Man Utd: Solskjaer praises match-winner Pogba
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Manchester United have shortlisted three potential Paul Pogba replacements should the midfielder leave in this summer’s transfer window, according to reports. The France international has been at the club ever since signing from Juventus back in 2016. However, links to the likes of Real Madrid and the Serie A giants remain ongoing – despite Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s determination to keep his prized asset.
Manchester United have seen Pogba step up in recent times.
The France international experienced a difficult start to the season after contracting coronavirus, toiling in early defeats to Crystal Palace and Tottenham.
However, Pogba has emerged as vital to United’s hopes of winning silverware under Solskjaer – helping his side to second in the Premier League table and to the verge of the Europa League final.
With his contract due to expire next year, though, talk of a move away from Old Trafford continues to gather momentum.
And the Mirror claim United have shortlisted three potential replacements for the 2018 World Cup winner.
West Ham star Declan Rice is on their radar.
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It’s been a positive season for the Hammers, who remain in contention to qualify for the Champions League.
Rice has been a big part of their successful campaign under David Moyes, sparkling in the heart of their midfield.
And though West Ham have insisted they’ll demand in the region of £100million to part ways with the 22-year-old, that hasn’t stopped the Red Devils from showing interest.
Atletico Madrid’s Saul Niguez is another player in their sights.
The Spain international came close to moving to Old Trafford during Louis van Gaal’s time in charge and, in the years since, has established himself as one of the best players within La Liga.
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Saul’s relationship with Diego Simeone has become strained at times this season, however, leading to talk of a possible departure.
And United are lurking, with Solskjaer appearing to be a big admirer of the midfielder.
A third in their sights is Leicester’s Wilfred Ndidi.
He’s been in fine fettle for the Foxes this term, helping them up to third in the league table as well as the FA Cup final.
Yet United may find his signing difficult, especially if Leicester have Champions League football to offer.
The report states that United would like to keep Pogba and are readying a huge contract offer worth £400,000-a-week to prevent the Frenchman from jumping ship.
But if they don’t receive any encouragement, they’ll offload the 27-year-old to avoid losing him for nothing in a year’s time.
Speaking ahead of United’s showdown with Liverpool today, Solskjaer made it clear he wants Pogba to stay.
“No, of course not,” he said when asked if he’d have the club cash in on the Frenchman.
“I have always said with Paul that I enjoy managing him, I enjoy coaching him, I enjoy talking to him and I also enjoy challenging him because he is a winner.
“He wants to be better and that’s why he listens. You can see he’s enjoying himself here as well.
“He has a smile on his face. It’s important we treat each other with respect and I try to treat everyone with the same amount of respect.
“But there are some players you have known since they were young lads and that’s the case with Paul: the longer you have known them the easier it is to have a bond with them.”
Solskjaer also vowed United would do all they can to hunt down Manchester City next term.
“We’re looking forward and looking up to challenge Man City even more,” he said.
“I don’t think we have challenged them enough this season, so that’s our aim – to go one step further and challenge a lot more than we have done.”
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