Solskjaer talks up Pogba desire for United return
Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Paul Pogba is "desperate" to play for the club again, despite once more being linked with transfer.
Pogba has played just eight matches for United this season due to injury – and not at all since the 4-1 victory over Newcastle United on Boxing Day -but the France international has stepped up his recovery programme ahead of a possible return to action.
Solskjaer was no doubt frustrated to see Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola say earlier this week that the player views Italy as his “second home” and wants to return to Juventus, but was not about to agree with the suggestion that it had been a “disastrous” season for the 26-year-old midfielder.
“You’re not going to get that headline from me,” Solskjaer said in his pre-match press conference ahead of Monday’s clash with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. “As a player, the last thing you want to be is injured, and not being able to contribute to your team. Paul’s a footballer and he wants to play football. He knows he has to work hard now to get back to his best.
“He’s been out for so long now, it’s a challenge for him as well to get back into shape. I’ve been injured for a long, long time myself, it’s a difficult period of your career, but it’s part and parcel of being a player.
“He’s taken off his cast, so when he comes back here we’ll integrate him with us. Hopefully soon. He’s started running on the treadmill now, so he’s getting closer. It’s been a long haul, this, so hopefully we’ll see him back soon.”
United will have to continue without Pogba on Monday night when they make the trip to Stamford Bridge on Monday night.
The Red Devils have already secured a 4-0 win over the Blues in the Premier League and a 2-1 victory over Frank Lampard’s side in the Carabao Cup this season.