Paul Pogba is set to return from his three-month injury lay-off in Man United’s Friday FA Cup tie with Middlesbrough… but Edinson Cavani, Eric Bailly, Alex Telles and Victor Lindelof will miss clash
- Manchester United host Middlesbrough in the FA Cup fourth round on Friday
- Ralf Rangnick confirmed Paul Pogba will feature in the squad and may start
- French midfielder has been sidelined for three months with a thigh injury
- United will be missing a number of regular starters for the Old Trafford tie
Paul Pogba is set to return from his three-month injury lay-off when Manchester United play Middlesbrough in the FA Cup on Friday night and could even start the match.
The French midfielder has not featured for United since the Champions League draw against Atalanta on November 2 after suffering a thigh injury on international duty with France.
Pogba, 28, was initially rehabilitating in Dubai before returning to Manchester to rejoin training and United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick confirmed he is nearing a return.
Manchester United are set to welcome Paul Pogba back after a three month injury absence
The midfielder’s return will come as a boost for Ralf Rangnick with other players missing
‘Paul will be part of the group. He might even be in the starting XI,’ he said ahead of the Middlesbrough game. ‘There are still a couple of players missing out.’
Pogba’s contract expires in the summer and Rangnick has spoken previously about how the midfielder will wish to impress suitors Paris Saint-Germain, Juventus and Real Madrid between now and the end of the season.
Pogba pictured in United training on Wednesday as he closes in on a return
He hasn’t scored for United this season but has contributed seven assists in 13 appearances.
The returning Pogba should offer United a boost ahead of a crucial phase of the season.
As well as seeking progress in the FA Cup against Championship opposition on Friday night, Rangnick’s side will be aiming to keep hold of fourth spot in the Premier League.
They leapfrogged West Ham into the final Champions League position thanks to Marcus Rashford’s stoppage time winner last time out.
United also take on Atletico Madrid in the last-16 of the Champions League, with the first leg in Spain on February 23.
Rangnick confirmed that Jesse Lingard has been given a few days off ‘to clear his mind’ after failing to secure a loan move away on transfer deadline day despite offers from Newcastle and West Ham.
Striker Edinson Cavani also asked to delay his return from Uruguay where he played in World Cup qualifying wins over Paraguay and Venezuela.
Jesse Lingard has been given a couple of days off after he failed to get a deadline day move
Victor Lindelof has been ill, Eric Bailly returned from the Africa Cup of Nations with an ankle injury, and Luke Shaw will return at left-back because Alex Telles played 90 minutes of Brazil’s World Cup qualifier against Paraguay on Wednesday.
‘Paul will be part of the group he might even be in the starting XI,’ said Rangnick. ‘Edi Cavani will only return at the weekend. He contacted me to ask if he could have two more days at home. He won’t be part of the group.
Edinson Cavani (right) asked for a couple of extra days off after playing for Uruguay
‘Lindelof has been ill the whole week and hasn’t trained. Same with Jesse, he asked to have a few days off to clear his mind. He will be back next week and part of the whole squad again.
‘Eric Bailly came back yesterday and has a swollen ankle so won’t be part of the squad. Luke will be playing because Alex Telles played 90 minutes for Brazil.’