Ole Gunnar Solskjaer wants Alexis Sanchez to stay at Manchester United and expects him to prove his critics wrong.
Sanchez has had interest from Serie A clubs, with the European transfer window open until September 2 but his wages may prove an obstacle to any move.
United manager Solskjaer conceded Sanchez (right) remains a number of weeks behind the rest of his squad after returning from the Copa America with a hamstring injury.
United are organising friendlies behind closed doors at Carrington in a bid to accelerate Sanchez’s return to fitness. The 30-year-old striker’s form is of greater concern, with only three Premier League goals since a move from Arsenal in January 2018.
‘Alexis is such a professional and he comes in working every single day really hard,’ Solskjaer said.
‘He’s part of our squad and he is a really good player. He has had three weeks now, so he’s a few weeks behind the rest but close to being part of it. We don’t have the biggest forward line in numbers so Alexis might end up playing a lot more games than you expect. We expect him to come good at this club, he’s quality.’
Sources close to the player claim he wants to leave Old Trafford but Solskjaer insisted Sanchez, whose wages could potentially hit £560,000 a week, is working hard to return.
‘We’ve had a behind-closed-doors game and he is doing a little bit of extras,’ Solskjaer said. ‘He’ll be gradually integrated into more and more playing time.
‘We’ll have more behind-closed-doors games because with one game a week now it’s hard to keep everyone ticking over.’
There is also a question mark over Paul Pogba’s future. His brother, Mathias, claimed the midfielder is ‘waiting’ to leave for Real Madrid. In an interview with El Chiringuito Mathias Pogba said: ‘He’s going to have a hard time because what he wants is not going to happen as right now it’s a little late. I don’t think he’s worth 200m (euros), but now the football world is like that. United are going to ask for a lot, but not 200.
‘It’s a delicate situation but the player has his personal goals, if you have to leave, well, that’s it. I can’t assure you he is going to stay at United. We know he wanted to move, but he’s not to blame. He’s waiting. We’ll see what happens. His dream is to win the Champions League.’
Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane said yesterday: ‘Paul is a player for Manchester United and we have to respect that.’