Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s first major task as permanent manager of Manchester United will be to offer Paul Pogba an ultimatum over his future, believes Perry Groves.
The former Arsenal star says the Frechman should be SOLD in the summer if he wants to leave the club, having once again flirted with Real Madrid.
Solskjaer was finally confirmed as the Red Devils’ full-time boss on Thursday, with the Old Trafford legend signing a three-year deal.
The decision was widely expected. The Norwegian has given the whole club a lift since he took over from Jose Mourinho in December, and has helped their top stars find their best form again, with Pogba particularly impressing.
But the midfielder raised eyebrows during the international break by admitting it would be a ‘dream’ to play for Real Madrid and a ‘dream’ to play for Zinedine Zidane.
Latest reports claim the Spanish giants are preparing a £125million bid for the World Cup winner this summer.
And Groves believes, if the player wants to leave, the club should cash in.
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Speaking to talkSPORT host Jim White on Friday, he said: “There’s one thing Solskjaer has got to do, now he’s the big boys’ manager and not the supply teacher where you’re everybody’s mate and everybody has been happy…
“He’s got a big decision to make with Paul Pogba.
“Two weeks ago on international duty he actually said that he’s ‘always dreamed’ of playing for Real Madrid and has ‘already dreamed’ of playing for Zinedine Zidane.
“A Manchester United player should not be touting themselves out to one of their man rivals.
“So if Solskjaer has got anything about him, he should pull him in at the end season and say: ‘I need a statement from you that you are fully committed to Manchester United. I don’t want to hear anything from your agent or your brothers about wanting to play for Real Madrid, because if you do you can go. I’m not going to stand in your way. For £125million we can get two other top players, it’s not a problem’.
“Solskjaer has said he wants his team playing with togetherness, work-rate and attitude – he wants them to be the hardest working in the league and the fittest.
“Pogba has got better since Solskjaer has been there but I’ve watched him in games and, for the talent he has, he doesn’t grab the game by the scruff of the neck, he doesn’t dominate everybody around him and he doesn’t put that workrate in week after week, game after game.
“So if Solskjaer has got anything about him, he should send a message out to anybody else at Manchester United and say: ‘If you want to leave this club, it’s not a problem, you can go. I won’t stand in your way’.
“The days of Solskjaer being everybody’s friend, of smiling, laughing and joking, they’ve gone.”
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