Pogba's long-awaited Man Utd return delayed by illness

Manchester United star Paul Pogba remains unavailable, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.
Manchester United star Paul Pogba remains unavailable, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has confirmed.

Paul Pogba's prolonged absence has been extended due to an illness that will rule him out of Manchester United's EFL Cup quarter-final against Colchester United.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer confirmed the setback as the World Cup winner faces another obstacle in his bid to return from a long-term ankle injury.

Pogba, 26, has missed 16 matches across all competitions since starting United's 1-1 draw against Arsenal on September 30.

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The France international was pictured at his brother Florentin's wedding on Friday, though it has been reported he was granted permission to attend by United and was diagnosed with the illness upon his return.

Solskjaer said: "Of all things he's been struck down ill now, so he's been off for two or three days. Three days, probably, so that's not beneficial. That's probably set him back quite a bit. 

"As I've said so many times, Paul is a top, top player that we want to see playing his best football at Man United.

"We just need to get him fit, match fit. It might be half an hour, 45, 60, 90 [minutes], that first game, who knows, but we're working hard to get him back. But now he's ill."

Solskjaer conceded Pogba's ingenuity was missed as United produced a disjointed display in the 1-1 weekend draw with Everton, a result that left them sixth in the Premier League.

"You can talk about Paul all day long," he said. "In games like this, for example, when you're lacking that one creative pass or idea, he has that quality that not many midfielders have. To get him back would be great."

United will hope to have the rumoured Real Madrid target fit before the new year as they prepare for Premier League games against Watford, Newcastle United and Burnley.

Before then comes a golden chance to progress to the EFL Cup semi-finals as United take on fourth-tier Colchester at Old Trafford in the last eight.

Solskjaer admitted changes would be made despite his desire to go all the way.

"I hope that the team that I put out is going to be a strong enough one to win a game," the Norwegian said.

"At home against a League Two side we are big favourites and we have got to accept that, but we have to go out there and earn it.

"We have got to be strong enough to create chances and hopefully score goals."

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