Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick sets Paul Pogba challenge amid contract uncertainty

Sean Walsh
Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season
Pogba is out of contract at the end of the season / James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages
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Ralf Rangnick has challenged Paul Pogba to earn his next contract - whether at Manchester United or elsewhere - by putting in good performances on the pitch and proving his worth.

Pogba's current deal expires at the end of the current season, and 90min revealed last month the Frenchman has yet to make a decision on his future.

The midfielder has missed the entirety of Rangnick's interim reign so far through injury, but will make his return against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Friday.

Speaking at a press conference prior to that match, Rangnick revealed how he sees Pogba fitting into his system and insisted it's in the player's interests to play to the highest level for the rest of the season.

"I’m happy to have him back in the squad - as I said he might be playing from the start tomorrow. I see his best possible position for me as one of the central midfield positions as either an 8 or 10, but the way we’re currently playing I’d rather see him in the 8 position but we’ll have to see, it’s up to him now," Rangnick said.

"His contract is expiring in the summer and if, in the end, he would like to stay or go somewhere else he has to show up. It’s not only in the interest of us as a club, but it’s in his personal interest that he plays and performs at the highest possible level in the next couple of weeks.

"We haven’t spoken about that [his future] at all so far, not only about Paul’s situation but also other players with contracts expiring in the summer, we also didn’t speak about new players so far.

"My focus now is to play the best possible season we can, to be as successful as we can be and for Paul, it is in his own interest to play on a high level to have a good performance tomorrow and do everything to get into the first XI – that will not automatically happen because we have other good players in that area.

"Fred has been doing well in the last weeks, since I arrived we reduced the amount of goals we conceded. It’s up to him, in the end, the players themselves decide who will be in the starting lineup and the group is smaller now but still strong enough and competitive enough to be successful.

"I mean, other players have developed this kind of football and we haven’t played as aggressive as I would have wanted us to play but we improved and got better in the last week. Let’s wait and see.

"I’ll be excited myself to see how Paul is doing and like all the other players for me, he is now a new player and he can show me and the team and the fans and everyone in England how good and what high level he can play. Let’s just wait and see what he can show and what he can deliver."

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