Some Manchester United officials and players reportedly believe Paul Pogba has played his last game for the club, with rumours circulating that the midfielder is eyeing the Old Trafford exit in January.
However, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer rejected any suggestion of a winter transfer when he addressed the media on Friday, per Samuel Luckhurst of the Manchester Evening News:
An ankle injury has kept the £89 million signing sidelined for almost three months, but McDonnell said suspicions were raised after a "mystery illness" delayed his return to training.
Solskjaer told reporters Pogba was now back in full training, suggesting he could be on the verge of a long-awaited return, per broadcaster Bill Rice:
The 26-year-old has been linked with Zinedine Zidane's Real Madrid in recent transfer windows, with Pogba's United contract set to expire in June 2021 (with the option of an additional year).
Zidane has been candid regarding his admiration of his French compatriot in the past, and he told reporters in March that there are "few players who bring as much as he does." Those comments came a little more than one week after Pogba appeared at a press conference and described Real as a "dream club."
The 2018 FIFA World Cup winner later stoked speculation of an exit again in June when he said he felt it could "be a good time for a new challenge," via the Guardian:
Pogba first joined United from Le Havre in July 2009, aged 16, but he left the club for free to join Juventus three years later. He rejoined the Manchester giants in 2016 for a club-record fee but has failed to lift United back to their former position of power in European football.
The Red Devils are sixth in the Premier League and enjoying a six-match unbeaten run, having defeated Colchester United 3-0 on Wednesday to set up a Carabao Cup semi-final opposite Manchester City:
McDonnell wrote Solskjaer was "unable to confirm when the midfielder will play again," though it looks unlikely he'll have any part in Sunday's Premier League visit to Watford.
They host Newcastle United on Boxing Day before visiting Burnley on December 28 in their final fixture of 2019, after which the opening of the January transfer window adds a hint of uncertainty to Pogba's fate.