Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Solskjaer weary over Pogba as star faces another month out

SoccerNews in FA Cup 3 Jan 2020

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Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer expects to be without Paul Pogba for three to four weeks due to the France star’s latest ankle injury.

Speaking ahead of Saturday’s FA Cup third-round trip to Wolves, Solskjaer told reporters the Pogba’s current setback is a different injury to the ankle complaint that has restricted him to six competitive starts this season.

Solskjaer sounded a notably weary tone as he confirmed the news and lamented Pogba again dominating one of his pre-match briefings.

“Here we go again,” he said. “FA Cup third round and you’re talking about Paul again.

“Paul came back after a long spell out, [came on as a substitute in] two games, had a reaction, couldn’t go to Burnley, felt his ankle was sore, we did a scan.

“And it’s not the same injury, it’s a different injury. It’s not a major one and probably, as I said, three or four weeks.”

This scan has caused consternation after Solskjaer said in the aftermath of Wednesday’s 2-0 loss at Arsenal that Pogba had been “advised to have an operation by his people” – phrasing seized upon in some quarters as the latest example of a possible divide between United and Pogba’s inner circle

“Of course, when you get that scan, we speak to him, you consult your own medical people as well – like I did, when I did my operation,” Solskjaer said in his latest attempt to clarify on Friday.

“You want the best second opinion and the advice was to have [the operation] done.”

If this season’s Pogba saga was simply injury related, that would be straightforward, but speculation over a move to Real Madrid continues to swirl around the player.

Agent Mino Raiola refused to rule out a move for his client over the coming year but has said Pogba will not leave United in January.

Raiola also continued his public attacks on former United boss Alex Ferguson, who was in charge when Pogba initially left the club for Juventus in 2012, during an interview with Votebal International, while United great Ryan Giggs told Optus Sports he felt sorry for Solskjaer persistently having to field questions over the club’s record signing.

“I shouldn’t be talking to or about agents who talk about us,” Solskjaer said. “But Paul is our player and agents are hired by players and not the opposite way around.

“They are not agents’ players, the are our players.”

Asked whether agents should speak about clubs, Solskjaer simply replied: “No.”

He added: “Paul is very committed to coming back, playing well for us. It’s hard when you’re injured, to go and talk about all sorts. I think his talking needs to be when he comes back on the pitch.

“He’s a top player, a very, very good player who we’ve missed this season. But I think the boys have done really well without him.”

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