Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick says he spoke to Paul Pogba this week but expects the France midfielder to be a further four weeks away from a return to action.
The 63-year-old said he held a phone conversation on Tuesday with Pogba, who is undergoing warm-weather recovery work in Dubai following a thigh injury suffered on international duty last month.
Rangnick said: “He is better to come back today, and then we will get to know each other in person on Sunday.
“He told me he is getting better but obviously he is still not fully fit, so it will take another couple of weeks until he is fit for training again and then of course he has been idle for quite some time, so I guess it will take another couple of weeks to get match-fit.
“In the first instance it’s important he gets fully fit in order to be able to train with the rest of the group and then we have to develop him physically and tactically to be fit to play in the Premier League.”
Pogba’s United future seems to be an almost constant source of speculation, and his current deal with the club expires next summer.
Rangnick revealed he had two or three selection “question marks” ahead of a Friday afternoon training session, with United heading to Norwich for a Premier League match on Saturday evening.
Aaron Wan-Bissaka is one of them after the full-back sustained wrist and knee problems in the Champions League draw against Young Boys on Wednesday.
Rangnick said the player had tested negative for Covid-19 and added: “I am still hoping that he can be available but we have to wait and see how he is.”
The German said after the Young Boys match that he hoped to have Edinson Cavani (tendon) and Raphael Varane (hamstring) available next week, after they returned to training this week.
Rangnick is expected to bring back a number of the players who featured against Crystal Palace but were then rested against Young Boys after revealing he had operated with two separate groups this week.
United’s strength in depth in goal has encouraged Rangnick.
Dean Henderson acquitted himself well as he started in place of David De Gea against Young Boys, with Tom Heaton coming on for a long-awaited senior debut for the Red Devils in his second spell with the club, almost two decades since he first joined the United academy.
“Both the goalkeepers did well who played, with David De Gea we have a top goalkeeper who is number one,” he added.
“This is a position where we have a minimum three, if not four or five good goalkeepers and we will see what the situation will be like in the winter, there might be one or two of them going on loan somewhere.
“But on the other hand we also have to bear in mind we have three competitions in the next six months and we definitely need three top goalkeepers in order to make up for a player being injured or suspended.”
On Friday afternoon Anthony Martial’s agent claimed the French forward, who featured under Rangnick for the first time as a late substitute against Palace, was looking to make a move away from Old Trafford next year.
“Anthony wishes to leave the club in January,” Philippe Lamboley told Sky Sports. “He just needs to play. He doesn’t want to stay in January and I will speak to the club soon.”
“It’s still a big squad,” he said.
“We need to make sure that players want to stay here, if they see they are not getting enough game time here it might make sense to speak to players individually and see if a loan deal might make sense, but right now it’s too early.”