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Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Paul Pogba to miss Southampton clash as Manchester United give midfielder compassionate leave


Manchester United have allowed star midfielder Paul Pogba to skip their clash with Southampton - following the death of his father.

World's most expensive player Pogba has been mourning since Fassou Antoine passed away on Friday morning after a long illness.

Pogba missed United's trip to Tottenham on Sunday and has been allowed to take the game at St Mary's off.

Pogba's teammates jetted off to the south coast with Jose Mourinho set to mix up his starting XI again as he prepares for the Europa League final.

United's "crazy" schedule is taking its toll mentally and physically leaving boss Mourinho facing a fixture pile-up unlike anything he has experienced.


Next week the Reds head to Sweden to take on Ajax looking to win the only major trophy to have eluded them in their success-laden history and qualify for the Champions League.

Mourinho has prioritised European success for several weeks now and, like at Spurs, plans to rotate his squad at Southampton on Wednesday, then again in Sunday's Premier League finale at home to Crystal Palace.

"The accumulation of the games, I never had that," Mourinho said.

"You know that in all of my career I was never (knocked) out of European competitions in the group phases and in the last 16 I was out only once.

"So I reached the semi-finals 10 times, I go always until the end of the competitions.

"In the League Cup I normally go far. In the domestic competitions cups, I won in Spain, in Italy, in Portugal so I normally have a lot of matches. But like this I never have, I never have.

"This situation of you play a final and the game that you should play that day is going to be postponed until the last week, for the last week! This is crazy.

"And I repeat the same - thank you Michael Oliver because we were out in the FA Cup, because if we go to the FA Cup semi-finals it would be a total disaster. I don't know when we would be playing that game.

"I never, ever have had a situation like this and on top of that the accumulation of big injuries, not small, not the injuries that you say 'okay, hamstring, two weeks'.

"No. It's surgery, boom, boom. It's surgery - one knee, another knee. Another foot. Just big surgeries.
"So fewer players and fewer players and fewer players. It's very difficult, really very difficult. But we are there and we go to the final."


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