PAUL POGBA arrived Manchester United’s training ground this morning ahead of their flight to Australia for their pre-season tour – despite fears he would not be joining them.
The World Cup winner, 26, has made it clear he wants to quit Old Trafford but was under orders from the club to travel for their money-spinning exhibition matches.
Pogba’s agent, Mino Raiola, is working so hard to get him out, United chiefs were fearful he wouldn’t show up today.
But early in the morning, the mercurial Frenchman arrived in the back of a Mercedes van with tinted windows.
It would have been a tense wait for club bosses this morning as stars including Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial and David De Gea arrived, waiting to see if Pogba did show his face.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had given Pogba – whose wantaway team-mate Romelu Lukaku also showed up – extra time off after international duty.
Pogba was not required to report back last week with the rest of United’s squad – which has been named in full for the tour and is missing some big names.
He was instead seen working out at a New York gym, meaning that if he is on his way to Australia, he will have crossed 12 time zones and travelled 12,500 miles in four days.
Raiola chucked a huge spanner in the works on Friday by publicly admitting that Pogba wants out — and he is working to make that happen.
There are suspicions Raiola’s statement was timed to fuel doubts over whether Pog would go to Oz for games against Perth Glory and Leeds.
United also play in Singapore and China — where the ex-Juventus star is a huge, household name – and has already enjoyed a promotional tour with adidas this summer.
Pogba admitted last month that it “could be a good time to have a new challenge” and Real Madrid is his preferred choice – with the Spaniards reportedly offering just £90m earlier this summer, way off United’s £150m valuation.
For now United are sticking to their guns over his £290,000-a-week deal still having two years left — plus a 12-month club option.
Another star tipped to leave this summer to arrive at Carrington today was Romelu Lukaku – a target for Inter Milan.
The Belgian striker held talks last week with Solskjaer and was told he is no longer first-choice at Old Trafford.
But the proposed £75m move to Antonio Conte’s Inter falling through, Lukaku, 26, has now been offered to Serie A rivals Juventus and Napoli.
MAN UTD SQUAD FOR AUSTRALIA (in full):
GOALKEEPERS: David De Gea, Joel Pereira, Sergio Romero
DEFENDERS: Eric Bailly, Diogo Dalot, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Luke Shaw, Chris Smalling, Axel Tuanzebe, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Ashley Young
MIDFIELDERS: Tahith Chong, James Garner, Angel Gomes, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Juan Mata Nemanja Matic, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Paul Pogba
FORWARDS: Mason Greenwood, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford