Manchester United were in full support of the decision that led to Paul Pogba undergoing ankle surgery, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said on Friday.
The Norwegian boss appeared to suggest after the New Year’s Day defeat to Arsenal that Pogba’s “people” had recommended the surgery, raising questions over how much input the club had in the decision.
The French World Cup winner made his comeback after nearly three months out with an ankle injury in a 2-0 defeat at Watford on December 22 and also made an appearance off the bench in a 4-1 thrashing of Newcastle four days later but has since been sidelined again.
Speculation continues to surround the 26-year-old, 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.
But Solskjaer was keen to play down any suggestion of a disagreement regarding the injury and said: “Paul came back after a long spell out, (featured in) a few games, had a reaction, didn’t go to Burnley.
“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 consult your own medical people as well as I did. He wanted a second opinion and the advice was to have it done.”
On the injury, Solskjaer added: “It’s not a major one and probably, as I said, 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.”
– Wolves FA Cup test –
Solskjaer’s team face Wolves in the FA Cup third round at Molineux on Saturday, having been dumped out of the competition by them in the quarter-finals last season.
“They’re not going to make it easy for us,” he said.
“It’s the fourth time at Molineux since I’ve been here and we haven’t won yet. Liverpool lost there last season, 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.
“We want a reaction after the defeat against Arsenal, which everyone says was such a bad, bad performance. But in my mind, it was a good game by two good footballing teams.”
Eighteen-year-old Mason Greenwood, who started and scored in the Boxing Day win at home to Newcastle and came off the bench at Arsenal, could be in contention.
“He’s grown a lot. He’s mentally and physically more robust which of course you expect from an 18-year-old,” Solskjaer said.
“He’s had more or less 12 months with us now and he’s grown fantastically, his confidence and performances in the top games. He’s played a lot of cup games and done well.”
Solskjaer also confirmed that reserve goalkeeper Sergio Romero would play at Molineux.