Paul Pogba is happy at Manchester United, and has no plans to leave Old Trafford now that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has replaced Jose Mourinho as manager.
Pogba’s brother confirmed yesterday that the French star wanted a move after falling out with Mourinho – who stripped the France World Cup winner of the vice-captaincy and dumped him on the bench before he was sacked himself in December.
The 25-year-old had set his heart on joining Barcelona after his representatives discussed a £350 000-a-week deal with the Catalan club, and it’s understood that he has not ruled out moving to Spain later in his career.
But having scored six goals and made five assists in his nine games under Solskjaer, Pogba has been described as “a different person’ around the club by United sources.
They say he is not as loud as he used to be, and is more respectful of Solskjaer and his coaching staff than he was of Mourinho.
His brother Mathias told French TV station Telefoot: “Did Paul think about leaving because of Mourinho? Of course. But today, he is where he is. He was under contract, so he had to grit his teeth and keep working.”
Pogba’s friend and teammate Romelu Lukaku revealed that the whole squad is in a better mood – and none more so than United’s £89 million record signing.
“Everyone is more positive,” Lukaku told French TV show Canal Football Club. “Everyone is smiling more. And now we have to continue like this and enjoy.
“At training, we are constantly saying Paul looks so happy, and then he laughs.
“Everyone is back to their level – Paul, Marcus Rashford, me. When I get playing time, I try and make as big an impact as possible, Anthony Martial, everyone.
“This competitive spirit is coming back out of each player. You can see the players want to prove themselves to the manager.”
— Paul Pogba (@paulpogba) January 31, 2019
Solskjaer, who gave the squad a day off yesterday, has won nine of his 10 matches in charge and drawn the other since returning to Old Trafford on loan from Molde.
It has raised the prospect of him keeping the job on a permanent basis and midfielder Ander Herrera said: “We are very happy with him at the moment, but it’s not my decision. Everyone feels free.
“Paul is feeling free because Nemanja Matic, and me and the centre backs are all the time controlling the opponent’s attack.”