Paul Pogba will not be fit for Manchester United’s much-anticipated Premier League match against Tottenham, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.
Jose Mourinho returns to Old Trafford on Wednesday as his improving Spurs side seek to secure a fourth successive win in all competitions.
United had hoped star midfielder Pogba would be ready for the marquee encounter but the France international has not sufficiently recovered from an ankle injury.
Scott McTominay, who also has an ankle problem, and the experienced Nemanja Matic are considered “touch and go” for the midweek fixture, which precedes Saturday’s trip to the Etihad Stadium for the derby against Manchester City.
“Paul’s not ready, no,” Solskjaer said at his pre-match news conference on Tuesday.
“He’s still a bit away but he’s working hard. He’s out on the grass, so let’s see how long it will take.”
As for McTominay and Matic, Solskjaer said: “They’re touch and go. 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 the long term.
“I don’t want to talk about all the injuries we’ve had but when you get Scott back, when you get Paul back, we have been light in midfield with three out for such a long time and that’s affected us.”
“The work that is going on here is always geared on us improving,” Ole says.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) December 3, 2019
Solskjaer has been unable to call on Pogba since the 1-1 draw with Arsenal at the end of September.
United have won five of 12 matches in all competitions since then and none of their past three, increasing the pressure on their Norwegian manager.
Premier League bosses Unai Emery, Mauricio Pochettino and Quique Sanchez Flores have all lost their jobs in recent times but Solskjaer denied being worried about his own circumstances.
“No, it doesn’t make me more concerned, I’m just focusing on my job and that’s doing as well as I can, looking forward to the next game, looking long-term to plan things with the board,” he said.
“It’s that time of year. It’s never nice to see your colleagues lose their jobs in a very short space of time… sometimes you have luck, sometimes you don’t. But it doesn’t make me any more concerned that it is December.”
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