•The Frenchman was instrumental in United’s comprehensive win over Chelsea
•However, Pogba appears to have not given up hope of moving to Real Madrid
Paul Pogba has put a dampener on Manchester United’s uplifting win over Chelsea by claiming that a question mark still hangs over his future at Old Trafford.
Pogba set up the third and fourth goals in a 4-0 victory that got United’s season off to a flying start on Sunday.
But the Frenchman has clearly not given up hope of a move to Real Madrid before the transfer window closes in Spain on September 2 after he and his agent Mino Raiola indicated earlier this summer that he wants to leave United.
“Obviously there have been things said, but only time will tell. This question mark remains,” said Pogba. “However, I am here in Manchester. I enjoy playing with my team-mates and I always want to win every game. I always give it everything. “I am always good whenever I play football. It is what I love — it’s my job. I give the maximum each time.”
United’s coaching staff are said to be surprised that Pogba is still at the club even though executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has been unflinching in his refusal to consider selling the club’s £89million record signing. Woodward blocked Pogba’s move to Barcelona a year ago and has been equally determined to withstand any attempts by Madrid to sign him this summer.
United dismissed a bid from Real of £27.6m plus James Rodriguez last week which only reinforced the view that the Spaniards do not have enough money to finance a move for Pogba in this transfer window.
It’s understood United would have considered offers of around £170m before the Premier League transfer deadline last week, but it seems unthinkable they would sell Pogba now when there is no chance of signing a replacement.
It follows another summer of uncertainty in which the 26-year-old told team-mates he wasn’t going to turn up for United’s pre-season tour but then reported for duty on time.
Pogba also sparked concerns that he would try to force a move when he missed the flight to Cardiff for United’s final friendly against AC Milan, although the club later insisted he was allowed to stay in Manchester for treatment on a back spasm.
It seems the midfielder will have to wait until next summer to try again for the move he wants when there will only be a year left on his contract. United have an option to extend it by a further 12 months, but they will be in a weaker bargaining position than now.