Monday, March 1

Paul Pogba trains in Juventus shirt despite Manchester United transfer speculation in show of support for those with coronavirus

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is keeping himself on the road to recovery by training at home, doing little to quell the widespread transfer speculation surrounding his future after working out in a Juventus shirt, but dedicated the gesture to his former teammates who are suffering from coronavirus.

The World Cup winner has played just eight times this season and has not featured for United since December due to a persistent ankle injury, though his comeback will be delayed further while the Premier league shutdown continues due to the coronavirus crisis.

That has forced United to shut their Carrington training base while the spread of Covid-19 remains a serious issue, resulting in players keeping themselves occupied by training at home or with each other – as Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot die earlier this week.

Pogba also linked up with a teammate in Victor Lindelof and posted his routine on Instagram as he continues his rehabilitation from ankle surgery, with the 27-year-old undergoing short sprints and agility work as well as his passing technique.

The former Juventus star was fully aware of what wearing a shirt of the club he’s been linked with a return to would trigger, and as a result explained why he was doing so in order to support the likes of Blaise Matuidi and Sampdoria midfielder Albin Ekdal, who have contracted the Covid-19 virus. Juventus defender Daniele Rugani, who spent two seasons playing alongside Pogba in Turin, has also tested positive, with northern Italy the worst-hit region in Europe.

“Supporting our Juventus and Sampdoria friends @blaisematuidiofficiel @albinekdal and all athletes and people around the world who are facing this difficult moment. Be strong, #StayAtHome and be safe,” Pogba wrote on Instagram.

“New training camp is called … Quarantine PP Arena, open 24/7! Having fun working at home  with my brother @victorlindelof!

He added: “I know the cheeky ones will talk about the Juventus jersey. I’m just supporting my friends … that’s all, nothing more.”

Lindelof joined Pogba in showing support for their fellow footballers by wearing Ebal’s No 6 Sampdoria shirt.

Pogba’s former club have been one of the worst-affected teams in Europe due to Italy’s problems with containing the coronavirus spread, with Serie A the first European league to be suspended due to the outbreak and their Champions League last-16 second leg against Lyon also suspended. Rugani’s positive test for the virus resulted in the squad being placed in lockdown, while Matuidi subsequently tested positive a week later.