Pogba, Lukaku in Man United's pre-season tour squad

LONDON • Paul Pogba has been included in Manchester United's squad for their pre-season tour despite the France midfielder's apparent desire to leave the English Premier League club.

The club's official Twitter account posted the names of the 28-man party yesterday and Belgium striker Romelu Lukaku, another player linked with a summer departure to Inter Milan, was included among the group, as are new signings defender Aaron Wan-Bissaka and forward Daniel James.

Forward Alexis Sanchez, who limped out of Chile's Copa America third-place play-off defeat by Argentina on Saturday, is left out, but he would not have been included at this stage owing to his international exertions.

United due to land in Perth this afternoon will take on Perth Glory and Leeds in Australia before continuing on for further pre-season games in Singapore and China.

The Red Devils take on Inter in the International Champions Cup on July 20 at the National Stadium and then play Tottenham in Shanghai. It had been claimed that Pogba might refuse to make the trip amid reports that he is keen to force a move away from Old Trafford.

Real Madrid and his former club Juventus are both said to be interested in signing him. Last month, he hinted that "now could be a good time to find a new challenge".

  • UNITED'S TOUR SQUAD

  • GOALKEEPERS: David de Gea, Lee Grant, Joel Pereira, Sergio Romero.

    DEFENDERS: Diogo Dalot, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Victor Lindelof, Marcos Rojo, Chris Smalling, Axel Tuanzebe, Luke Shaw, Ashley Young, Matteo Darmian*.

    MIDFIELDERS: Tahith Chong, James Garner, Angel Gomes, Daniel James, Jesse Lingard, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Scott McTominay, Andreas Pereira, Paul Pogba, Fred*.

    FORWARDS: Mason Greenwood, Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marcus Rashford.

    * To join squad later

Pogba had missed United's training sessions last week with manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's permission, but he was back at the training ground yesterday.

Since returning to his former club in a £89 million (S$151.5 million) club-record transfer from Juventus in 2016, the 26-year-old has come in for heavy criticism after flattering to deceive.

Despite finishing as United's top goalscorer in the league with 16 strikes and being included in the Professional Footballers' Association Team of the Year last term, his often-lethargic displays split opinion among fans, while he reportedly had a major falling-out with former United boss Jose Mourinho.

Talking to The Times of London last week, Pogba's agent Mino Raiola claimed that he had made the club aware he was looking to move the player on and offered no assurances his client would travel for the tour.

"Everyone knows the willingness of Paul to move on. We are in the process of that. Everyone knows what the feelings of Paul are," the Italian said. 

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 08, 2019, with the headline 'Pogba, Lukaku in Man United's pre-season tour squad'. Print Edition | Subscribe