Revealed: Shocking reason why Paul Pogba was missing from Man Utd's first day back for pre-season training

By Mirror: Monday, July 1st 2019 at 19:22 GMT +3 | Football
Paul Pogba [Courtesy]

Manchester United players were back at Carrington for their first day of pre-season training ahead of the new season on Monday.

But Paul Pogba was a notable absentee as the Red Devils prepare for their first full season under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The Frenchman has been heavily linked with a move away from Old Trafford this summer with Real Madrid and Juventus said to be keen on signing the World Cup winner.

He was in America over the weekend, sharing footage of him training privately with a coach in the gym then at the New York Red Bull stadium.

He was not back in Manchester the following day but Mirror Sport understands United players will initially undergo individual physical tests spread across different days, with Pogba not due in with Monday's group.

Marcus Rashford and David de Gea were amongst those not seen entering the training ground on Monday, along with Alexis Sanchez, who is in Copa America action.

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Recent reports have suggested Pogba could try to push through an exit before they head to Australia for their pre-season tour in less than a fortnight.

But the Red Devils will demand a huge fee in order to part with their central midfielder, holding out for at least £150m before considering letting him go.

Despite being determined to keep Pogba, contingency plans are in place with a shortlist of potential replacements reportedly including Christian Eriksen, James Maddison and Youri Tielemans.

Meanwhile, Real Madrid have launched a formal bid for their Paul Pogba alternative, Donny van de Beek.

The Ajax star is viewed as a cheaper option than Pogba, but he is still not their first choice.

He is attracting interest from several clubs around Europe, prompting Los Blancos to act to keep their options open as the Pogba situation develops.

United have been boosted by Rashford agreeing a new long-term contract extension, securing his Old Trafford future after links to Barcelona.

He has agreed a new four-year deal worth £200,000-a-week.

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