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'Build a team around him' - Solskjaer backs 'loved' Pogba for Man United success

04:18 BST 17/07/2019
Paul Pogba Manchester United 2019-20
The Red Devils boss continues to stress the importance of his French star

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer clearly isn't ready to see Paul Pogba depart Manchester United, declaring he wants to build his team around the midfielder.

While transfer speculation continues to swirl around Pogba, who declared prior to pre-season he was ready for a new challenge, the Red Devils coach has reiterated just how much he rates the 26-year-old.

Solskjaer said on Tuesday he believes he can give the Frenchman the necessary challenge at Old Trafford before suggesting he'd like to build his side around the 2018 World Cup winner.

"Paul is a fantastic player and a fantastic human being. He has always been a great professional," Solskjaer told BBC Sport .

"When I was at Molde, I said, 'if he's in your squad, you'd build a team around him'. I would say the same now.

"Manchester United fans know their football. We know Paul has been criticised by a few but he's loved by loads more."

Pogba has been causing a stir in Perth as part of United's pre-season tour of Australia and happily embraced fans following an open training session last week

After the Red Devils finished last season in sixth and missed out on a place in the Champions League, club legend  Bryan Robson has stressed a top-four Premier League finish is required in the upcoming campaign. 

Solskjaer however is aiming even higher admitting success will be key to keeping players at the club moving forward. 

"You know, it's the best feeling you can have to be at this club when we're successful," he said.

"The ones that might want to leave now haven't been here when it's been successful. Hopefully they want to be part of that. I want to be part of it. 

"We have to aim for further up than fourth. I would rather be an optimist and be wrong than a pessimist and be right.

"I am not used to us being fifth or sixth but that is where we are at. That is the size of the challenge. I love that challenge."

Manchester United will end their pre-season tour of Australia with a friendly against Leeds on Wednesday night before flying to Singapore where they'll take on Inter Milan.