Robin van Persie has encouraged Paul Pogba and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to clarify their plans for Manchester United with a joint interview.

Questions over Pogba's future have been a troublesome undercurrent to an inconsistent season for United and Solskjaer.

The midfielder has been persistently linked with a return to Juventus or a move to Real Madrid, while agent Mino Raiola has encouraged the speculation with comments in the press suggesting a move would be in the player's best interests.

Matters reached a head when Raiola launched a social media tirade against Solskjaer after being criticised by the United manager, although he later moved to reduce tensions by offering to "reach out" to the Norwegian and suggesting Pogba could sign a new contract.

Pogba's injury problems have not helped the uncertainty over his plans – the France star has played only eight times in all competitions this season due to ankle problems, and Solskjaer stated last week that he was "nowhere near" a return.

Former United star Van Persie thinks Pogba's prolonged absence has only exacerbated the rumours about whether he will stay at the club, and he wants the player to go public to make his clear whether he is happy at Old Trafford.

The ex-Netherlands forward also thinks Pogba should state what he considers to be his best position, as Van Persie believes there has been unjust criticism of the 26-year-old, who has played in different midfield roles since returning to United in 2016.

"It's very difficult. With Pogba, it's an interesting situation," Van Persie, speaking courtesy of Enterprise Rent-A-Car, told Stats Perform.

"Pogba, in my opinion, is a world-class player, he has proven it over the years. He has it all.

"But first, I think with him, and that's after a couple of years now, I think he should come out and he should say what his favourite position is. If that's done, then people can judge him based on this position. Now, I don't think people really know if he's a six, if he's a number 10... that's a big difference.

"I have the feeling people judge him a bit unfairly. They expect 20 goals, they expect 20 assists, they expect Pogba to make Manchester United champions. But, is he a six? If he's a six, then you cannot expect 20 goals. If he's a 10, maybe 12 to 15 goals. So, it's not really fair on him because it's not really clear.

"Then, you have the second subject: is he happy there? There's constantly rumours, you have the agent constantly giving interviews, you have the coach answering questions almost every day, every week. There's a lot going on beside the main event, and the most important thing is football.

"I know how it works, especially if you're injured. People can't judge you on your game, so they start to talk about other things.

"I think for Pogba, and Manchester, it would be best to… I don't know, do an interview together or something, together with the coach, and just say, 'Listen: this is what I want, this is where I would like to play – judge me on that. I'm happy, or I'm not happy, or whatever'. Now, it's a lot of questions going around."

United face Club Brugge in the Europa League last-32 second leg at Old Trafford on Thursday, having drawn 1-1 in the first leg.

The future of Lautaro Martinez could also have an impact on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

Martinez is wanted by Barcelona and Real Madrid, while Aubameyang is reportedly eyeing an Arsenal exit.

Both players could be at different clubs in 2020-21.

 

TOP STORY – MARTINEZ OUT, AUBA IN?

Inter will look to replace Barcelona target Martinez with Arsenal star Aubameyang, according to Calciomercato.

Martinez has been heavily linked to LaLiga champions Barca as well as Real Madrid, Manchester United and Manchester City following his exploits for Inter.

The Daily Mail claims Arsenal are considering selling forward Aubameyang, who is out of contract in 2021, and he could be targeted by Inter should Martinez leave San Siro.

ROUND-UP

- Kepa Arrizabalaga is Chelsea's record signing but his future at Stamford Bridge is in doubt. El Chiringuito TV reports Chelsea have offered out-of-favour goalkeeper Kepa plus €30million (£25m) to Atletico Madrid for Jan Oblak.

Madrid are ready to offer €70m to Napoli for star midfielder Fabian Ruiz, claims Calciomercato. City and Barca are also reportedly looking to sign the Spaniard.

- Manchester Evening News writes that United have stepped up their interest in Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish. It comes as the Daily Express claims United are likely to offload Jesse Lingard and Andreas Pereira.

- Calciomercato says Inter are ready to battle Europe's elite for the signing of Gent star Jonathan David. The Canada international is wanted by the likes of United, Borussia Dortmund, Arsenal, Tottenham and Ajax.

Juventus hold an interest in Lyon midfielder Houssem Aouar, according to Calciomercato. Aouar is an option for Juve should the Serie A champions fail in their efforts to sign either United midfielder Paul Pogba or Brescia's Sandro Tonali.

Paul Pogba conceded Liverpool are "way ahead of everyone else" even if the Manchester United midfielder is desperate not to see Jurgen Klopp's men lift the Premier League.

Liverpool have been unstoppable in the league this season and Monday's come-from-behind 3-2 win over West Ham at Anfield means they have won 26 and drawn one of their 27 games.

The Reds can become the first team to wrap up the Premier League by March and are on course to go one better than 2018-19 when they finished runners-up to Manchester City, though they did also lift the Champions League.

United midfielder Pogba, who has endured an injury-hit campaign, said credit must be given where it is due even though the Red Devils midfielder is disappointed to see the club's rivals succeed.

Speaking to ESPN, he said: "They are so way ahead of everyone else.

"They have not lost a single game yet this season in the league. They already have one hand on the Premier League trophy.

"As a Manchester United player and with the rivalry between us, we don't want them to win the title. We don't want anyone else to win apart from us, but as a football lover and a respectful player to opposition team, I have to say that they deserve to be where they are today.

"They have been even better than last season when they won the Champions League and the season before when they [lost the final to Real Madrid]."

After dominating European football for over a decade, could Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo shelve their rivalry and come together as team-mates?

David Beckham might be the man to make it happen.

The former Manchester United and Real Madrid midfielder appears to have ambitious plans for his new MLS franchise.

 

TOP STORY – MESSI, RONALDO WANTED AT INTER MIAMI

Barcelona captain Messi, 32, and Juventus talisman Ronaldo, 35, will end their careers on the same side if Inter Miami co-owner Beckham gets his wish, according to the Mirror.

The newspaper claims the new MLS outfit are "already thinking big" and could look to lure football's two biggest superstars to the United States.

LA Galaxy have also been linked with a move for Messi but Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath believes Beckham's pulling power has the potential to create a dream attacking duo.

“For Ronaldo and Messi, the two obvious destinations if they came to the MLS would be Los Angeles and Miami," Heath told the Mirror.

"And, with his links to both players and the plan Beckham and his backers have in place, I can really only see them going to Miami."

ROUND-UP

- Manchester United are set to launch a £50million bid for Wolves forward Diogo Jota, scorer of a Europa League hat-trick on Thursday, reports the Express.

- United have also been linked with Birmingham City teenager Jude Bellingham but the Red Devils are set to face competition from Liverpool, according to the Daily Star.

- Serie A leaders Juventus are at the front of the queue for Paul Pogba but Paris Saint-Germain also hope to land the French star, reports Le10 Sport.

- PSG, meanwhile, are planning for life after Thomas Tuchel, who is said to be in talks with Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich. L'Equipe claims the Ligue 1 champions could look to replace him with either Massimiliano Allegri or Lazio boss Simone Inzaghi.

- Premier League clubs Sheffield United, Wolves and Burnley are showing interest in Leeds United midfielder Kalvin Phillips, suggests the Sun.

Manchester City's Champions League ban could have some serious consequences.

While City are planning to appeal UEFA's two-season suspension from European competition after an investigation found the club broke financial fair play regulations, rivals are circling.

City's stars are reportedly attracting interest from far and wide.

 

TOP STORY – BARCA EYE BERNARDO SILVA

LaLiga champions Barcelona are targeting Manchester City star Bernardo Silva, according to the Transfer Window Podcast.

The report comes following City's Champions League suspension handed down to the Premier League giants by UEFA.

City team-mate Raheem Sterling has already been linked to Real Madrid.

 

ROUND-UP

- Marca says Madrid are ready to make a move for Rennes teenager Eduardo Camavinga. The 17-year-old has starred for the Ligue 1 outfit and is reportedly valued at €70million.

Paul Pogba has also been linked to Madrid but Goal claims he could be offered a new contract by Manchester United, who expect the Frenchman to leave at the end of the season. Former club Juventus are also reportedly tracking the midfielder.

Paris Saint-Germain are looking to either Juventus head coach Maurizio Sarri or Massimiliano Allegri amid uncertainty over the future of Thomas Tuchel, reports La Gazzetta dello Sport.

- Lille defender Gabriel is being monitored by Arsenal, Everton, PSG and now Leicester City, according to Le10 Sport.

- The Mirror says Arsenal are set to raise transfer funds through the sale of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and potentially Matteo Guendouzi as the Gunners eye Valencia's Carlos Soler and RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Paul Pogba is "not anywhere near ready" to return to team training with Manchester United as speculation over his long-term future intensifies.

The France World Cup winner has not featured for the Red Devils since the 4-1 Boxing Day win over Newcastle United as he continues his recovery from ankle surgery.

Solskjaer had suggested after Monday's 2-0 win over Chelsea that Pogba was due to resume training this week but changed his stance when previewing Thursday's Europa League clash with Club Brugge.

"Paul has not been part of the team training yet," boss Solskjaer said.

"So, it'll depend on how he feels or when he feels ready to do that, so he's not anywhere near that yet."

The latest update from Solskjaer will do little to assuage reports Pogba is heading for an Old Trafford exit at the end of the season, with a return to former club Juventus having been heavily mooted in recent weeks.

This week, Solskjaer has been involved in a back-and-forth with Pogba's agent Mino Raiola, who published a statement on Twitter prior to the Chelsea game that read: "Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer's property, Paul is Paul Pogba's. You cannot own a human being already for a long time in the UK or anywhere else. I HOPE Solskjaer DO NOT WANT TO SUGGEST THAT PAUL IS HIS PRISONER."

Solskjaer later said he would not be drawn into a war of words and Raiola attempted to cool the feud, even going as far as to suggest Pogba could be open to the idea of a new contract.

LaLiga champions Barcelona are a club in crisis.

From public rows to allegations that say the current board were involved in hiring a PR firm to spread negative narratives about Barca legends, a claim the club have denied.

It has been a turbulent time at Camp Nou and MLS powerhouse LA Galaxy have looked to capitalise.

 

TOP STORY – GALAXY ENQUIRE ABOUT MESSI

LA Galaxy enquired about Barcelona captain Lionel Messi's interest in moving to the United States, according to Radio Continental.

Messi was involved in a public row with director of football Eric Abidal, raising doubts over his Barca future amid links to Manchester United, Manchester City, Inter and Paris Saint-Germain.

Galaxy head coach and former Boca Juniors boss Guillermo Barros Schelotto reportedly reached out to Messi's father to see if the six-time Ballon d'Or winner was open to swapping Barcelona for Los Angeles.

ROUND-UP

Paul Pogba is confident he will finally be granted an exit by Manchester United, reports the Evening Standard. Pogba – still recovering from an ankle injury – has been linked with a return to former club Juventus as well as LaLiga giants Real Madrid.

- Staying at Old Trafford and The Independent claims United are in advanced negotiations with former PSG technical director Antero Henrique. Ralf Rangnick is also reportedly being considered.

- RB Leipzig's head of sport Rangnick is still being targeted by Milan for the role as head coach, reports Calciomercato. However, the Italian club are split as Stefano Pioli leads a resurgence.

- According to Tuttosport, Serie A champions Juventus are interested in bringing Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus to Turin.

- France Football says Barca are eyeing Galatasaray's teenage sensation Mustafa Kapi. The 17-year-old is out of contract at the end of the season.

Chelsea have entered the race to sign in-demand Hellas Verona centre-back Marash Kumbulla, says Calciomercato. The 20-year-old Albania international is also wanted by Inter, Napoli, Liverpool, United and City.

Mino Raiola has attempted to cool a rift with Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and suggested Paul Pogba is open to talks regarding a contract extension.

Raiola and Solskjaer have traded several barbs over the past week as Pogba's future continues to be a subject of debate and uncertainty.

The France star's representative initially stated Pogba would be open to returning to Juventus due to seeing Italy as a "second home", but Solskjaer took issue with his comments, reminding Raiola the player belongs to United and not him.

Raiola fired back shortly before United's 2-0 win over Chelsea on Monday and insisted Pogba is not Solskjaer's property.

The Red Devils manager responded after the match and suggested he "probably won't" speak to Pogba nor Raiola about the back-and-forth, but the agent – who on Tuesday again insisted Solskjaer took certain words in the original interview out of context – now seems set on cooling the war of words as he hinted at potential contract talks.

"We are open for talks after he gets back [from injury]," Raiola told Sky Sports. "For now, there is a contract and the only thing he is focused on is getting back to fitness.

"When an agent represents any player, of course there will be talks about how to move on or move forward if you are still part of the plans for the manager, there is nothing strange about that.

"I thought my interview was very innocent when I said: 'Maybe one day he will return [to Italy] because it is like a second home.' But I didn't say he would come back next year or the year after. You never know if he will come back or not.

"For this kind of player, there can't be a lot of interest because not a lot of clubs can afford him. There are no talks with any clubs at the moment.

"I will reach out to Ole because nothing serious is going on. Certainly, I did not intend to have any disrespect to the club or towards him.

"Having players at Manchester United, I only want the best for the team and the club. I have nothing against Ole and I don't think he has anything against me.

"I did only think that saying Paul is Manchester United's was not the right reaction. I only wanted to respond to everyone who said that, because you employ a player therefore you own them and can do whatever you want with them.

"Paul has great commitment to the club, there is no question about that. Paul has a contract with Manchester United and wants to get back fit as quick as possible and back into the team to be a positive factor until the end of the season.

"In this moment, there are no talks [over Pogba's future]. He is only committed to Manchester United and he respects his contract. Everybody is worried about Pogba leaving, but I am not worried."

After Solskjaer had reminded Raiola that Pogba was their player and not his, the intermediary said the United manager should be worrying about other things rather than the future of his midfielder.

But Raiola clarified he simply meant Champions League qualification is United's focus and accepted publishing the statement just before a match was ill-timed.

"For the club, getting Champions League is more important," Raiola added. "This again was taken out of context and has been made bigger than it should be.

"I wasn't aware that Manchester United had a game, so it wasn't on purpose that I put that out before the game and maybe it wasn't the best timing.

"My words were taken out of context and it was maybe not the right platform to discuss this."

Paul Pogba is eager to leave Manchester United as he looks to compete in the Champions League, according to his brother Mathias.

Pogba has been at the centre of much speculation over the course of the season, with his United future up in the air since saying he wanted a new challenge in June.

The World Cup winner has been out of action since December due to an ankle injury and has made just seven Premier League appearances this term.

On Monday, prior to United's 2-0 win over Chelsea, Pogba's representative Mino Raiola let rip at Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on social media, with the agent then reiterating his stance on Tuesday in an interview with talkSPORT.

Pogba's older brother Mathias has revealed his sibling wants to bring an end to his stay at United, who he re-joined from Juventus for a club-record fee of £89million (€105m) in 2016.

"Everyone knows that Paul wants to leave Manchester United, he wants to play Champions League football and win titles," the 29-year-old – now playing for Spanish minnows Lorca – told El Chiringuito.

"We all know that won't happen at United. We will see what happens this summer."

Despite the friction over Pogba's situation, Raiola insisted on Tuesday there are no issues between himself and United.

"There's no division between me and Manchester United. Ole already snapped out at me two times but that's onto him," the Dutchman told talkSPORT.

Raiola also hit out at Gary Neville in the interview, after the Sky Sports pundit and former United player suggested the club should no longer do business with the agent, who also represents stars such as Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Matthijs de Ligt.

"Gary Neville has such a big know-how of football that I'm surprised that his Salford City are not in the Premier League already," Raiola said.

"He should be on the board of directors at United and maybe ask them for a job. I don't care what Gary Neville says."

Paul Pogba's agent Mino Raiola fired back at Manchester United great Gary Neville on Wednesday and once again blasted Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for his "out of line" comments.

Raiola let rip at Solskjaer on social media moments before United's Premier League clash at Chelsea kicked off on Monday, a 2-0 win for the Norwegian's men which Pogba once again missed with his ongoing ankle problem.

The agent was livid with Solskjaer's pre-match assertion that "Paul is our player, not Mino's", with Raiola suggesting the under-pressure United boss should be worrying about things other than Pogba.

Sky Sports pundit Neville, who made 602 appearances for United during his career and is now a part-owner of League Two team Salford City, responded by saying his former club should no longer do business with Raiola.

Speaking on talkSPORT on Wednesday, Raiola said: "Gary Neville has such a big know-how of football that I'm surprised that his Salford City are not in the Premier League already.

"He should be on the board of directors at United and maybe ask them for a job. I don't care what Gary Neville says."

Raiola claimed Solskjaer misinterpreted an interview he conducted in Italy in which he was asked whether former Juventus midfielder Pogba would like a return to the country.

However, the agent stressed his assertion that "Italy is like home" for Pogba was merely his own personal point of view.

"I thought what Solskjaer said was out of line because he took part of sentences of an interview of mine and acted a little bit offended about it - that I was offering Paul Pogba to other clubs without permission whatsoever," Raiola added.

"If you read the whole interview, I was asked if Paul would fancy Italy and I said, 'Well, Italy is a second home'. But that's not the case now, he's concentrated on Manchester United, on getting back in the team as soon as possible and to make a great end to the season'.

"I've never said he's my [player].

"I've been asked if he would like Italy and I'm only answering as Mino Raiola."

Raiola went on to add: "There's no division between me and Manchester United.

"Ole already snapped out at me two times but that's onto him.

"It can be my opinion, that his comments about an article - that actually says that Paul is committed to Manchester United until the European Championship, and that is his only focus for now - was taken out of context, and [Solskjaer] should have read the whole thing."

France international Pogba, who returned to Old Trafford in a record deal from Juventus in 2016, has not played for Solskjaer's side since December and both Neville and his former United team-mate Roy Keane said they expected him to leave the club after this season.

For his own part, Raiola offered no long-term assurances beyond this campaign.

"He is committed to Manchester United, only to Manchester United, and to the European Championship for this year. After that, we will take to the club if necessary," Raiola added of Pogba.

"That is what I said in Italy and that is what I'm saying here."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does not intend to speak to Paul Pogba over Mino Raiola's comments on social media.

United defeated Chelsea 2-0 at Stamford Bridge on Monday, with Anthony Martial and Harry Maguire on target in a win which took Solskjaer's side to within three points of the Blues.

Pogba, who is still out injured, was once again not involved, though his agent Raiola caused a stir prior to kick-off when he took a swipe at Solskjaer on social media.

"Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer's property, Paul is Paul Pogba's. You cannot own a human being already for a long time in the UK or anywhere else. I HOPE Solskjaer DO [sic] NOT WANT TO SUGGEST THAT PAUL IS HIS PRISONER," Raiola wrote in response to the United boss saying he was sure the France star was "our player and not Mino's".

Solskjaer dismissed the possibility of discussing the comments with Pogba, while also saying he would speak to Raiola directly rather than through the media.

"Probably not!" Solskjaer told Sky Sports when asked if he would speak to Pogba. "No. That's not my area. Paul and Mino have their conversations.

"I don't have to comment through the media on Mino and what he says. I can probably speak to him myself.

"You know the media and you cannot control that anyway. Anyone has a voice and an opinion. There's things being said about us where you want to comment, but you would rather not. And it's more clever you don't comment on many different things."

Raiola said last week he and Pogba would decide whether the World Cup winner will remain at Old Trafford at the end of the season, having stated the midfielder would be open to a return to Juventus.

The 26-year-old has made just seven Premier League appearances this season and has been sidelined with an ankle injury since December.

Gary Neville and Roy Keane have called for Manchester United to stop doing business with Mino Raiola and let Paul Pogba leave the club following the agent's latest comments.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said ahead of the Premier League clash with Chelsea the midfielder was "our player and not Mino's".

Those comments prompted a response from Raiola shortly before United's 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

With the Red Devils struggling in the race for Champions League qualification prior to a precious victory, the agent said Solskjaer "has other things to worry about".

In their roles as pundits for Sky Sports, former United favourites Neville and Keane were each asked about Raiola and the situation with Pogba, who has been sidelined by an ankle injury since December amid repeated talk of a move away from Old Trafford.

They each expect Pogba to depart, with Neville saying: "It will end with Paul Pogba leaving Manchester United.

"What needs to happen is that club taking a stance on that agent. That agent has messed them around now for years with Pogba and other players.

"Why they allow themselves to be played by him I'll never know. He's a serious thorn in the side for them. Manchester United should just stand strong and say, 'If you're represented by him, we won't deal with you'."

Keane added: "If it's not right for the club and people are almost laughing at you, these agents, let these lads go.

"Look at the bigger picture. We're talking about a great club like Manchester United. Don't go chasing after these agents and these players who, I think, the bottom line, don't really want to be at the club.

"The agents don't want them to be there, I don't think Pogba wants to be there. Just shake hands and say, 'Off you go'.

"He'll go this summer. He'll go in the summer, 100 per cent."

As Manchester United got off the coach and made their way into Stamford Bridge for a huge Premier League clash with Chelsea on Monday, the Paul Pogba saga took its latest twist.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last week rose to the bait so frequently dangled out by Pogba's agent Mino Raiola, who once more told the media of the World Cup winner's interest in returning to Juventus.

The United boss' response that "Paul Pogba is our player, not Mino's" clearly did not sit well with Raiola. Prior to kick-off he fired back in scathing fashion on social media.

"Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer's property, Paul is Paul Pogba's. You cannot own a human being already for a long time in the UK or anywhere else. I HOPE Solskjaer DO NOT WANT TO SUGGEST THAT PAUL IS HIS PRISONER," Raiola wrote.

He went on to suggest that Solskjaer turn his attention to other things and, on the evidence of United's 2-0 victory over Chelsea, it is advice that may well be worth heeding.

Why get involved in an unbecoming game of tit for tat with Raiola over Pogba's future when United already have Bruno Fernandes excelling in the position the France international covets?

United received criticism for taking two transfer windows before finally prising Fernandes away from Sporting CP in a deal worth up to €80million – €30m less than the package they agreed to bring Pogba back from Juve in 2016.

After an encouraging debut against Wolves, Portugal international Fernandes appeared to have thoroughly benefitted from a training camp with his new team-mates in Marbella during the mid-season break.

Operating in the hole behind Anthony Martial – who headed in the opener on the stroke of half-time – and Daniel James, he displayed great energy, be that looking for a quick pass to knit the play together or running beyond the strikers.

Fernandes got involved all over the pitch and, after going close to opening his United account with a free-kick that struck the base of the post, delivered his first assist for the club with a corner that was headed home by Harry Maguire in the 66th minute.

Solskjaer has an exciting, creative talent that appears more than capable of providing with the sort of ingenuity it was hoped Pogba would bring. What's more, Fernandes is clearly happy to play for him and has had a positive impact on the atmosphere at the club.

"It's a difficult game against Chelsea, a great team and we needed a win to keep fighting. We need to keep working in this way," Fernandes told Sky Sports after the match.

"I think we can do much better on the ball, but it was a good game against a good team. We played our game. I feel good, obviously. I play for the biggest club in England, I'm really happy, it's a dream come true."

Maguire said of Fernandes: "You can see [the difference] he's made, the quality on the ball, his technical ability. He's a presence as well. He demands off players, he's a leader and he's nice to have around the dressing room. Long may it continue."

The victory over Chelsea lifted United into seventh and closed the gap to fourth-place Chelsea to just three points – a two-season European ban for Manchester City may open up fifth position as a route into the Champions League, of course – which could prove significant for Solskjaer.

Talk of a replacement being lined up will fade further into the background if the Red Devils can build on this result and put together a good run in the Premier League and Europa League, where Club Brugge await in the last 32.

The Pogba situation will linger for the rest of the season, but in signing Fernandes United have ensured they will be in a decent position should the France star finally get his wish for a new challenge.

Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should be worrying about things other than Paul Pogba, according to the player's agent Mino Raiola.

Raiola said last week he and Pogba would decide whether the World Cup winner will remain at Old Trafford at the end of the season, having stated the midfielder would be open to a return to Juventus.

Solskjaer responded by saying he was sure the 26-year-old, who has been sidelined by an ankle injury since December, still wanted to play for United. He added: "Paul is our player, not Mino's."

Raiola hit back at the Red Devils manager on social media, suggesting he focus his attention elsewhere amid reports United are lining up potential replacements as manager.

"Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer's property, Paul is Paul Pogba's. You cannot own a human being already for a long time in the UK or anywhere else. I HOPE Solskjaer DO NOT WANT TO SUGGEST THAT PAUL IS HIS PRISONER," Raiola wrote.

"BUT BEFORE Solskjaer makes comments about things I say he should inform himself better about the content of what has been said.

"I am a free citizen who can think and express my thoughts. Until now I was maybe to [sic] nice to him. Solskjaer should just remember things that he said in the summer to Paul.

"I think Solskjaer may be frustrated for different reasons and is now mixing up some issues.

"I think that Solskjaer has other things to worry about. AT LEAST IF I WAS HIM I WOULD."

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer warned that Paul Pogba belongs to Manchester United and not outspoken agent Mino Raiola amid ongoing doubts over the star's future at Old Trafford.

Raiola cast fresh doubts over Pogba – who is recovering from an ankle injury – on Thursday when he said the United midfielder "would not mind" returning to Juventus as "Italy is like home".

Pogba left United for Juve in 2012 but the 26-year-old was prised back to Old Trafford in 2016 for a then-world record transfer fee of €105million (£89.3m).

LaLiga giants Real Madrid have also been linked to Pogba but United manager Solskjaer said: "I've not spoken to Mino that is for sure. And, no, I haven't sat down and told Paul to tell Mino what he should say. Paul is our player and not Mino's."

Asked if he could conclusively say Pogba will play for United again this season, Solskjaer replied: "Well of course, I'd like to say that. As soon as he gets fit he'll be good enough to play for the team and I'm sure Paul's desperate to play for us again."

It has been an injury-ravaged season for Pogba, who has started just five Premier League matches this term and made only seven appearances in total.

Pogba – who did not travel to Spain with his team-mates during the break – has only managed eight games across all competitions for United, who languish eighth in the Premier League after 25 rounds.

Pressed on whether it has been a "disastrous" season for Pogba, Solskjaer – speaking ahead of Monday's trip to Chelsea – told reporters: "You're not going to get that headline from me.

"As a player, the last thing you want to be is injured, and not being able to contribute to your team. Paul's a footballer and he wants to play football. He knows he has to work hard now to get back to his best.

"He's been out for so long now, it's a challenge for him as well to get back into shape. I've been injured for a long, long time myself, it's a difficult period of your career, but it's part and parcel of being a player.

"He's taken off his cast, so when he comes back here we'll integrate him with us. Hopefully soon. He's started running on the treadmill now, so he's getting closer. It's been a long haul, this, so hopefully we'll see him back soon."

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