Jose Mourinho insists that Paul Pogba arrived back at Manchester United pre-season training this week happy and ready for the start of the new campaign.
United get underway on Friday night when Leicester City visit Old Trafford for the opening match of the 2018-19 Premier League season.
Their start to the new campaign has been overshadowed by doubts around the Frenchman’s future, with Sportsmail revealing this week that he has told team-mates that he wants to leave amid strong interest from Barcelona.
Jose Mourinho believes that Frenchman Paul Pogba is happy as a Manchester United player
Pogba’s future at Old Trafford is shrouded in uncertainty ahead of the start of the new season
Though Pogba is unlikely to feature having only returned from his post-World Cup break on Monday, Mourinho has praised his ‘desire to work’ and believes he is happy at the club.
‘My perception, he arrived Monday, happy, proud, a desire to work,’ Mourinho told a press conference.
‘He worked amazingly well Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday. He’s one of the players that I have to speak to, to see how physically and mentally he feels.
‘But it’s the same conversation as with [Ashley] Young, [Marouane] Fellaini, [Jesse] Lingard, it’s the same.
The 25-year-old and his Manchester United manager have had a troubled relationship
Agent Mino Raiola is attempting to engineer a move to Barcelona for his client Pogba
‘If they feel they can help us [against Leicester] – 20 minutes, 10 minutes, half an hour. We don’t have many solutions and want to go with everything we have.
‘I see [Pogba] very well but we need words with that small group to see if they can give us a hand. We have to try and get the best out of every player.’
Pogba’s future at the club remains up in the air, despite his then-world record £89m return just two years ago from Juventus.
United insists their star man is not for sale, but there have been suggestions that Pogba and his agent Mino Raiola, who earned £41m from the player’s transfer in 2016, are angling for a new contract to give him parity with the club’s £500,000-a-week top earner Alexis Sanchez.
United have denied that Pogba has asked for a pay rise, while stating the 25-year-old midfielder will not be sold following the end of the window for Premier League clubs.
Pogba has had a rocky relationship with Mourinho in the last two years, and last season was repeatedly left out of key fixtures in the league and Europe.
Pogba was repeatedly started on the bench for key Manchester United fixtures last season