Paul Pogba has returned to Manchester United’s training ground following the club’s Covid-19 outbreak last week.
Pogba reported at the club’s Carrington training complex last Wednesday but did not report when teammates returned in staggered phases on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.
The 28-year-old was driven into Carrington on Thursday morning but is unlikely to be available until next month as he continues to recover from a thigh strain.
“We spoke over the phone on Tuesday,” United interim manager Ralf Rangnick said on December 10. “He was still in Dubai, he is expected to come back today and then we get to know each other in person on Sunday.
“We have had a telephone call. He told me he is getting better but, obviously, he is still not fully fit. From what I have heard so far, it will take another couple of weeks until he can train again. And then he has been out for quite some time, so then it will take another couple of weeks to get him match-fit.
“But in the first instance now, it is important he gets fully fit in order to be able train with the rest of the group and then we have to develop him physically and technically to also be fit to play in the Premier League.”
Dean Henderson, who first contracted Covid in July and took more than a month to recover, also reported back on Thursday as United prepare for their first fixture in 16 days at Newcastle on Monday. Fellow goalkeeper Tom Heaton and defender Teden Mengi are also back at Carrington.
Henderson, 24, could head out on loan in the January transfer window, with Ajax interested in the England international. Henderson has only played twice this season.
Ajax enquired about Henderson 18 months ago when his season-long loan with Sheffield United ended.
The Ajax chief executive and former United goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar is a confirmed admirer of Henderson and the Dutch champions could cash in on incumbent number one Andre Onana in January, as the 25-year-old is out of contract in June.
Onana missed the start of the season due to a doping ban and Maarten Stekelenburg, the back-up ‘keeper, sustained a season-ending hip injury in August.
The 38-year-old Remko Pasveer joined Ajax from Vitesse Arnhem in the summer to offset Onana’s absence and has started in every league game since his arrival.