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Solskjaer hits back at Deschamps in Pogba row 

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer says Paul Pogba remains an “important” player for Manchester United despite suggestions from Didier Deschamps that the midfielder is unhappy at Old Trafford.

Pogba has started just two of United’s last seven games, prompting comments from France coach Deschamps during the international break.

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The 27-year-old has accepted he is going through a “difficult” period in his career but Solskjaer insists he remains central to his plans.

“Paul had a difficult season last season,” Solskjaer told a news conference on Friday.

“He had COVID, those three games he played for France have helped. I spoke to Paul and he felt towards the end of the Portugal and Sweden games, he felt stronger for it. He played well, they qualified [in the Nations League].

“I think he’s only going to improve. Paul is a very important player and very important person and to have him in form and happy is going to be important.”

United are looking for their first home win in the league when West Brom visit Old Trafford on Saturday.

Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones are definitely out but Solskjaer has concerns over the fitness of Victor Lindelof and Marcus Rashford following the international break.

Eric Bailly has returned to training but is not fit enough to feature after a month out with a muscle problem.

“Luke Shaw, Jesse Lingard and Phil Jones are the only ones who didn’t join in parts of the training today [on Friday],” Solskjaer said.

“Some are in different stages after internationals, recoveries and working back after fitness and we’ll make a decision [on Friday] but most of them have joined in today and yesterday, so it’s looking good.

“Some of them are probably doubts. Marcus joined for the first time [on Friday]. Victor, we’ll have to check because his back is not great.”

Mason Greenwood remained in Manchester during the international break after it was agreed with England to leave the striker out of both the senior and Under-21 squads.

Illness ruled the 19-year-old out of the 3-1 win over Everton and Solskjaer has revealed he may not be ready to return against West Brom.

“Everyone is allowed to not be well,” he said. “He’s been away eight or nine days from training and I have no doubts about him. He has a very good head on him and talent is there for all to see.”

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