Paul Pogba admits he is ‘really, really happy’ following his return to football, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer now ‘hopeful’ the club can agree a contract extension for the midfielder.
Manchester United have reportedly ‘opened talks’ with Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, over a new deal with the France international as they bid to secure his long-term future, a major boost to the club’s plans given the uncertainty surrounding his future in recent months and years.
The 27-year-old has missed much of the campaign through a persistent ankle injury and had been tipped to leave Old Trafford amid interest from Real Madrid and former side Juventus, but having impressed since returning to full fitness appears to be content with life in the Premier League.
Pogba has seemingly struck up a fine understanding with mid-season signing Bruno Fernandes and a 16-game unbeaten run has returned the feel-good factor to the Red Devils, with Solskjaer revealing he is keen to secure a new deal for the club’s record-signing as he bids to build a side capable of competing for silverware.
Solskjaer on Paul Pogba new deal: "I can't comment on discussions with players, but of course we want to keep the best players around the club”.
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) July 8, 2020
“I can’t comment on discussions between players and the club but of course we want to keep the best players,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match press conference ahead of tonight’s trip to Aston Villa.
“We want to build a squad for the future and Scott and Nemanja, they’re in similar positions but in different stages of their careers – one at the start and one really experienced one.
“We also need players in that mid-range group so hopefully we can do something. I know that since Paul came back from injury he’s looking better and better. He’s just enjoying his football and let’s see where it takes us.”
Pogba’s latest comments have also increased hopes negotiations can lead to a contract extension, the midfielder revealing his happiness at returning to full fitness and admitting he is enjoying his football as United seek to finish the season successfully.
“Just being back training, touching the ball and doing what I love is amazing; I missed it so much,” he told ManUtd.com. “You realise when you’re out for a long time how much you really enjoy playing football and how much you love it. So obviously I’m really, really happy and so blessed to be back and be fully fit now, and I’m enjoying being back with the team.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) July 8, 2020
“I feel great, I feel much, much better now. I’ve been training well and they [the club] have been looking after me very well. I’ve been doing some extra work and treatment on my ankle and the rest of my body. And my team-mates as well, they’ve helped me to come back and feel confident. It’s like I never left, the guys still trust in me and always believe in me and that’s helped me a lot as well.
“You can tell that the team is improving a lot,” he continued. “We play more as a team than we did before, we enjoy it even more, we defend together, we attack together, and this team is stronger as well. The players who are on the bench or who don’t play every time, when they come on they help the team so the mentality is good and is right. All this together has put us where we are today.”