Solskjaer sends defiant message to Man Utd chiefs over Pogba contract

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has admitted he believes Paul Pogba deserves a new contract.

The Manchester United midfielder has one year left on his current £175,000-a-week deal and his manager has tried to dampen speculation that he could leave the club this summer.

Despite Pogba having spent most of the season on the sidelines with an ankle injury, Real Madrid and Juventus are rumoured to be interested in buying the World Cup winner.

The Frenchman claimed last year that he wanted a “new challenge” and has struggled to settle at United since returning from Juventus for a club record £90million in 2016.

But the midfielder has impressed in his budding partnership with January signing Bruno Fernandes since the restart of the Premier League season following the lockdown.

Solskjaer said: “I can't comment on discussions between the player and the club, but of course we want to keep the best players around the club.

“We want to build a squad for the future and Scott and Nemanja are in a similar position, but at different stages in their careers.

“One is at the start and one is really experienced. We also need players in the mid-range group. Hopefully we can do something (with Pogba).

He added: “I know that since Paul’s come back he's been looking better and better. He’s enjoying his football and let's see where it takes us.”

As Solskjaer urges United bosses to secure Pogba’s long term future, they have been busy agreeing new deals with Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic in recent weeks.

United travel to Aston Villa on Thursday looking to make it five straight wins in all competitions and extend their unbeaten run to 17 games.

The Red Devils currently lie in fifth but victory would take them within a point of Leicester and well clear of their closest challengers Wolves.

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