Paul Pogba is thought to be leaning towards staying at Manchester United after Cristiano Ronaldo’s superb second debut for the club.
The manner in which Ronaldo marked his return, plus the arrivals of Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, has given United fans hope that another successful period in their history might be ahead.
Such optimism will inevitably extend to the players and, in a potentially major development, The Athletic has learnt that Saturday had a significant bearing on Pogba’s thinking over his future.
The 28-year-old France international produced the latest in a string of fine displays, laying on two goals in United’s 4-1 victory to take his tally of assists so far this season to seven in four matches.
Pogba is into the final 12 months of his contract and there has still been no meaningful progress in negotiations over a new deal, raising the possibility of him leaving as a free agent next summer.
The lack of movement in talks suggested joining the likes of Paris Saint-Germain or Real Madrid looked likely and while that may yet occur, he is currently thought to be leaning the opposite way.
Paul Pogba encouraged by the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho at Old Trafford; agent said nine months ago it would be best if the France star left the club; trophies can persuade the midfielder to stay, says boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer
Paul Pogba has been impressed by Manchester United’s recruitment over the summer and is now more open to signing a contract extension.
Talks will continue between Pogba’s representatives and United over his future, with the France international inside the final year of his contract at Old Trafford.
It is understood that while no decision has been made, the 28-year-old is coming around to the idea of extending his stay in Manchester after seeing the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho.
Ronaldo’s homecoming in Saturday’s 4-1 Premier League win over Newcastle saw the Old Trafford crowd at fever pitch, with Pogba assisting twice to take his tally to seven for the season in just four matches.
United are unbeaten after four games this season – winning three of those – and sit top of the Premier League table.
Sky Sports News reported last month that Pogba was unlikely to sign a new contract during the summer transfer window – but that fact did not rule out an extension at some point.
Pogba continues to have a fantastic relationship with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the rest of the coaching staff and players. He loves the club but wants to make the right decision for him and his family.
It is clear that he is more open to committing to United compared to nine months ago when his agent, Mino Raiola, claimed it would be best if he left the club.
Real Madrid and Paris Saint-Germain are among a number of clubs who are interested in signing Pogba on a pre-contract agreement in January.
Ole: Trophies can persuade Pogba to stay
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer believes the return of Cristiano Ronaldo can help Manchester United become winners again and persuade Paul Pogba to commit his long-term future to the club.
When asked about Pogba’s current situation, Solskjaer said: “It’s up to us to get results and to prove to ourselves that we can win trophies.
“I think everyone that signs for Manchester United wants to win trophies and be part of a winning Manchester United.
“It’s the most magical feeling in the world to be part of a winning Manchester United team.”
Solskjaer was speaking ahead of his side’s Champions League trip to Swiss side Young Boys, with the Manchester United boss adamant the club’s summer recruitment has given him a squad capable of competing on all fronts this season.
“We’ve had enough disappointments, that’s for sure, and some big moments as well,” he said. “But this team has grown and matured over the last few seasons. That was always the plan (when I came in), we said in three years’ time we’d have a squad with experience and quality that could challenge.
“With players like David (De Gea), Harry Maguire, who’s been here a couple of years, you get that spine in the team with experience and quality. With Raphael and Cristiano coming in that add to that.
“It’s not the last bit, you can never say it’s the last bit, but it’s that something that you have to buy unless you’ve already won it yourself.”
“I walked out into Manchester’s city centre on Saturday morning and I’ve not seen it as alive for five or 10 years. What he’s done to the Premier League for interest is exciting but for the city, he’s absolutely got it buzzing with excitement – and this was even before he scored the two goals.
“I was at Salford and saw the news that he scored. I could only imagine what the atmosphere was like and I spoke to a couple of people who were there and they said it was out of this world, bouncing like they’ve never seen it before. And, Salford scored in the last minute which meant it was the perfect football day.”