Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Paul Pogba is “desperate” to play for Manchester United after having his ankle cast removed following surgery, but it remains unclear when the midfielder will return.
The 26-year-old has made only eight appearances in all competitions this season having been sidelined for three months earlier in the campaign before deciding to undergo surgery.
“Paul’s had a terrible season with injuries, he’s desperate to play football,” United boss Solskjaer said ahead of Wednesday’s League Cup semi-final against Manchester City, where his side will look to overturn a 3-1 first-leg deficit.
“It’s hard to put timescales on long-term injuries,” the Norwegian added. “He loves playing and he loves just being out there training as well, and it’s been playing on his mind.
“I see a boy that is fed up of being injured. Paul has always been a top professional. I don’t have any doubts when he comes back he’s going to enjoy himself.”
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Just last week, Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola told Sky Sports News United have failed to match the France international’s ambition since he re-joined the club in 2016.
United broke the world transfer record to re-sign Pogba from Juventus in an £89m deal but the 26-year-old has grown frustrated at Old Trafford and expressed a desire for a “new challenge” last summer.
Raiola was non-committal when asked if Pogba would move this summer, but he indicated United’s ongoing struggles on the pitch would factor into his decision.
“I don’t say anything for sure. Today he is not happy because he is not playing. He is recovering. Paul if he does not play he is not happy,” Raiola told Sky Sports News.
“But I saw him go back to Manchester United when people did not think he would go back. People tend to forget that. People tend to imagine that Manchester United was the only club that he could have signed for. He chose Manchester United.
“Everybody knows the ambition from both parts is not being met the last years. Let’s be honest, let’s talk about the elephant in the room.
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“So we need to see in the summer if Paul is still in the plans of Manchester United and if Manchester United is still in the plans of Paul.”
Despite making no signings in the January transfer window so far, midfielder Bruno Fernandes looks set to arrive at Old Trafford after United agreed a transfer fee of around £68m with Sporting Lisbon.
United increased their offer to Sporting for Fernandes twice in the past 24 hours, the second for a deal which could be worth 80m euros (£67.76m).
After weeks of negotiations, United executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward has reached an agreement with Sporting’s director Hugo Viana which could see United pay an initial fee of 55m euros (£46.56m) plus add-ons for Fernandes, with the deal eventually rising to 80m euros (£67.76m).