Paul Pogba has ‘rarely been happier’ at Old Trafford and now wants to stay at the club, according to ESPN.
The 27-year-old has been consistently linked with a move to either Real Madrid or Juventus over the past two years and has been reported to be deeply unhappy at Manchester United.
His agent Mino Raiola has stirred the pot on a number of occasions, famously saying in December ‘Pogba’s problem is Manchester. It is a club out of reality, without a sports project…Today I would no longer take anyone there, they would also ruin Maradona, Pelé and Maldini. Paul needs a team and a club, one like Juventus.’
However, inside sources have told ESPN’s Julien Laurens that partly due to his excellent relationship with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the Frenchman feels happy and settled at the club he first joined in 2009 at the age of 16.
‘With United still in two cup competitions this season and in a battle to finish in the Champions League qualifying places, there’s still plenty to play for, which is another factor in Pogba’s improvement in mood,’ Laurens writes.
‘Sources have told ESPN the France international feels in a good place, and his relationship with Solskjaer — who coached him when he was a youth player from 2009-11 — is said to be “great”.
‘Despite constant links to Europe’s top clubs, Pogba’s main concern during his spell on the sidelines was getting back playing for United and proving those who doubt him wrong.
‘Since the restart, where he has combined well with Bruno Fernandes in United’s midfield, sources have said Pogba feels he has started to answer his critics.
‘Fernandes’ arrival has boosted United’s Champions League hopes with the club on a 15-match unbeaten run and Pogba, one of the leaders in United’s dressing room, feels they are making great progress and that Solskjaer is building a promising team.’
There is little chance in any case of a move this summer, with the pandemic having caused financial chaos to the clubs who were chasing his signature. Both the transfer fee required and the Frenchman’s salary are highly unlikely to be matched as things stand.
However, there is a big difference between United carrying ‘a prisoner’ – words used by Raiola in February – and having a happy dressing room leader who is also one of the world’s best footballers.
Pogba may be faking it, but he is certainly playing with a big smile on his face and looks motivated and determined. It certainly would be a good time for United to test his commitment by pushing a new contract across the desk to see if he can be tempted to continue his Manchester United odyssey for another three years or so.
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