Manchester United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer appeared to make a U-turn on comments that he could “build a team around” Paul Pogba.
And those rumours have been further substantiated by claims that Pogba has decided he wants out following United’s failure to qualify for the Champions League and the fact that a clause in his deal means his wages will be cut by 25%.
And United manager Solskjaer, speaking about what he has learnt during his first few months in charge, appeared to suggest he is still trying to figure out who he is trying to build the team around – a far cry from the comments he made when he first took over as Mourinho’s replacement.
Pogba initially excelled upon the Norwegian’s appointment and speaking back in December, Solskjaer said: “I think Paul’s a top, top player. He’s one of the best top players in the world. Attacking wise he’s done really well but he’s a big lad – can win headers, tackles.
“He’s been the same as the others. The attitude has been perfect and that’s key – you should be tired towards the end of every single game.
“He’s been top class and we’re looking to build a team around him of course, but there are so many quality players [in this squad].”
However, when questioned by MUTV about the club’s tough end to the season, Solskjaer appeared to backtrack and suggested he remains unsure who he can build side around.
“I’ve learned that I don’t like losing. I like winning,” Solskjaer said, when asked what he has learnt.
“We started off fantastically. The boys were unbelievable when I came in. We were positive. We won games. The whole group gelled together and I enjoyed winning but I know that football is hard.
“You can’t just expect everything to go that way and the reality hit us.
“We are in a league with loads of very good teams and, to be at our top [level], we need to be 100 per cent focused.
“We came into some games really, really focused with the full team and I thought that was fantastic.
“Then you learn a lot when you go through tough times and think about who can we build this team around, and who we think is going to take the next step because we need to go to the next level.”