Paul Pogba could be out until February after suffering a right thigh injury while on international duty.

Paul Pogba - France training
Paul Pogba (right) retained his international status with France despite his lack of form at the club level for Man. United. (Image: Twitter/equipedefrance)

Pogba was pulled from France’s training session on Monday in visible pain after a shot he made with his right foot. National team doctor Franck Le Gall assessed him right away. It’s now expected that the 28-year-old will be out between eight and 10 weeks. Pogba has already left the French training camp and returned to Manchester to start his recovery.

France moved fast to replace him, with Didier Deschamps calling AS Roma’s Jordan Veretout to play for Les Bleus in the 2022 World Cup qualifiers.

Future in doubt at Manchester

Pogba missed Manchester United’s derby defeat against City last weekend because of suspension. The Frenchman has a difficult situation at Old Trafford, with his current contract also finishing at the end of the season.

Even though people close to Pogba told the English media last month that he was ready to extend his deal with the Red Devils, rumors in Italy and Spain link him to Juventus, FC Barcelona, or Real Madrid. Pogba was also a target for Paris Saint-Germain this summer before the French giants decided to focus on Lionel Messi’s transfer to Parc des Princes instead.

The 2018 world champion will be able to negotiate a deal away from Manchester United starting January, six months before his contract runs out.

Out for 16 games?

Pogba played 13 times for Manchester United this season without scoring any goals. Instead, he assisted seven times in the Premier League, topping the contributors’ table.

His relationship with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer isn’t the best, but the Norwegian chose to field him despite the criticism directed at Pogba for his apparent superficiality.

If Pogba is ruled out for 10 weeks, the worst-case scenario from the doctors at this point, he’ll miss no fewer than 16 official games, including the two final group clashes in the Champions League against Young Boys Bern and Villarreal.

Pogba is Manchester United’s most expensive acquisition; the English club paid $120 million to sign him from Juventus in 2016.

France tops Group D in the European Qualifiers for the World Cup with 12 points from six games. They play Kazahstan in Paris on Saturday, then travel to Helsinki to meet Finland next Tuesday in the last two preliminary round matches.

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