LONDON: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer played down any suggestion of a disagreement over Paul Pogba’s recent ankle surgery on Friday.
The Norwegian boss said on New Year’s Day that Pogba’s “people” had advised that the player, who has only started six matches in all competitions this season due to ankle problems, required surgery.
Speculation continues to surround the 26-year-old Frenchman, who has been regularly linked with a move away from Old Trafford and whose agent, Mino Raiola, has been scathing about the club in comments made in the Italian media.
Solskjaer sought to set the record straight on Friday regarding the World Cup winner, who joined United for a then-world record £89 million fee in 2016.
“Paul came back after a long spell out, (featured in) a few games, had a reaction, and didn’t go to Burnley,” he said ahead of his side’s FA Cup third-round match against Wolves on Saturday.
“He felt his ankle was sore, we did a scan. It’s not the same injury, it’s a different injury, of course when you get that scan you (as a player) consult your own medical people as well, like I did. He wanted a second opinion and the advice was to have it done.
“It’s not a major (injury) and probably, as I said, (he will be out) three or four weeks.”
When asked again about why he had suggested it was Pogba’s “people” behind the decision to undergo surgery, he added: “As in when you consult your surgeon and the ones you trust.
“That’s maybe my bad English – you have people you trust and you speak to. When I had my injuries, knee operations, I had my people in Norway and Sweden that I spoke to and Paul obviously has people as well that he trusts, and that’s important.”
Pogba featured as a second-half substitute in the matches against Watford and Newcastle over the Christmas period and had been expected to feature against Burnley before his latest setback.
An injury to Scott McTominay on top of Pogba’s problems has further limited Solskjaer’s choices in midfield.
The Scot has suffered knee ligament damage, sidelining him for two months and placing extra pressure on Nemanja Matic and Fred in the centre of the pitch.
Wolves FA Cup test
Wolves were United’s conquerors at the quarter-final stage of the FA Cup last season and Solskjaer predicts another tough assignment at Molineux on Saturday.
“We’ve had in succession Arsenal, Chelsea, Wolverhampton away and Wolverhampton away (in the FA Cup). Wolves are not going to make it easy for us,” he said.
“It’s my fourth time at Molineux and we haven’t won yet. Liverpool lost there last season, (Manchester) City have just lost there so we have got to earn the right to win there. We’ve got to perform and go there positive.”
Eighteen-year-old Mason Greenwood, who started and scored in the win at home to Newcastle last week and came off the bench at Arsenal, could be in contention.
Solskjaer also confirmed that reserve goalkeeper Sergio Romero would play at Molineux.