Paul is going nowhere - Solskjaer rules out Pogba sale to Real Madrid in January

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Manchester United will continue to repel interest from Real Madrid in its star midfielder Paul Pogba, ruling out a January transfer.

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba was reportedly a top target for Real Madrid prior to the new campaign.   -  Getty Images

Paul Pogba will not be leaving Manchester United even if Real Madrid rekindle its interest when the transfer window reopens, says Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Pogba was reportedly a top target for Madrid and its French coach Zinedine Zidane prior to the new campaign, but it failed to land the World Cup winner.

Madrid has since made a stumbling start to the new campaign, while president Florentino Perez has hinted it could return for Pogba in January.

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The midfielder, who had a difficult relationship with Solskjaer's predecessor as United boss Jose Mourinho, is currently sidelined by injury.

But Solskjaer reiterated Pogba's commitment to Old Trafford, even though the 26-year-old said after the end of the 2018-19 season he wanted a new challenge.

Agent Mino Raiola then indicated he was working on engineering a transfer for Pogba, but Solskjaer is certain United will continue to hold its prized asset.

"I don't listen to the president of Real Madrid," Solskjaer told reporters ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to West Ham.

"But Paul is working hard here and he is totally committed to Manchester United. We have seen that while he's been injured. He has been working like crazy to get himself fit because he wants to play for us and he wants to help his team-mates.

"I am not worried now and I will never be worried in the future about Paul Pogba staying here. If it all kicks off again with Madrid in January then there will be no worries then either. If we have to live with the speculation again then we will handle it like we did in the summer. Paul is going nowhere. He is happy here when he's playing."

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Pogba's mentality has occasionally been called into question since he returned to Old Trafford from Juventus in 2016, but Solskjaer has no doubts the midfielder is a good fit for his team.

"You need a big personality to play for Man United,” said Solskjaer, according to British newspapers. "You need a certain kind of confidence and arrogance and you have to be self-assured enough to be yourself in both the good times and the bad times.

"Paul Pogba is all of those things. He is one of our big characters. Paul will walk out onto any pitch and be full of confidence – and that's what I look for and what I demand from all of our players.

"It's not misplaced arrogance with Paul. It's about believing in himself. It's about the respect he has for his team-mates and his opponents."

- Solskjaer: Manchester United must show ruthless side against West Ham -

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes Manchester United is "in good shape" but must still develop a killer instinct following a lean run in front of goal. United travels to West Ham on Sunday in search of a third successive victory in all competitions.

Mason Greenwood's second-half effort saw off Astana in the Europa League on Thursday and added to last weekend's narrow Premier League win over Leicester City.

Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: "We had one eye on Astana but the other eye was on West Ham so we should be ready for it."   -  Getty Images

While secure at the back, Solskjaer's men have failed to score more than a solitary goal in any of their five games since the 4-0 opening-weekend triumph over Chelsea.

Starting striker Marcus Rashford netted twice in that match but has only added a single successful spot-kick to his tally ahead of the trip to the London Stadium.

"Winning gives confidence and clean sheets give the defenders confidence and we just need to be more clinical in front of goal," Solskjaer told his club's website. We're in good shape and we've prepared well for this game. We had one eye on Astana but the other eye was on West Ham so we should be ready for it."

West Ham was itself held goalless in its last outing, a 0-0 draw at Aston Villa, but only after losing Arthur Masuaku to a red card in the 67th minute. The hard-earned away result moved the Hammers level with United on eight points from five games.

"I think they're looking strong," Solskjaer said of Manuel Pellegrini's side. Of course they have some quality players and their centre-forward [Sebastian] Haller has come good for them."

"It's good to see Andriy Yarmolenko and Manuel Lanzini back fit because I know all about knee injuries. We played them [at Old Trafford] towards the end of last season and we were lucky to beat them, so we know it's going to be a tough game."

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