Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer insisted he wants to keep Paul Pogba amid doubts over his future.
Pogba is out of contract at the end of next season and there have been question marks over the French star since his agent Mino Raiola claimed his client’s time at United was “over” in December.
Linked with a Juventus return and move to Real Madrid, Pogba has been in inspired form for United, who are second in the Premier League and on the brink of the Europa League final following Thursday’s 6-2 semi-final first-leg rout of Roma.
“No, of course not,” said Solskjaer when asked if he would have the club cash in on Pogba at season’s end ahead of Sunday’s showdown against rivals Liverpool.
“I have always said with Paul that I enjoy managing him, I enjoy coaching him, I enjoy talking to him and I also enjoy challenging him because he is a winner.
“He wants to be better and that’s why he listens. You can see he’s enjoying himself here as well.
“He has a smile on his face. It’s important we treat each other with respect and I try to treat everyone with the same amount of respect.
“But there are some players you have known since they were young lads and that’s the case with Paul: the longer you have known them the easier it is to have a bond with them.”
Pogba has scored six goals in all competitions for United this season, including three Premier League goals and as many assists.
United have avoided defeat in both meetings with Liverpool in all competitions this season (W1 D1) – the last time they faced the Reds as many as three times in a season without losing any was in 1998-99 (W2 D1), with this the eighth campaign they have met more than twice since then.
In the Premier League, United have won just one of their last nine meetings with Liverpool (D6 L2) and are winless in five against the Reds (D3 L2). They last had a longer winless run against Liverpool in the top-flight between December 1989 and October 1992 (seven games).
United have drawn seven league games 0-0 this season – only in 1980-81 (eight) have they been involved in more goalless draws in a single league campaign. The Red Devils have the most goalless draws of any side in the Premier League this season.