Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has declared that star midfielder Paul Pogba is 'not the finished deal' and has urged the World Cup winner, who has been linked with Real Madrid and Juventus, to keep developing at Old Trafford where he can reach his full potential.
It has been rumoured that Champions League qualification could play a part in Pogba committing to United, while it has also been speculated that he will sign a new contract with the club on the condition that his wages match Alexis Sanchez as the squad's top earner.
Based on what he has said himself, Pogba appears willing to stay. He has publicly backed manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in recent weeks and there was also a report he'd given assurances to the club that he won't be chasing a summer move. On top of that, he publicly stated that he is 'happy' at United when quizzed by the media about joining Real Madrid.
But Phelan is under no illusion that Pogba, whose performances have dipped somewhat in the last few weeks, has reached his peak, despite perceptions of him being at the top of his game.
"[Pogba] is not the finished deal even though everyone looks at him and sees a World Cup winner already but he is not the finished deal, there is still a lot more to come and that is the exciting bit about United," Phelan told Reuters.
According to Phelan, who worked alongside Sir Alex Ferguson for 12 years from 2001 to 2013, Pogba is part of a group of individuals at United who haven't yet delivered on their potential.
"There are players there who haven't achieved for the club what they need to achieve and we want to make sure that they relish that experience, embrace the opportunity to win things at Manchester United," the revered coach explained.
Speaking about the impact Solskjaer has had on Pogba after the player had struggled under previous boss Jose Mourinho, Phelan said, "Paul had a spell where all the eyes were on him and delivery of his best wasn't there all the time - the consistency...Ole has done a terrific job at helping Paul through certain spells and he has embraced that. He is maturing all the time."
Pogba will have to be at his brilliant best for the remainder of this season if United are to achieve their target and finish in the Premier League top four. He will also be pivotal as the club meets Barcelona in the Champions League quarter final this week.