Real Madrid: Manchester United return to work... without Pogba

Paul Pogba is to have a few more days' holiday, but is expected back for United pre-season before 7 July, when the team leave for Australia.

Real Madrid: Manchester United return to work... without Pogba

Manchester United returned to work on Monday morning, and did so without Paul Pogba. For the moment, the Frenchman does not have to come face to face with his club, as it has now emerged that he has been allowed to take a few more days' holiday as a result of his involvement in France's international fixtures in June.

Pogba doesn't want to be on United plane to Australia

Pogba is, however, expected back before 7 July, when the United squad fly out to Australia on a pre-season tour. The midfielder would rather not be on that plane, something which will depend in no small measure on whether or not Real Madrid step up their attempts to sign him.

Whether or not Pogba would report for pre-season on Monday was the chief topic of discussion among the media at United's Carrington training ground - not least because a statement on the club's own website was unable to confirm which players were due in on the first day back. Fellow internationals such as David de Gea and Marcus Rashford were also absent, but Jesse Lingard, who featured for England at the UEFA Nations League finals, did make it.

Madrid continue to assess what kind of package they can put together for the 26-year-old, who is also being tipped for a return to Juventus. In the meantime, he remains in New York, combining work-outs at the US city's elite La Palestra gym, light ball work at the facilities of the NY Red Bulls, and also music.

At the weekend, he could be seen taking in a concert by the reggaeton singer Bad Bunny, as he enjoys the final days of his summer break before returning to Manchester to push through an Old Trafford exit which he served warning of two weeks ago, declaring that this could be the right time for "a new challenge".