Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 22 July 2019

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer dismisses Paul Pogba transfer speculation, says media has an 'agenda' against Manchester United midfielder

Frenchman is currently with rest of United squad in Australia on pre-season tour

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer claims the British media have an "agenda" against Paul Pogba, saying reports that the Frenchman is unhappy and seeking an exit from Old Trafford are overblown.

In a recent interview with The Times, Pogba's agent, Mino Raiola, said that the 26-year-old World Cup winner intends to leave United. The player himself told reporters in Tokyo last month that it could be time "to have a new challenge somewhere else".

Pogba is currently with the rest of the United squad on their pre-season tour of Australia, where they will play A-League club Perth Glory on Saturday, but has been linked with a move back to former club Juventus and big-spending Real Madrid this summer.

He has a contract with the Premier League side until the summer of 2021 with an option to extend for a further year.

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday, Solskjaer dismissed talk of Pogba leaving the club, saying United had received no offers for the player.

"Agents talk all the time. As I said, we've not had any bids from any clubs," he said. "That's all I can say about this matter.

"There is an agenda against Paul, he's a top, top bloke. A great professional, there's never been any problems and he's got a heart of gold."

Though undoubtedly a top-level operator, Pogba has often left United fans frustrated at his inconsistent performances since rejoining the club from Juventus for a then-world record transfer fee of £89.3 million (Dh414m) in August 2016.

He was involved in a long-running and very public feud with Jose Mourinho before the Portuguese was sacked in December. Although his form initially picked up under Solskjaer, the club limped home to a disappointing sixth-place finish in the Premier League to miss out on Uefa Champions League football. The 2018/19 campaign was Pogba's most productive in terms of goals (16) while he also recorded 11 assists across competitions. He was also named in the PFA Team of the Year.

The prospect of another season playing outside Europe's elite club competition is said to have hastened Pogba's desire to quit the club, with reports that the player's agent, has already held talks with Real officials over a move to the Bernabeu.

United posted a video of the team taking a stroll through Perth on its social media accounts earlier in the week but the upbeat soundtrack of electronic music could not disguise what appeared to be a heated exchange between Pogba and teammate Jesse Lingard.

Solskjaer dismissed speculation of a rift in the camp.

"For example, Jesse and Paul walking around and it's been portrayed as a fight between the two boys," he said.

"I know you're here to sell papers and sell stories but that's nothing, no problems between the boys at all. They're all professional. Pre-season has been very, very good so far."

United kick off their new league campaign against Chelsea at Old Trafford on August 11.

Updated: July 10, 2019 02:22 PM

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