Before Manchester United fires off a shot against West Ham on Sunday, its manager has taken aim at Real Madrid.
The Spanish giants are again said to be aiming to bring Paul Pogba to La Liga this winter as the race to win Spain’s top flight appears to be wide open as Lionel Messi battles fitness and newly-promoted Granada is the surprise table topper.
[ MORE: Man City hammers Watford ]
But Ole Gunnar Solskjaer issued a firm hands-off to Perez.
“I am not worried now and I will never be worried in the future about Paul Pogba staying here,” Solskjaer said. “If it all kicks off against with Madrid in January then there will be no worries then either. If we have to live with the speculation again then we will handle it like we did in the summer. Paul is going nowhere. He is happy here when he’s playing.”
So far, Pogba has been a decent soldier despite his mentions of interest in a change of scenery. The 26-year-old’s contract runs through 2020-21, so if a move happens it may well come in January.
That said, United hasn’t played exceptionally bad this season and is a converted penalty or two away from being the closest club to Liverpool on the table (though surely a few teams would make similar claims). Pogba has a pair of an assists in four matches and his absence was notable in the 1-0 win over Leicester City last weekend.
If the Red Devils can manage a good place in the table and run of form against the top teams, perhaps Pogba will ink a longer term deal with United. He’s obviously valued by Ed Woodward. And United fans who hope to keep him in town will also monitor the down times at Real Madrid under Pogba’s seemingly preferred manager Zinedine Zidane. Because Pogba moving to a club where Jose Mourinho is just a few bad matches away doesn’t seem ideal.
On the other hand, few teams can offer the combination of money and assets of Real should United decide to load up for an extended run in Europa League and the top four, and Real’s players will not be Cup-tied due to their status in the Champions League.
Paul Pogba will miss a second straight Premier League match as he continues to overcome a persistent ankle injury.
Man United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, ahead of his side’s league matchup at West Ham United on Sunday, confirmed that Pogba, along with left back Luke Shaw and forward Anthony Martial will all miss out on the match-up. Pogba hasn’t played since suffering an ankle injury in Man United’s 1-1 draw with Southampton before the international break.
Pogba missed a chance to join up with the France National Team for Euro 2020 qualifiers and according to Solskjaer, via the Manchester Evening News, Pogba hasn’t returned to full training. At the same time, Wales international and rising star Daniel James could also miss the match with an undisclosed injury. James reportedly suffered the injury during Man United’s 1-0 win over Leicester City.
The quartet of players all missed out on Man United’s 1-0 win over Astana in the UEFA Europa League group stage opener. Man United is now 2-0 since losing Pogba, with the wins over Leicester City and Astana. It will be fascinating to see whether Nemanja Matic retains his place alongside Scott McTominay, and whether that gives Man United a little more defensive balance.
Pogba so far has played four matches for Man United this season. Both Shaw and Martial have just played three times, though Martial already has two goals on the season.
Manchester United will be without several first team stars for their Premier League clash against Leicester City on Saturday (Watch live, 10 a.m. ET online via NBCSports.com).
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer revealed on Friday that Paul Pogba, Luke Shaw and Anthony Martial are all out injured, while Jesse Lingard and Aaron Wan-Bissaka may not make it either.
United host a Leicester side who are unbeaten so far and playing some dazzling stuff under Brendan Rodgers, as many believe this game will set the tone for the Foxes pushing above United this season and having a better chance than the Red Devils of nicking a top four spot.
This injury crisis is far from ideal for Solskjaer.
“The treatment room has been busy and still is,” Solskjaer said. “We don’t really know who is going to be available. Maybe Aaron, maybe Jesse and that’s it from the ones that had to pull out but I can’t promise those two will be fit either. Pogba won’t be fit unless he’s had a miraculous recovery overnight. He’s not been ready to train at 100 per cent. We hope more can be ready for West Ham, Paul and Anthony are in that category. I think they will be ready for then. I can’t say more than that.”
So, that is Pogba, Lingard, Shaw, Martial and Wan-Bissaka all likely to be missing, plus Diogo Dalot and Eric Bailly are out injured.
How might United line up against Leicester at Old Trafford?
The lineup below is probable, and it certainly looks like Leicester’s pace and trickery in the final third may be too much for this banged up United side to handle.
—– De Gea —–
—- Tuanzebe —- Lindelof —- Maguire —- Young —-
—- McTominay —- Matic —-
—- Mata —- Perreira —- James —-
—– Rashford —–
PARIS (AP) An ankle injury is keeping Paul Pogba out of international duty with France, opening the door for Arsenal’s Matteo Guendouzi to win his first cap.
[ MORE: Transfer Deadline Day in Europe: Deals galore ]
Pogba was limping after playing 90 minutes in Manchester United’s 1-1 draw with Southampton on Saturday in the English Premier League.
France says he is out of the squad for upcoming European Championship qualifiers against Albania on Saturday, and Andorra on Sept. 10.
United says “it remains unclear how serious his injury may be” ahead of an assessment. United next plays Leicester on Sept. 14.
[ MORE: Premier League player Power Rankings ]
France has called up the 20-year-old Guendouzi to replace Pogba. He’s started all of Arsenal’s four league games, and set up a goal for Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang on Sunday in a 2-2 draw with Tottenham.
France is level on nine points at the top of qualifying Group H with Turkey and Iceland.
Paul Pogba didn’t put in his best display for Manchester United at Southampton on Saturday, and he’s now picked up an injury.
Pogba, 26, was seen limping out of St Mary’s Stadium and is said to have injured his ankle.
He played the full 90 minutes but didn’t look comfortable at all at the final whistle.
If the injury is serious he will not be available for France during the international break, and it may do him good to stay in Manchester for a few weeks after a tumultuous summer amid ongoing transfer speculation.
The French midfielder had a tough outing against Saints as United couldn’t break down the 10-man in the final 25 minutes and they had to settle for a draw after Daniel James put them in front.
Pogba’s passing was erratic throughout the game and Southampton pressed him high whenever he got the ball.
Once again Pogba’s focus will be questioned, as there are just a few days left in the European transfer window and he continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid and Juventus.
Surely he won’t leave now, but he may not be playing for United in the coming weeks if his ankle injury is a serious one.