Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba has given a surprisingly-upbeat update on his recovery from an ankle problem and has revealed his determination to come back even better for the Red Devils.
The France international has not played since Boxing Day, having suffered a setback to foot surgery earlier in the season, but he is stepping up his recovery and will resume training when the club are able to play again.
Pogba told United Podcast: “I’m already training and touching the ball.
“I’ve been frustrated, a long time ago. Now I’m almost there, so I’m just thinking about getting back and training fully with the team and everything.
“You think bad but I’ve never had something like this in my career, so I always take it in a good way. It makes me more hungry to come back and do well. And, yeah, it just shows me as well how much I love football.”
Pogba gave the full details of his injury, which has restricted him to just eight appearances this season.
“You have to be very patient because, well my injury, I don’t know if people really know what happened,” he added.
“So I had a foot injury, which came in the game against Southampton. It was early this season and so I carried this for a long time, training and trying to be playing with it. After I stopped, I found I had a fracture.
“I had a cast on it, a plaster-cast, so it went very well but too well. The bone got bigger and so, when I came back again, I played those two games against Watford and Newcastle, I could feel something again.
“So I had to have an operation and now here I am. I don’t feel anything and, hopefully, I’ll be back very soon.”
Pogba moved to Old Trafford from Juventus on a five-year deal in 2016 and the Frenchman has become a divisive figure in his second spell at Old Trafford.
The 27-year-old has largely failed to live up to the talent he showed in Turin and this season has seen speculation over his future ramped up.
Pogba has been heavily linked with a move back to Juventus and to Real Madrid in recent months but United could look to extend his contract by a further year until the summer of 2022, in a bid to protect the valuation of the player as an asset but still with the view to move him on.
However, despite publicly claiming Pogba will still be at the club next season, it’s widely reported the club’s patience with him has worn thin and a decision has been made that it would be in the best interests of all parties that he is moved on.
According to widespread reports, Solskjaer plans to reinvest the funds generated from his sale towards signing a replacement, with Aston Villa captain Jack Grealish – valued at around £70m – reported to be his most realistic target.
However, if the World Cup winner does leave in the next transfer window then former star Rio Ferdinand wants to see Man Utd go for Atletico’s Niguez, who was linked with a £135m move to Old Trafford earlier this month.
Ferdinand told a live Q&A on Instagram: “I don’t want Pogba to go but if he does go I’d take Saul Niguez all day long. Not like-for-like but still a top player.
“What a player. I’ve been harping on about Saul Niguez for a few years now.
“I think he’s a major player. He’s composed, calm, great left foot, lovely conductor, he can score goals, tactically he’s very aware. You can see [Diego] Simeone, he gets his teams really well set up and he’s in the middle orchestrating and dictating things.”