Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last night insisted that he has not given up on keeping Paul Pogba at Manchester United.
Pogba is scheduled to return to Old Trafford for pre-season training tomorrow after telling the club last week that he will not be signing the £400,000-a-week contract offer that would make him the highest-paid player in the Premier League.
Paris St Germain are ready to pounce for the 28-year-old midfielder – but their £50million valuation is £15million short of what United want.
Pogba has less than 12 months left on his current deal – and United will be faced with seeing him walk away for nothing for the second time in nine years next summer if he becomes a free agent.
But Solskjaer claimed after Saturday's pre-season defeat at Queens Park Rangers that Pogba is in his plans for the new season.
Solskjaer said: “The talks are ongoing between Paul’s representatives and the club’s representatives.
“All that I’ve ever heard from Paul is that he is looking forward to the start of the season.
“There’s always speculation about Paul. As for the talks between the club and Paul’s representatives, I’ve not got every detail.
“There are always clubs interested in him. We’ve seen Paul at his best – and Paul knows what we feel about it.
“I’ve enjoyed my time working with him and hopefully we can work together.
“It's all speculation again. Let’s see what happens.”
Pogba left United for Juventus in 2012 – and when he returned to the club four years later it cost the Reds £89million.
It seems unthinkable that United will not try to recoup some cash before the transfer deadline on August 31 – and PSG looks his most likely destination.
While Pogba's future is in the balance, Solskjaer has signed a new three-year contract.
The £25million deal also has an option for a further 12-month extension from 2024.
United have splashed more than £360million on signings over the last three years in a bid to bring back the glory days.
Jadon Sancho's £81.5million arrival from Borussia Dortmund was confirmed on Friday.
And United are still in the market for Real Madrid's Rafael Varane and Kieran Trippier of Atletico Madrid.
Solskjaer said: “It’s always an honour to have the role of the manager, to be trusted in that role.
“I’m just continuing the work we have done with the staff.
“There are little things we need to improve. We gradually have improved and become a better team.
“Now, hopefully, we can take the next step and that’s challenging for trophies.
“There’s pressure all the time but with the decisions we made a couple of years ago, we knew this was going to be a rebuild.
“We are getting closer and closer to the team I want, to the team I envisage Manchester United being, with attacking flair, pace and defensive solidity.
“Last season we went unbeaten in the league, we scored more goals than we have done for many, many years.
“Now we need to tighten up at the back as well.
“We need to improve in every aspect of the game.”
Sancho will report for duty in 10 days' time, alongside England team-mates Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire following their Euro exploits.
Fred will return at the same time after helping Brazil reach the final of the Copa America.
The United boss saw a makeshift team beaten 4-2 by QPR at the Kiyan Prince Foundation Stadium.
Jesse Lingard gave the Reds an early lead that was quickly wiped out by Charlie Austin's equaliser.
And the Championship side took control with three goals in seven second-half minutes, Lyndon Dykes netting twice either side of Moses Odubajo's 25-yard strike.
Anthony Elanga bagged a late consolation for the visitors.
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