Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is hopeful that Paul Pogba will be available when his side open their 2020/21 Premier League campaign against Crystal Palace next weekend, but admits the Frenchman could be ill with the coronavirus. After missing training during
Pogba tested positive for the coronavirus in late August and was accordingly withdrawn from the France national team. He is now back in training for United after a mandatory two-week quarantine, although he has missed significant pre-season work.
Pogba retired from international duty last month / James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images
But while Solskjaer hopes he can count on the influential star when United kick off their season – a week later than the rest of the Premier League – he is not sure that will be possible.
“Paul had a few training sessions so he’s missed a few sessions because of the virus,” Solskjaer told MUTV on Friday, eight days before they host Palace.
“But Paul is quick to get fit. Of course, he worked very hard to come back after the lockdown last time and played most of the games. Hopefully he will be ready for next weekend. Although, I 100 Not sure of the percentage,” the United boss added.
Pogba’s availability will depend on how fit he is this time next week. He is also unlikely to feature in the hastily-scheduled pre-season friendly against Aston Villa this Saturday – although the game is not a competitive fixture.
However, the game is expected to be a summer signing, with Donnie van de Beek making his first appearance in a United shirt following the £40m summer arrival from Ajax. The Dutch international will wear the number 34 on his back this season as a tribute to his close friend and former team-mate Abdulhaq Nouri.
Friendly Aston Villa should also include Luke Shaw, who is fully recovered after missing the end of last season with injury. Surprise.
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