Solskjaer confirms winter trip details
Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has provided an exclusive update on several players as the Reds travel to Spain for a training camp in this winter break.
For example, midfielder Scott McTominay and defender Axel Tuanzebe will join the rest of the Reds' squad as the pair continue their recoveries from injury.
Neither player has featured since December, but Ole revealed they will be on the plane as United travel to warmer climes in preparation for the next game, Chelsea away in the Premier League on 17 February.
“Scotty has done better in his recovery than we thought, so we will take him with us,” Solskjaer told MUTV.
“Hopefully he can join in the training sessions and Axel as well, he’ll join in, so that’s two positives and it’s a good chance for them to use this time with the players.”
Recent absentees Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford won’t be involved, however, while goalkeeper Lee Grant will also be staying at home after picking up a problem that necessitates an operation.
“Marcus and Paul are not ready yet to join in the training,” the Norwegian added.
“Lee Grant unfortunately has had an injury, so he will require surgery, so he will be out for two or three months, so hopefully he’ll get back before the end of the season.”
The club can also confirm that, due to the current situation in China, it has been decided that new signing Odion Ighalo will not travel to Spain as it is not guaranteed that he’d clear UK immigration on return should border restrictions tighten on travellers who’ve been in China within the past 14 days.
Odion will stay in Manchester on a personal training and fitness programme so that he will be ready to join in team training sessions when the squad return from the trip. This is simply a precautionary measure as the situation continues to be monitored.
“Odion will stay in Manchester, because he arrived from China in the last 14 days," said Ole. "Because of the situation in China, we're not sure if he'd be allowed back into England if he leaves the country again, so he's staying here working with a personal coach, individual programme and his family then can settle in England as well. That's a plus.
“Of course he might have liked to have come with the players and got to know them, but the risk [of potential border restrictions tightening], we don’t want to take that.
Ole remarked that he was looking forward to working more with Ighalo’s fellow new boy Bruno Fernandes, after his promising debut against Wolves.
“I’ve kept in touch with him. He’s had a few days back home to organise.
“He’s going to have to move and say his goodbyes back home, so he’s ready. He wasn’t 100 per cent happy with his debut and there’s more to come, so that’s a good sign.”
Solskjaer sees the winter break as an ideal chance for United to recuperate both mentally and physically, ahead of a busy end to the month.
As well as our trip to Stamford Bridge on 17 February, we face Club Brugge in both legs of the Europa League last 32, and host Watford at Old Trafford in the Premier League.
“Of course, we come back and we kick on. We want to get results.
“Towards the end now, before this break, we played okay and didn’t concede too many goals. But we didn’t create chances and missed that little bit of spark, I felt. Maybe because of the mental tiredness.
“Physically, they did really well in every aspects of the games but mentally, now, we kick on.”
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