Paul Pogba is on the verge of a long-awaited return to the pitch, as reports in France pencil in the March 8 Manchester Derby, or the Tottenham game a week later, for his comeback.
Pogba hasn’t featured for United since December owing to an ankle injury, with sustained absences limiting him to just seven appearances this season.
The Red Devils have been short on numbers in his stead, but with his summer departure looking increasingly likely, they have made efforts to progress without him.
Bruno Fernandes was recruited in January to fill the Pogba-shaped creative void, while Scott McTominay has also now returned to fitness.Pogba1KaneWho got academy training at Manchester United?
Nonetheless, United are facing a key juncture in their season, and having Pogba back in the fray would be a major boost. According to L’Equipe (via Sport Witness) he is to return to training ‘early next week’ and could be back on the pitch within a week to face City at Old Trafford.
They note that the trip to London seven days later is a ‘more likely’ target, but that Pogba himself wants back for the City clash – even if that’s just a brief cameo from the bench.
Pogba will be keen to get back to match fitness for France duty at the end of the month, and if he can quickly get back to his best against City, Spurs and Sheffield United, then he may have a chance of selection for the friendlies with Ukraine (27/3) and Finland (31/3).
Firing United towards Champions League football, and perhaps silverware, will be the ultimate goal for now, however. As it stands, United occupy fifth place, which should be enough to return to European football’s top table provided City’s European ban is upheld.
Meanwhile, the FA Cup is still on with a fifth round trip to Derby County looming on Thursday, while the Europa League draw at Friday lunchtime will reveal their last 16 opponents after rampaging past Club Bruges at Old Trafford.