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Rangnick happy to pick Pogba despite doubts over his future

January 18, 2022 GMT

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Paul Pogba’s possible desire to earn a contract at another club could motivate the France midfielder to produce strong performances for Manchester United until the end of the season, manager Ralf Rangnick said Tuesday.

Pogba returned to training on Monday for the first time since sustaining a thigh injury on international duty in November. He is out of contract at the end of the season and is set to leave after six years in his second spell at United.

Asked if there was any point picking Pogba given his United contract is expiring and the club is 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.”

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Rangnick believes Pogba will want to show “the fans of Manchester United, the board, the whole world” how good a player he is.

“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?” Rangnick said.

“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.”

Rangnick hopes to have Pogba back for the FA Cup fourth-round match against Middlesbrough in early February and said he was impressed by the midfielder’s “extraordinary” first training session back.

United plays Brentford in the Premier League on Wednesday.

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