London (AFP) – Ralf Rangnick has vowed to play Paul Pogba even if the Manchester United midfielder is only motivated by the chance to secure a move away from Old Trafford.
Pogba is out of contract at the end of this season and is yet to sign a new deal with the club he rejoined from Juventus in 2016.
The 28-year-old’s future has been the subject of widespread speculation throughout his time at United.
Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola has reportedly been in contact with Paris Saint-Germain about a potential transfer to Ligue 1 in the summer.
The France World Cup winner returned to training with United on Monday for the first time since sustaining a thigh injury in November.
Asked if there was any point playing Pogba given his United contract is expiring, interim boss 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.”
Rangnick hopes to have him back for the FA Cup fourth round tie against Middlesbrough on February 4.
Impressed by Pogba’s “extraordinary” first training session, Rangnick insisted he was unconcerned by suggestions the star is not longer committed to United.
“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?” Rangnick said.
“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.”
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