Image: Britain Football Soccer – Manchester United v Celta Vigo – UEFA Europa League Semi Final Second Leg – Old Trafford, Manchester, England – 11/5/17 Manchester United’s Paul Pogba celebrates after the match Reuters / Darren Staples Livepic
LONDON (Reuters) – Paul Pogba will return for Manchester United for Sunday’s home game against Crystal Palace after missing the last two matches due to the death of his father, manager Jose Mourinho said on Friday.
The Portuguese is focusing on next Wednesday’s Europa League final against Dutch side Ajax and is set to field a youthful team for the largely meaningless final game of the Premier League season.
With United sixth in the domestic league and unable to finish in the top four, the Europa League is Mourinho’s only hope of securing Champions League football next season.
But he told reporters that midfielder Pogba, the world’s most expensive player, would feature at Old Trafford.
“Paul Pogba is fine. Strong guy. Strong mentality. He needs to play on Sunday because he has not trained or played for a while,” Mourinho said after the Frenchman joined the players at an open training session.
The manager said he did not know whether England striker Wayne Rooney would feature.
Chris Smalling would be absent, and missed training on Friday, but is expected to be fit for Wednesday while Marouane Fellaini was “a question mark” with United waiting on a scan after he suffered a hamstring injury.
“Tim Fosu-Mensah plays Sunday and if the reaction is good and if he manages to play the game without problems, then he’s an option for us for the final,” said Mourinho.
(Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by John Stonestreet)