Manchester United are confident of keeping Paul Pogba despite the midfielder’s desire to leave.

Pogba, 26, said in June it is ‘maybe time for a new challenge’ and his agent Mino Raiola last week revealed he is ‘in the process’ of working on a transfer for Pogba.

However, the MEN understands United believe their valuation of Pogba in the current inflated market exceeds £150million and could deter potential suitors, with Juventus and Real Madrid both interested.

United signed Pogba for a then-world record £89m in 2016 and, although Pogba has technically entered the last two years of his contract, United have the option of an additional year to tie him to the club until 2022.

Pogba’s age, talent, marketability and status as a World Cup winner are additional factors that drive up his value. Despite a tumultuous 2018-19 campaign, Pogba ended it with his highest seasonal goals tally of 16 and was voted into the PFA Team of the Year.

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Newcastle have quoted United £50m for midfield target Sean Longstaff, who has only started eight Premier League matches, and United feel Pogba is worth at least three times as much.

United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer launched into an impassioned defence of Pogba at a press conference on Wednesday and clarified the club has not received a bid for the Frenchman.

“As far I’m aware up until now, we don’t have any bids for our players,” Solskjaer said. “So there’s no reason to say most of our players have long contracts, we’re Man United, we don’t have to sell players.

 

“What I have to say about Paul, for example, it looks like it’s gonna be a media, I don’t wanna call it… but it’s an agenda against Paul. He’s a top, top bloke. He’s a great, great professional, [there have] never been any problems, he’s got a heart of gold.

“Agents talk all of the time and, as I said, we’ve not had any bids, from any clubs, that’s all I can say about this matter. I’m not just talking about Mino Raiola, there are loads of agents out there, they have got clients that they are looking after, so they can look after their clients.

 

“As long as they [players who want to leave]’re here, they’re professionals, working, giving everything they’ve got, agents and everyone else can talk,” Solskjaer added.

“And we’ve got our own talks behind the scenes and I’m not going to tell you what we’re talking about, as you would probably imagine.”

Pogba was treated to a warm reception from the 12,000 United supporters who attended open training at the WACA Stadium on Thursday night and posed for selfies and autographs with some fans.

The France international could start for United in their pre-season tour opener against Perth Glory at the Optus Stadium on Saturday.

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