Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has hit back at Paul Pogba’s agent after his recent comments though insists it has not been a distraction, while he refused to say if the midfielder would remain at Manchester United.
The World Cup winner’s representative, the outspoken Mino Raiola, declared that Pogba’s time at Old Trafford was ‘over’ in an interview on Monday, saying he was ‘unhappy’ and should be allowed to leave in January.
Raiola’s comments came on the eve of their crunch Champions League tie with RB Leipzig, which they went on to lose 3-2 and therefore exited the competition.
There were suggestions the interview had disrupted United’s preparations but Solskjaer is adamant that Pogba is still training and working hard – though he was very vague on the midfielder’s long-term future.
Asked if it is true that Pogba is unhappy, Solskjaer told BT Sport after United’s defeat: ‘You’ve got to ask Paul if he’s happy or not. I’m not going to speak for him.
‘But Paul’s focused on doing his best for the team when he’s here. He’s working hard in training. He just needs to focus on his performances.’
Pogba’s future was also a hot topic at Solskjaer’s post-match press conference, with the Norwegian suggesting the problem stemmed from the agent rather than the player.
Asked if Raiola’s comments had destabilised the squad, Solskjaer said: ‘The squad is fine – they’re a team and they stick together.
‘As soon as Paul’s agent realises this is a team sport and we work together, the better. And that’s probably maybe the last thing I say on that. I don’t want to spend energy on that.’
Probed on whether he had spoken to Pogba, Solskjaer added: ‘What we speak about in the background is something else and I said I’m not going to speak about Paul’s agent anymore.’