PERTH, Australia — Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has told Paul Pogba that Manchester United “do not need to sell players” after the midfielder and his agent publicly said he wants to leave Old Trafford this summer.
Pogba has declared his intention to seek a “new challenge” while agent Mino Raiola has backed up the claims by insisting he hopes to “find a solution” before the close of the transfer window.
The 26-year-old, wanted by Real Madrid and Juventus, is in Australia with the United squad for the first leg of their preseason tour and speaking for the first time this summer, Solskjaer said the club are under no pressure to sell a player who still has three years left on his contract, and in any case are yet to receive a bid.
“We’re Man United and we don’t need to sell our players,” Solskjaer told a news conference at the WACA cricket ground.
“We don’t have any bids for our players. Paul has never put himself out of the team, he’s always given his best and I can’t report anything but that.
“There is agent talk all the time and as I said we’ve not had any bids, that’s all I can say for this matter.”
Raiola raised the possibility that Pogba may not have travelled with the squad to Australia ahead of games against Perth Glory and Leeds United as he tried to engineer a move.
However, Solskjaer said the World Cup winner had been “professional” since linking with his teammates after a summer off, playing down reports that he had been involved in a spat with Jesse Lingard during a walk through Perth on Monday.
“Paul, it looks like it’s going to be a media … I don’t want to call it an agenda against Paul,” said Solskjaer.
“He’s a great great professional and has a heart of gold. Jesse [Lingard] and Paul yesterday walking around and it’s portrayed as a fight between them. I know you’re here to sell papers and stories but they’re all professional.”
Pogba’s future is just one of a number of issues facing Solskjaer this summer. Romelu Lukaku is keen to move to Inter Milan while Victor Lindelof’s agent, Hasan Cetinkaya, has said the centre-back could be tempted by a move to Barcelona.
The Norwegian is also looking to bolster his squad with at least two new signings before the start of the Premier League season but he had more positive news about David De Gea’s new contract and the injury picked up by Alexis Sanchez during the Copa America.
“We’re still in the market looking to do some business but we’re patient,” said Solskjaer.
“We’re Man United and we don’t have to sell and don’t have to overpay. You have to have the right players at the right price and if you look at the squad we’ve got now there are so many good players.
“I don’t think Alexis’ injury was too bad. When he’s due back in three weeks I would expect him to be fit to train straight away.
“David has had a summer where he’s been negotiating and we hope we’re going to get it sorted.
“I’m positive. Of course with David I’ve said many times how lucky I am and happy we are to have him in goal.”