- Paul Pogba has been struck down by an illness, further complicating his return from injury for Manchester United.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed on Sunday that Pogba is unlikely to be available for this week’s EFL Cup quarter-final against Colchester United.
Pogba has not played since back-to-back games against Rochdale and Arsenal at the end of September aggravated a pre-existing foot injury.
The midfielder had sustained the problem a month earlier in the 1-1 draw away at Southampton and has now missed a total of 19 United games this season.
Pogba was pictured at his brother Florentin’s wedding last Friday in the town of Seine-et-Marne in his native France. He was granted permission to attend by United and was diagnosed with the illness on his return.
“Of all things he’s struck down ill now,” Solskjaer said. “He’s been off for two or three days – three days probably – so that’s not beneficial. That’s probably set him back quite a bit.”
Pogba publicly admitted he wishes to leave United last summer, declaring himself ready for “a new challenge somewhere else” with Real Madrid and Juventus interested, but he failed to secure a move away from Old Trafford.
Solskjaer has effectively had to manage without Pogba anyway, but he dodged suggestions that he is building a team to cope in case the 26-year-old leaves in the January transfer window.
“As I’ve said so many times, Paul’s a top top player that we want to see playing his best football at Man United,” Solskjaer said. “We just need to get him fit and match fit.
“It might be half an hour, 45, 60, 90 – who knows, the first game. We’re working hard to get him back but now he’s ill.”
Solskjaer had previously said that he expected Pogba to return from injury in early December, though has since revised that prognosis and merely hopes to have him back before the new year.
“He’s still a bit away but he’s working hard so let’s see,” said Solskjaer prior to United’s Europa League victory over AZ Alkmaar last week. “He’s out on the grass and training, so let’s see how long it will take.”