Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is remaining coy on Odion Ighalo’s involvement against Chelsea on Monday Night Football following his two-week ‘isolation’
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Odion Ighalo will travel with Manchester United for their game against Chelsea, but did not confirm whether the on-loan striker will play following his two-week ‘isolation’.
The Nigerian striker was kept away from the club’s AON Training Complex in Carrington amid fears over spreading the coronavirus.
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The 30-year-old has not tested positive for the virus and, as part of the government’s precautionary procedures, was put on a two-week incubation period ending this weekend – coinciding with United’s return to the UK from their warm-weather training camp in Marbella, which Ighalo had missed over similar concerns.
He has been training in Manchester’s Taekwondo Centre on the Etihad Campus since completing his Deadline Day loan move and will be part of United’s travelling party at Stamford Bridge on Monday Night Football, live on Sky Sports.
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“I never said he was going to be ready to play on Monday, he’ll be involved with us and he will travel down with us,” Solskjaer said.
“Now he’s out of that two-week period, just a precaution we made, let’s see if he’s involved or not.
“We’ve kept in touch with him and of course we’ve done our own programme, he’s done his, and it was always gonna be a case of him having to integrate having been out in China and needs to get used to the players, and the team, up to speed as quick as he can, he’s been working really hard.
“[When I first arrived] it didn’t take me too long. I didn’t have a training session to come on. As a striker you get thrown on out there and it might be he’ll have to come off the bench and get us a goal.”
‘No issues with Fred criticism’
Solskjaer says he has no issue with midfielder Fred after he gave an interview with Portuguese outlet De Sola last week saying United’s squad is not “sticking together” like it should and suggested there were was a problem of “vanity”.
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“This group sticks together, don’t worry about that,” Solskjaer said.
“I haven’t seen the interview or don’t understand seeing him sat there in his kitchen.
“Fred knows this group wants to give everything together. I don’t know how to interpret what he said but there are no issues at all or the group not giving everything for each other.”
Pogba, McTominay not close to return
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Solskjaer also confirmed that neither Scott McTominay or Paul Pogba have made any significant progress towards a first-team return, while Axel Tuanzeube and Timothy Fosu-Mensah also remain out for the foreseeable future.
“Don’t think we’ll get anyone back for the Chelsea game ready,” he said.
“Scotty [McTominay], Axel [Tuanzuebe], Tim [Fosu-Mensah] they didn’t join too much so they are not ready to play that game. Paul [Pogba] is not ready, of course.”