Arsene Wenger has insisted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer must direct Paul Pogba’s focus back to Manchester United even if the Frenchman wants to leave the club.
The 27-year-old’s future was plunged into doubt during the week after his agent Mino Raiola claimed Pogba “needs a new team, a change of air” and insisted a January exit would the “best solution” for all parties.
Pogba was on the bench during Tuesday night’s 3-2 defeat to RB Leipzig which saw United crash out of the UEFA Champions League during the group phase.
Pogba has 18 months left on his Manchester United contract which could force the club to cash in if the World Cup winner will not sign fresh terms.
Earlier in the campaign, whilst away on international duty, Pogba claimed it would be a “dream” to play for Real Madrid, while former club Juventus have also been touted as a possible destination.
Wenger believes that Solskjaer must stress to Pogba it remains in his best interests to be focussed on United, whether he wants to leave or not.
“I believe that you have to explain to a player that no matter what his future plan is, his interest and his job is to perform at the present [club],” Wenger told ESPN’s Caught Offside podcast . “It’s the best way to prepare your future, to play well in the present.
“When I saw Pogba coming on on Tuesday night at RB Leipzig, I was sorry he didn’t start the game because straight away he made a huge impact.”
Pogba hasn’t been able to nail down a regular place in Solskjaer’s XI this season, starting six times and making and eight appearances off the bench.