Paul Pogba 'on the grass' but definitely out of Tottenham match
Manchester United may have to go into Wednesday's league encounter against Tottenham with a severely weakened midfield.
There is every likelihood that Paul Pogba could have played under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer for the last time. The 26-year-old remains out of action since late September after an ankle injury and will not be coming to his side's rescue.
United are currently in ninth place, some 22 points behind league leaders Liverpool after only 14 games. United have only four league wins this season and their points tally of 18, at this stage, is their worst return since the 1988/89 season.
Solskjaer has not been helped by injuries to the midfield trio of Pogba, Nemnja Matic and Scott McTominay and the last two United games has seen his makeshift midfield dominated by promoted sides Sheffield United and Aston Villa.
After describing Matic and McTominay as 'touch and go' to feature against Spurs, the Norwegian stressed that his focus is long-term and not just on one game.
"No. Paul's not ready, no. He's still a bit away but he's working hard so let's see. He's out on the grass, so let's see how long it will take."
Wednesday evening at Old Trafford sees former boss José Mourinho return for the first time since the club parted ways with him in December 2018. Mourinho is now Tottenham manager and, in his first three games, led his new side to the Champions League knock-out stages and to 5th in the Premier League standings after consecutive victories.
Asked if he expected Mourinho to get a decent reception from everyone involved at United, including their fans, Solskjaer responded:
"A very good reception, that's a testament to the club, the supporters of this club. Of course they remember the time he was here, he won trophies. For me, I am 100% sure they will welcome him, the club, the staff, everyone."
Solskjaer insists he is in constant contact with the club's owners, and decision makers, and that there have been no "knee-jerk" get togethers with the brass in recent weeks.
There have been reports, in several outlets, that defeat to Tottenham could spell the end of Solskjaer's time at the club, and that he has informed his senior squad of this, but such talk was dismissed by the United boss.
"Sometimes you laugh," he said, "when you read stories about what I've said - at least then I know the sources, they are not sources, they are just made up, blatant lies."