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P. Pogba

Rangnick confirms Pogba in line for FA Cup start as he picks out Man Utd star's strongest position

22:33 GMT 03/02/2022
Paul Pogba Man Utd 2021-22
The Red Devils interim boss is set to hand the French midfielder his first competitive minutes since November against Middlesbrough

Ralf Rangnick has confirmed that Paul Pogba is in line for a start in the third round of the FA Cup on Friday, and has also picked out what he believes to be the Manchester United star's strongest position.

Pogba has not played for United since a 2-2 Champions League draw against Atalanta on November 2, having picked up a serious groin injury a week later while on international duty with France.

The Red Devils' turbulent season has continued in the Frenchman's absence, with Rangnick now in charge on an interim basis after replacing the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but he is set to make a timely return to action against Middlesbrough in the FA Cup.

What's been said?

Rangnick is considering handing Pogba a place in his starting XI for the third-round tie at Old Trafford, and sees him playing a box-to-box role in his current set-up.

Quizzed on whether he can get the best out of the 28-year-old, the German manager told a pre-match press conference: "I don’t know. I’m happy to have him back in the squad and he might be playing from the start tomorrow.

"I see his best possible position for me as one of the central midfield positions as either an 8 or 10 but the way we’re currently playing I’d rather see him in the 8 position but we’ll have to see. "

Rangnick added on Pogba's need to perform as he approaches the final few months of his contract: "It's up to him now his contract is expiring in the summer and if in the end, he would like to stay or go somewhere else he has to show up.

"It’s not only in the interest for us as a club but it’s in his personal interest that he plays and performs at the highest possible level in the next couple of weeks."

Pogba's future unclear

It was reported in the early stages of the 2021-22 campaign that Pogba had been offered a new deal at Old Trafford, but he has yet to show any sign of committing his long-term future to the Red Devils.

The World Cup winner has been linked with a return to Juventus and is reportedly the subject of interest from both Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid, with suitors set to line up for his signature if he drops into the free agency pool in June.

Rangnick isn't thinking that far ahead, though, with his main aim being to assess exactly what qualities Pogba can bring his side as they look to progress in both the FA Cup and Champions League while also fighting for a top-four Premier League finish.

Pressed on whether he could build his side around the France international, Rangnick replied: "Let’s wait and see I’ll be excited myself to see how Paul is doing and like all the other players for me he is now a new player and he can show me and the team and the fans and everyone in England how good and what high level he can play.

"Let’s just wait and see what he can show and what he can deliver."

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