Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's choice of words on Paul Pogba problem sums up his true thoughts

Mino Raiola claimed Paul Pogba is unhappy at Old Trafford and that it would be best for both the midfielder and Manchester United if he is allowed to leave in January

Posted  644 Views updated 12 months ago

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer knew he was going to be quizzed on Paul Pogba on Tuesday night, regardless of Manchester United's result against RB Leipzig.

On the eve of the crucial Champions League clash, Pogba's agent Mino Raiola came out in the press to announce his client wants to leave Man United.

He claimed the Frenchman is unhappy at Old Trafford and that it would be best for both Pogba and United if the midfielder is allowed to leave in January.

He even got the ball rolling on the transfer front, name-dropping Pogba's former side Juventus as a possible club he could join.

"I can say that it's over for Paul Pogba at Manchester United," Raiola told Tuttosport. "Paul is unhappy with Man United as he is no longer able to express himself in the way that he would like and as he is expected to.

"Paul needs a new team, a change of air. He is under contract for the next 18 months and it will expire in the summer of 2022. However, I think that the best solution for both Pogba and Man United is that he goes in the next transfer window."

Solskjaer made the bold decision to bench Pogba against RB Leipzig, but brought him on on the hour mark with his side trailing by two goals to nil.

With Pogba on the pitch United conceded again to go three goals down before mounting a brief comeback ten minutes before the end.

Bruno Fernandes reduced the deficit from the penalty spot before a Pogba header deflected off Leipzig defender Ibrahima Konate and into his own net.

Leipzig held on for the remainder of the match, dumping United out of the Champions League in the group stage.

After the game Solskjaer prepared to answer questions on the Red Devils' European demise, but as aforementioned, knew a question on Pogba was coming.

Given he knew in advance, Solskjaer no doubt had an answer prepared, which makes what he said even more eye-opening, given the circumstance.

"As soon as Paul's agent realises this is a team sport and we work together, the better. That's probably maybe the last thing I say on that," Solskjaer said.

"I don't want to spend energy on that."

When asked if Pogba is happy at United, he added: "You'll have to ask Paul. I'm not going to speak for him. Paul's focused on doing his best for the team. He's working hard in training.

"Now is not the time to discuss ins and outs at the club."

The telling line is the third thing Solskjaer said: "I don't want to spend energy on that."

His comment suggests the ever-present Pogba debacle, which he inherited from Jose Mourinho, has already taken up too much of his time and, quite frankly, he's exhausted by it.

Managing Pogba and his mood swings, which have had clear and damaging impact on United since 2016, appears to be a full time job and one Solskjaer no longer wants.

Reports claim the Norwegian is open to the idea of selling Pogba, given that it will free up around £290,000-a-week in wages to spend on a player who wants to be at the club.

And at this point it seems, as Raiola stated, the best outcome for all parties involved.

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