Paul Pogba will not be available for Jose Mourinho’s Old Trafford return, with Scott McTominay and Nemanja Matic “touch and go” for Manchester United’s highly-anticipated encounter with Tottenham.
The 26-year-old France midfielder has not featured since September due to an ankle injury and returned to the north-west at the end of last week after a spell of rehabilitation in Miami.
But Pogba will not be fit for Wednesday’s reunion with former United boss Mourinho, who the World Cup winner regularly clashed with towards the end of his reign.
United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said: “No. Paul’s not ready, no.
“He’s still a bit away but he’s working hard so let’s see. He’s out on the grass, so let’s see how long it will take.”
United looked light in midfield at the start of the season and that issue has been compounded by injuries.
In addition to Pogba, the influential McTominay has missed United’s last three matches with an ankle issue and Matic has not been seen for two months.
“They’re touch and go,” Solskjaer said. “So let’s get this training session out of the way. We’ve got more games than this one, so of course I can’t look at just the one game, we have got to look at long term.”
McTominay and Matic were trusty lieutenants under Mourinho, who Solskjaer expects to get a good reception when he returns to the Old Trafford touchline for the first time since his sacking last December.
“Very good reception,” Solskjaer said of his predecessor. “Of course that’s just a testament to this club and the supporters of this club.
“Of course they remember the two-and-a-half years he was here, he won trophies. I’m 100 per cent sure our fans will welcome him, and the staff and the club, everyone.”
Meanwhile, United have been told that a potential £50m swoop for Aston Villa star John McGinn would be ‘worth every penny’ and that they shouldn’t be scared off by the price tag on the Scotland international.
Both McGinn and his Villa teammate Jack Grealish have caught the eye this season, leading to speculation they could be the subject of big-money approaches from Manchester United when the transfer window opens.
But with the duo secured to long-term contracts at Villa Park, defiant manager Dean Smith is adamant offers for either player will not be considered. Read more…