Paul Pogba has travelled with the Manchester United squad to Watford.
The clubs play each other in the Premier League on Sunday and the midfielder was seen by photographers of the Manchester Evening News with his teammates at a private terminal at Manchester airport on Saturday afternoon.
Pogba hasn’t played since the 1-1 draw with Arsenal on 30 September and there have been rumours he is on his way out of the club in January.
It had even been suggested he had played his final game for the club with Real Madrid thought to be his preferred destination.
This has been denied by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola.
“He’s training but he’s not been training with us for long. He’s training and that’s a step forward for us,” Solskjaer said.
“Yeah, of course (I understand all the interest around him) because he’s a fantastic player, a charismatic personality and for us we’re happy that he’s here.”
Solskjaer had expected to have Pogba back before the end of the year, only for illness to hamper his return to first-team training.
The 26-year-old was seen in good spirits on Friday, just hours after the manager sung his praises once again.
And Raiola insisted his client wants to be successful at Old Trafford.
“Paul wants to be successful and happy and wants to win prizes and he would love to do that with Manchester United,” he said.
“Okay, there was big interest from Real Madrid and Manchester didn’t let him go. We didn’t make a fuss about it and he didn’t make a fuss about it because I work in accordance with the player.
“You know other players can bring things to extreme but Paul doesn’t like that. So you work differently.
“There was an interest from Real Madrid but they didn’t let him go and I’m sorry, because I think that Paul being French then [Zinedine] Zidane is an important factor in French football history.”
Pushed on whether Pogba will play before the end of the year, Solskjaer added: “Well, I hope so. Still.
“Let’s see how he feels. I’m not going to push him, of course. Then what he feels, his ankle, we need him to be 100 per cent fit. I can’t risk any setbacks on the injury.”
A win against Watford will see United banging on the door to the Premier League top four.
They will leapfrog Tottenham and go level on points with fifth-place Sheffield United and be within a point of Chelsea – at least until the Blues’ own match against Spurs.