Jose Mourinho has given his clearest indication yet that Paul Pogba will remain a Manchester United player next season, while still leaving room for slight doubt on the Frenchman’s future in his latest comments.
Mourinho claimed that he ‘wants’ United’s club-record signing to remain at Old Trafford, but hinted that the decision could be up to the player himself. The comments come following reports over the last couple of months that Pogba was offered – by his agent Mino Raiola – to Manchester City among other clubs in January, while Paris Saint-Germain have been linked with a spectacular swoop recently.
There have also been reports of a fallout between Mourinho and his star midfielder, with Pogba occasionally left out of the lineup and catching public criticism from his manager following lacklustre performances.
However, speaking ahead of his side’s clash with West Ham on Thursday night, Mourinho directly addressed Pogba’s future.
“I think he is going to be here next season. That’s my feeling,” Mourinho said (via Sky Sports). “I can give the guarantee that I don’t want him to leave. I can give the guarantee that the club does not want to sell.
“And I can give the guarantee that we don’t have any approach from him, from his agent, or any club. So in this moment, for me, he is staying.”
While Mourinho’s words seem positive, they still leave room for inference that he cannot guarantee that the player himself wants to stay. By contrast, the comments are hardly as convincing as when he was recently asked about club player of the year David De Gea’s future.
Mourinho insisted there was simply “no chance” that the reported Real Madrid target would depart.
In a mixed season, 25-year-old Pogba has still amassed six goals and ten assists from midfield in the Premier League this season, a marked improvement on his end product from his first campaign since rejoining from Juventus in 2016.
As recently as last month the playmaker spoke out on French TV to address his future, where once again his words left just a little room for interpretation.
“For now, I’m at Manchester United, I really only think about the present,” he told Canal Football Club. “Transfers are not in my head.”