Ronaldo back for Arsenal trip but Pogba likely to miss rest of season, Rangnick confirms

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Cristiano Ronaldo is back in contention for Manchester United's Premier League meeting with Arsenal, but team-mate Paul Pogba may have played his last game for the club.

United interim boss Ralf Rangnick confirmed on Friday that the injury sustained by Pogba against Liverpool will keep the midfielder out for a month.

With Pogba out of contract at the end of the season, and United's final game of 2021-22 coming on May 22, Rangnick does not expect the France international to feature again.

"It is very unlikely that he will play until the end of the season again," Rangnick said.

"The doctor told me that it will take four weeks minimum for him to recover and since last game is at end of May, I don't think it's very likely he will play again."

Pogba is widely expected to depart Old Trafford for a second time in the next transfer window after a somewhat disappointing six-season spell at the club.

The 29-year-old, who won the World Cup in 2018 and remains a regular for France, was jeered by his own fans after being substituted in last week's 3-2 win over Norwich City.

He started Tuesday's 4-0 loss to Liverpool but lasted just 10 minutes before hobbling off with a heel injury, with that now likely to be his final appearance in a United shirt.

Paul Pogba has played 20 times for Manchester United this season
Paul Pogba has played 20 times for Manchester United this season

Rangnick provided some more positive news ahead of Saturday's early kick-off against top-four rivals Arsenal, however, with three other players back available.

Scott McTominay, Raphael Varane and Ronaldo each missed the Liverpool game but will be part of United's squad for the contest at Emirates Stadium.

Ronaldo was given time off after confirming in a social media post on Monday that his baby son had passed away.

Providing an update on the eve of the Arsenal match, Rangnick said: "Cristiano has been training with us and is available again."

Ronaldo has scored six goals in his last seven appearances against Arsenal in all competitions, including a brace on his last visit to Emirates Stadium in May 2009.

United make the trip to London sitting three points behind fifth-placed Arsenal and Tottenham in fourth, having played a game more than both top-four rivals.

The Red Devils announced on the back of their heavy loss to Liverpool that Ajax head coach Erik ten Hag will succeed interim boss Rangnick at the end of the season.

Rangnick's sole focus between now and the end of May is guiding United into the Champions League, making Saturday's meeting with Arsenal effectively must-win.

"We just need to make sure we play far better than we did against Liverpool," Rangnick said. "This is the only way to deal with it.

"We need to get the best possible team on the pitch and play in a different way, with more conviction, more confidence and more aggressive behaviour on the pitch.

"We will have to show a completely different performance."

United are winless in their past three home league matches against Arsenal, failing to score each time – never before have they gone four in a row without a goal in this fixture.

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