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Ole Gunnar Solskjær wants Paul Pogba to stay at Manchester United

Ole Gunnar Solskjær is hopeful Paul Pogba will sign a new contract so Manchester United will not be forced to sell the club’s record signing this summer. The 28-year-old’s terms end in July 2022 and his standout display in Thursday’s 6-2 Europa League semi-final first-leg win over Roma continued Pogba’s best spell of form since returning to United five years ago.

With only 12 months remaining on Pogba’s deal and football’s finances affected by the pandemic, it is unrealistic for United to expect to recoup a fee close to the £89.3m they paid Juventus. The manager was asked if he would have the club cash in on the Frenchman this close season.

“No, of course not,” said Solskjær, who first coached Pogba when he was in charge of United’s reserves. “I have always said with Paul that I enjoy managing him, I enjoy coaching him, I enjoy talking to him and I also enjoy challenging him because he is a winner. He wants to be better and that’s why he listens. You can see he’s enjoying himself here as well.

“He has a smile on his face. It’s important we treat each other with respect and I try to treat everyone with the same amount of respect. But there are some players you have known since they were young lads and that’s the case with Paul: the longer you have known them the easier it is to have a bond with them.”

United are monitoring Bayern Munich’s Kingsley Coman, the 24-year-old France winger, though Borussia Dortmund’s Jadon Sancho remains Solskjær’s No 1 target for that position.

United host Liverpool on Sunday but domestically Solskjær is thinking about next season. He said: “We’re looking forward and looking up to challenge Man City even more. I don’t think we have challenged them enough this season, so that’s our aim – to go one step further and challenge a lot more than we have done.”