MANCHESTER, England — Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said he has had face-to-face talks with Paul Pogba following speculation the midfielder could be tempted by a move to Real Madrid.
Pogba has described a transfer to the Bernabeu as “a dream” while Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has made no secret of his desire to see his compatriot move to the Spanish capital in the future.
It has prompted speculation a transfer could happen this summer but Solskjaer said he is confident Pogba, who is under contract at United until 2022 with no release clause, wants to stay after a meeting last week.
“[The speculation] doesn’t really concern me because my thought of action then is to sit down and speak to Paul,” Solskjaer said. “I’ve had my chat with Paul and we’re fine.
“He is going to do his utmost here because he knows I’m very fond of him as a player and a person and he is important for us. There is no issue. He’s important here.”
Solskjaer has already spoken to executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward about his summer transfer business and what the squad, which he is hopeful will include Pogba, might look like next season.
United hope to appoint a technical director before the end of the transfer window to oversee recruitment from the academy to the first team and Solskjaer said he has offered his advice on who the new man should be.
They are keen to appoint someone, like Solskjaer, who will fit into the culture of the club and there have already been talks with a number of prospective candidates.
“I’ve got an input in most of the things now and my advice of course and I’ve got to say, the communication between me Ed and the owners is very good,” Solskjaer said. “We discuss different names but of course I am not the one who decides.”
The Norwegian, appointed manager on a full-time basis on Thursday, takes his team to Wolves on Tuesday night looking to take another step towards the top four after the 2-1 win over Watford on Saturday.
They are battling Tottenham, Arsenal and Chelsea for two spots and Solskjaer has set his players a target for the final seven games to guarantee Champions League football next season.
“The players know themselves they want to be in the Champions League, they want to perform as well as they possibly can,” Solskjaer said. “Maybe they didn’t believe it themselves in November or December last year that we’re in with a chance.
“Everyone knows now if we do our jobs, say 15 points in the last seven games, we’ll be in the Champions League next year.”