Pogba can find 'new challenge' at United - Solskjaer
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said he can give Paul Pogba the "new challenge" the midfielder indicated he wants without him having to leave the club.
The France international said he is ready for a new challenge during a promotional tour of Japan before agent Mino Raiola said an Old Trafford exit for the 26-year-old was "in the process." Real Madrid and Juventus have both been linked with moves for Pogba, but United have yet to receive a bid.
Speaking at the team base at the Crown Towers hotel on Tuesday in Perth, Solskjaer stopped short of guaranteeing that the World Cup winner will be at the club on the opening day of the season, but he promised that Pogba will find the challenge he is looking for at Old Trafford.
"I can't dive into all these hypothetical questions, but we've not had offers," Solskjaer said when asked about Pogba's future. "I've said so many times about Paul that he's a top, top boy and a great player, and he's never, ever been a problem.
"I've not been upset by anything he's said because we've had many conversations, and I know exactly what Paul is thinking. I can give him a new challenge."
Like Pogba, Alexis Sanchez's future is up in the air after a disappointing 18-month spell following his move to Arsenal. The Chile forward is not with the squad in Australia after taking part in the Copa America, but Solskjaer said Sanchez will get a chance to impress in the final two friendlies of the summer against Kristiansund on July 30 in Oslo and against AC Milan on Aug. 3 in Cardiff. However, the Norwegian would only say that Sanchez was in his plans for next season "at the moment."
"You can't spoon-feed them," Solskjaer said when asked about the 30-year-old former Barcelona man. "They've got to come in and grab their chances, and Alexis is quality, and he showed it in the Copa America.
"Then he got his injury. I don't think it's too bad, so I'm hoping he will be available for maybe Kristiansund or AC Milan, so he will at least get some football before the season starts. The way we hope we are going to play, it doesn't have to be a 6-foot-4 striker, so Alexis can be part of that forward line."
Solskjaer's first summer transfer window has seen United spend £60 million on Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Daniel James, and the club are still chasing two more signings, including Leicester defender Harry Maguire.
Solskjaer said during a fan event in Perth this week that he is looking for a Bryan Robson-type leader in his dressing room, and he has urged one of his existing players to fill the void while questioning how Manchester City will cope without former captain Vincent Kompany, who has left the Etihad Stadium to manage Anderlecht.
"I think it's a general society thing as well that there are less Robbos and Keanos [Roy Keane] around," Solskjaer said. "I played with Keano, and I think any manager in the world would say I would love to have one who is that type of leader.
"Look at City and Kompany. Who knows what will happen? Because he is a fantastic human being, player and leader, so someone else has to step up, and someone else has to step up for us."