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Solskjaer: Pogba nowhere near return to Man Utd training

The French midfielder was expected to return to the training field with his team-mates but the coach admits he still has a long way to go

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said Paul Pogba is “not anywhere near ready” to return to team training with Manchester United as speculation 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 recovery from ankle surgery.

Solskjaer had suggested after Monday’s 2-0 win over Chelsea that Pogba was due to resume training this week but changed his stance when previewing Thursday’s Europa League clash with Club Brugge.

“Paul has not been part of the team training yet,” boss Solskjaer said.

“So, it’ll depend on how he feels or when he feels ready to do that, so he’s not anywhere near that yet.”

The latest update from Solskjaer will do little to assuage reports 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 recent weeks.

This week, Solskjaer has been involved in a back-and-forth with Pogba’s agent Mino Raiola, who published a statement 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 long time in the UK or anywhere else. I HOPE Solskjaer DO NOT WANT TO SUGGEST THAT PAUL IS HIS PRISONER.”

Solskjaer later said he would not be drawn into a war of words, though Raiola seemed eager to continue the feud when he told talkSPORT that the Norwegian was “out of line” and said Pogba is only tied to United until the end of Euro 2020.

But the agent then attempted to cool the issue, even going as far as to suggest Pogba could be open to the idea of a new contract.

“We are open for talks after he gets back [from injury],” Raiola told Sky Sports . “For now, there is a contract and the only thing he is focused on is getting back to fitness.

Pogba has been limited to just seven Premier League appearances this season due to injury.

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