Ralf Rangnick says Paul Pogba will be determined to return with a bang for Manchester United and suggested the chance to earn a new deal elsewhere could even form part of his motivation.
Having left for Juventus in 2012 and rejoined for a then world record fee four years later, the midfielder will again be leaving Old Trafford this summer unless he signs an extended contract.
Pogba has been the subject of widespread speculation throughout his time at United, with the midfielder saying he could be ready for a new challenge in 2019 and agent Mino Raiola making numerous comments about his client.
Rangnick hopes to have him back for the FA Cup tie against Middlesbrough in early February and was impressed by his “extraordinary” first session, with the interim boss unconcerned by any suggestion his heart would not be in it.
Asked if there was any point playing Pogba given his United contract expiring and the club are looking to the future, Rangnick said: “Yes, of course.
“I also played Nemanja Matic now in the last games and his contract is also expiring. By the way, my contract as a manager is also expiring in the summer.
“So, for us, we have the same goal, we have the same ambition to be as successful as we can possibly be in the next three or four months.
“For me, it’s not a question if a player has an expiring contract. The question is how much does he still want to be a part of this group? How much does he still feel emotionally and physically on board?
“And as long as this is the case, why shouldn’t Paul Pogba now after two and half months of injury, being fully fit again now and he also wants to show up?
“He wants to show the fans of Manchester United, the board, the whole world what kind of player he can be, and even if it’s for only showing up for a new contract elsewhere, I mean, he will be highly motivated to do that. Why should I then not play him?
“But then, as I said, there is a difference of how do players deal with their current situation? How do they handle that?
“If they handle that in a professional way, in an ambitious way, of course I can and I will play players although they have a contract expiring in the summer.”
Pogba is not the only one with something to… Nokia News – Short Summary.