younger. Ferguson, speaking about Raiola in his book, Leading, said:

“There are one or two football agents I simply do not like. And Mino Raiola, Paul Pogba’s agent, is one of them. I distrusted him from the moment I met him. He became Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s agent while he was playing for Ajax, and eventually he would end up representing Pogba, who was only 18 years old at the time.

“We had Paul under a three-year contract, and it had a one-year renewal option which we were eager to sign. But Raiola suddenly appeared on the scene and our first meeting was a fiasco.

“He and I were like oil and water. From then on, our goose was cooked because Raiola had been able to ingratiate himself with Paul and his family and the player signed with Juventus.”

Since Pogba has returned to United, he has played a total of 143 times, scoring 31 goals. The 2019/20 season will have been his fourth season back at United, despite injuries keeping him out of the majority of matches. The 2018/19 season was probably his best at the club which saw him score 16 goals and 11 assists in 47 appearances. In the Premier League, compared to other United players, he scored the most goals, assists, shots on target, take-ons, fouls won, chances created, possession won, duels won, and chances in the final third.

At times though, Pogba may not have been seen as the player busting a gut to help drive United forward. There are very few times when Pogba has guided the team as the most inspiring player on the pitch. That match against Manchester City in the Premier League at the Etihad, of which United were 2-0 down at the break with Pogba inspiring United to a 3-2 victory – seems to be the only real occasion that he has lit the world on fire in a match.

There may be other cases, this is the best case. Most of the time, he dawdles on the pitch and has not looked like he has cared much. This is my opinion and the way I feel, I cannot answer for other people. There will be many out there who will always defend Pogba. In terms of Pogba having the right attitude to play for United, I am still waiting to be sold on that. He has a lot to prove, especially if he does want to stay at the club. Personally, I think it is clear that he wants to move on, however, the fact that he has 12 months left on his contract at the end of the season and that United have a further 12 months to add, could mean the buying club will have to spend big to get him.

Will Paul Pogba play for Manchester United again?

This is the question that, at this moment in time, looks unlikely. It was suggested that Pogba could be fit this month but as he did not travel on the clubs winter training break in Spain this week, it seems unlikely that he will be back in action soon, unless he is training behind the scenes at the club Carrington training ground. Of course, after surgery and having a cast on his ankle, Pogba will be some time away from ball work, which could be the reason he stayed behind.

United have 16 matches remaining at this moment in time. Advancing in the UEFA Europa League and the Emirates FA Cup might add at least three more matches, if they advance in both competitions. Pogba is running out of time to be fit. Pogba has been pencilled in to be back in action by the 5 March 2020, which incidentally is the date are due to face Derby County at Pride Park in the sixth round of the FA Cup. Both Manchester City (home) and Tottenham Hotspur (away) lie in wait after this fixture, so Pogba may need to be at his best. There is a chance he could miss these fixtures.

It seems like his injury has dragged on for the entire season so far. His season has not been impressive, although he did register two assists against Chelsea in the first match of the Premier League season, which will become his highlight reel so far. The ankle injury in September, which returned in October, derailed his season. Then, the injury to the other ankle seems to have made things worse. It kind of makes it look like Pogba does not want to play but injuries are not something that the player or the club can control.

I would like to see Pogba play for United again. He is a world-class midfielder. Now that Bruno Fernandes has been signed and Scott McTominay seems to be close to returning, not to mention the form of Nemanja Matic of late, having Pogba in the team could be good for the club. With United having experienced midfield options to choose from, especially having two attack-minded midfielders, the creativity that could come from this is interesting. However, I fully expect the injury to drag on into late March, then to April and before you know it May is here and the season is nearly over. It is cynical of me but it seems to be what has happened so far this season, you cannot blame me for thinking it could continue to happen.

copyright: JW