Paul Pogba

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Zidane quizzed on Pogba: ‘We know what we want to do’

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Zinedine Zidane’s open flirtation with Paul Pogba continues, as the Real Madrid manager was asked about Manchester United’s star midfielder again on Saturday.

“We need to respect everybody, but the only thing I can say from the club is we know what we want to do,” Zidane said. “Something could happen before the end of August. We could have some changes.”

[ MORE: Wolves beat Man City in pens ]

On paper the purchase of Pogba makes sense to reloading Real, but the problem here is the sheer amount of paper the Madrid side has spent on players this season.

While sales of James Rodriguez, Dani Ceballos, and Gareth Bale could put Real in okay position regarding Financial Fair Play, buying Pogba would move the needle hard in the other direction considering the club has bought Ferland Mendy, Eden Hazard, Eder Militao, Luka Jovic, and Rodrygo.

Plus, Florentino Perez likes to buy only one Galactico per transfer session, and Hazard is undoubtedly this summer’s model.

That said, Real has assets that United could use in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s overhaul of the Old Trafford set.

Pogba refuses to discuss transfer rumors: ‘There is no need to talk’

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Paul Pogba shot down questions about his Manchester United future following the Premier League club’s preseason-opening victory over Perth Glory in Australia on Saturday.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

Asked about the transfer rumors which have swirled around the 26-year-old Frenchman this summer, Pogba respond simply, “There is no need. No need to talk.”

Pogba provided the assist to Marcus Rashford for what proved to be the game-winning goal on Saturday (WATCH HERE), but the assembled press’s focus after the game went straight to the transfer rumors.

[ MORE: Matthijs de Ligt left off Ajax roster for start of preseason ]

Pogba had every opportunity to say something to the effect of “I am happy to stay at Man United,” or even “I will remain a Man United player,” but he clearly remains unhappy and would prefer to move away from Old Trafford.

It doesn’t appear he will get his wish, however, as Juventus have reportedly ended their pursuit and links to Real Madrid have gone quiet over the week.

Pogba sets up Rashford in Man United’s win in Australia

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PERTH, Australia (AP) Unsettled Paul Pogba provided the backheel flick for England striker Marcus Rashford to score in Manchester United’s 2-0 win over the A-League’s Perth Glory on Saturday at Perth Stadium.

[ MORE: Saturday’s transfer rumor roundup | Friday | Thursday ]

With his back to the goal in the 60th minute, Rashford took Pogba’s pass, swiveled and lashed a left-footed shot into the bottom corner of the Perth net.

Midfielder James Garner, who had been on the pitch for only a minute, scored United’s second goal in the 85th on a long-range volley after a mix-up in the Perth defense.

After a scoreless first half, Rashford and Pogba were two of 11 changes for United at the start of the second. Pogba’s future with the club has been the subject of much speculation after saying that he wants to play elsewhere in Europe next season despite having two years left on his contract.

[ MORE: Matthijs de Ligt left off Ajax roster for start of preseason ]

Daniel James started for the visitors but fellow summer signing and right back Aaron Wan-Bissaka was on the bench until halftime.

Romelu Lukaku and Victor Lindelof were not included in the lineup.

United is in Perth for 10 days and two matches. Its second match is next Wednesday against Leeds at the same Perth Stadium.

Solskjaer defends Pogba, says Man United don’t need to sell

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has defended Paul Pogba‘s attitude and commitment as the French superstar continues to push for a move away from Manchester United.

Following his agent Mino Raiola saying that “hopefully there will soon be a satisfying solution for all parties” after he announced that he was “in the process” of arranging a transfer for Pogba from United, Solskjaer was asked about Pogba’s situation during their preseason tour in Australia.

He appeared to give Raiola what he wanted, as the so-called ‘super agent’ had suggested that United hadn’t done enough to stop reports about Pogba’s poor attitude off the pitch.

“Paul has never been a concern for me. When he is on the pitch, he is working hard, he is a true professional and he is a proud boy,” Solskjaer said. “I can’t be sitting here talking about Paul all the time and what agents are saying. We have got a few years left of his contract and, for me, he has been fantastic when he has come back in training. There is an agenda against Paul but he is a top, top bloke. He is a great professional, there have never been any problems and he has got a heart of gold.”

Solskjaer then went on to confirm that as far as he knows the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus haven’t bid for Pogba.

He also said United haven’t received offers for any other players, including Romelu Lukaku who is said to be wanted by Inter Milan, and they will not be forced into selling any of their players.

“Well there has been loads of talks and speculation, about many of our players – both ins and outs. For me, it is business as usual,” Solskjaer said. “When you are at Man United you expect these things to pop up in the summer. I have spoken to Pogba and spoken to Romelu. I have spoken to all of the players over the summer, as you do.

“As far as I’m aware we don’t have any bids for any of our players. Most of our players have got long contracts. We are Man United – we do not have to sell players.”

That last line is perhaps the most important.

Solskjaer defending Pogba seems like a message to Real or Juve that they must pay what they want for him, otherwise he is going nowhere. At least that is United’s stance. They will not let such a hugely valuable asset, on and off the pitch, leave for anything less than they think he is worth.

Pogba, 26, has two years left on his contract (with an option of a further year) and this summer is the best chance United have of getting the $110 million back they paid for him in the summer of 2016.

This is a strong stance from Solskjaer and leaves the possibility open that Pogba could well be a United player when the transfer window shuts on Aug. 8.

In terms of incomings Solskjaer also said United “don’t have to overpay” when it comes to signing new players and they hope to do some more business this summer.

Turns out Solskjaer is standing firm as United aim to play hard ball when it comes to selling and buying players. That would be a huge chance in stance compared to most of their dealings under Ed Woodward in recent years.

Pogba’s agent slams Man United: ‘He’s done nothing wrong’

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Paul Pogba has been training with Manchester United during their preseason tour of Australia, but the Frenchman’s future at Old Trafford remains up in the air.

After his agent, Mina Raiola, last week said that he is “in the process” of sealing a transfer for Pogba, the so-called ‘super agent’ has again been speaking to the media about Pogba’s desire to leave United this summer as Real Madrid and Juventus are waiting in the wings.

In a statement released to talkSPORT Raiola defended the conduct of his client and hinted at a deal being done to move on Pogba soon.

“The player has done nothing wrong, he has been respectful and professional in every way,” Raiola said. “The club knows his feeling for a long time, it is a shame other people only like to criticize without the right information and I’m also sorry that the club does not take any position against this. Hopefully there will soon be a satisfying solution for all parties.”

That dig at United for not hitting out at long-term reports about Pogba’s attitude is a little ridiculous. Raiola himself says that Pogba told United some time ago he wanted to leave, so that is hardly going to be a good situation for anyone involved.

The main question here is this: is Pogba moving on to get another big pay day at the request of Raiola? Things were going so well for him, and United, during the first few months of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s reign but then it all changed rather quickly as his, and United’s, form dropped off drastically.

Pogba, 26, has turned up for United’s preseason tour and unlike Neymar’s situation at PSG, he is doing what is asked of him. For now.

Solskjaer will not want Pogba around if he’s disrupting the group and not focused on being at United beyond the end of the summer transfer window on Aug. 8.

After Pogba missed the first week of preseason, which was cleared by Solskjaer, due to not having a long break last summer, it will be intriguing to see if he plays a part in either of their friendly games against Perth Glory or Leeds United in Australia over the coming days.

Whatever happens in the coming weeks, let’s no paint Pogba out to be the victim here. He wants to leave United and his agent is trying his best to force through the move. United don’t want to sell and are asking over $180 million for him. This deal will likely go down to the wire on transfer deadline day.