Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Paul Pogba is “not anywhere near ready” to return to team training with Manchester United as hypothesis over his long-term future intensifies.
The France World Cup winner has not featured for the Red Devils since the 4-1 Boxing Day win over Newcastle United as he continues his restoration from ankle surgery.
Solskjaer had suggested after Monday’s 2-0 win over Chelsea that Pogba was once due to resume training this week but changed his stance when previewing Thursday’s Europa League clash with Club Brugge .
“Paul has no longer been part of the team training yet,” boss Solskjaer said.
“So, it’ll depend on how he feels or when he feels prepared to do that, so he’s no longer anywhere close to that yet.”
The latest update from Solskjaer will do little to assuage reviews Pogba is heading for an Old Trafford exit at the end of the season, with a return to former club Juventus having been heavily mooted in latest weeks.
This week, Solskjaer has been involved in a back-and-forth with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola, who published a declaration on social media prior to the Chelsea game that read: “Paul is not mine and for sure not Solskjaer’s property, Paul is Paul Pogba’s.
You cannot own a human being already for a lengthy time in the UK or somewhere else. I HOPE Solskjaer DO NOT WANT TO SUGGEST THAT PAUL IS HIS PRISONER.”
Solskjaer later said he would not be drawn into a battle of words , although Raiola appeared eager to continue the feud when he told talkSPORT that the Norwegian used to be “out of line” and stated Pogba is only tied to United until the end of Euro 2020.
But the agent then tried to cool the trouble , even going as far as to advise Pogba should be open to the concept of a new contract.
“We are open for talks after he gets back [from injury],” Raiola informed Sky Sports . “For now, there is a contract and the only thing he is targeted on is getting back to fitness.
Pogba has been restricted to just seven Premier League appearances this season due to injury.