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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hopes Paul Pogba follows in his footsteps by committing to Manchester United and signing a new contract amid uncertainty over his future and interest from French giants PSG

Daily Mail
Daily Mail
 2021-07-24

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Paul Pogba to join him in signing a new contract at Manchester United – and would welcome Real Madrid's Raphael Varane arriving to strengthen the club's defence.

Solskjaer has been given a new three-year contract to stay at Old Trafford. But after watching his understrength side beaten 4-2 by QPR in a pre-season friendly, the Norwegian addressed the issues that need to be settled before United mount a title challenge.

And that started with the future of Pogba, who has only a year left on his current deal and is wanted by Paris Saint-Germain.

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Paul Pogba to follow his lead and commit his future to the club
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Pogba has only a year left on his current deal and is wanted by Paris Saint-Germain

'The talks are ongoing between Paul's representatives and our club representatives,' said Solskjaer. 'There is always speculation about Paul and there are always clubs being interested because of course we have seen Paul at his best.

'I'm not in the detail of every single one of the discussions but Paul knows what we feel about it. I have enjoyed my time working with Paul and hopefully we can [continue] working together. All the dialogue I've had with Paul is he's looking forward to the new season.'

United have already completed one major signing this summer, with Jadon Sancho arriving from Borussia Dortmund for £73million.

Solskjaer's priority now is to improve his side's defence, with France World Cup winner Raphael Varane a target and Real Madrid needing to raise funds.

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United have already secured Jadon Sancho as a major signing this summer in a £73m deal

It is understood personal terms have not yet been agreed with Varane but, should that happen, the two clubs will try and agree a transfer fee, with Madrid wanting about £50m.

United finished second last season but conceded 44 goals, only the fourth best record in the division. Solskjaer said: 'We are getting closer to the team and squad I envisaged with more attacking pace. We were unbeaten away and scored many goals but we need to tighten up at the back as well.

'There are loads of things we can improve on. Defensively we conceded too many goals. Set plays is an area we are working on. You never say a team is complete.

'We have gradually improved and become a better team. Hopefully now we can take the next step and that is challenging for trophies. We want big things in April and May.'

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Raphael Varane continues to be linked with an Old Trafford move and the club are keen

Having first been appointed as an interim in December 2018, Solskjaer has exceeded expectations and reintroduced United's traditional values, earning himself a stay until at least 2024 with the option of an extra year.

His new contract also signifies the close relationship he has with John Murtough, who was appointed the club's first football director earlier this year.

Under Murtough, United have aimed to get important transfer business like Sancho done well before the new Premier League season kicks off. They have also committed £6m spending to improve the club's training ground.

Sancho and United's other Euro 2020 stars were missing from Saturday's defeat at QPR, with Solskjaer estimating his England contingent, plus Brazil's Fred whose country played in the Copa America final, will begin their pre-season training in 10 days.

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United's stars involved with their national sides over the summer will return in 10 days time

In their absence, the Championship club scored through Lyndon Dykes twice, Charlie Austin and Moses Odubajo.

United's replies came from Jesse Lingard and 19-year-old Anthony Elanga, whose form in pre-season is making Solskjaer think twice about letting him go out on loan.

'It would be easy to say he should go on loan but he is doing so well for us,' said Solskjaer. 'He is electric, he has skill and he is not afraid of anything. He has the bravery of a United player. If he keeps on like he is, I might want to keep him.'

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Solskjaer revealed he has not yet decided if Anthony Elanga will be sent out on loan this season

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