Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand believes the club must sit down with Paul Pogba and resolve his future to allow Ole Gunnar Solskjær to build his team.
Pogba, who has not featured for United since December, has yet to return to first-team training with many believing he won’t feature again this season ahead of a summer move away from the Premier League.
There had been hopes the Frenchman would return for this weekend’s Manchester derby as United step up their chase for Champions League qualification, however, Pogba is yet to be available for selection and Ferdinand believes the club must sort the midfielder’s future out in the coming weeks.
“I think that is a conversation that needs to be happening between Manchester United and [Pogba] Pogba,” Ferdinand told BT Sport. “Does he want to stay or go? Does Ole want to keep him? Once that’s ironed out, you can build your team.”
Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish and Leicester City’s James Maddison have both been linked with a move to Old Trafford as possible Pogba replacements, though the superb start from January addition Bruno Fernandes may halt any search for an attacking midfielder. The Portuguese international has scored two goals and provided two assists in just four Premier League appearances, with United remaining unbeaten in that time.
On Pogba’s return to action, United manager Solskjær said earlier this week: “Paul’s still working with the physios outside and he won’t be training with the first team until next week. Then let’s see how long that will take. He needs time to get his football fitness back.”
The Red Devils currently sit fifth in the Premier League table, three points behind Frank Lampard’s Chelsea who occupy the prestigious fourth spot. With a trip to the Etihad on Sunday, a loss for United could see Wolves, Tottenham and Sheffield United leapfrog them, potentially ending the weekend in eighth, placing even bigger importance for Solskjær to come away victorious over Pep Guardiola.
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