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Pogba and Ibrahimovic both return for Man United

Ibrahimovic and Pogba returning provides a welcome boost to Man United manager, Jose Mourinho. Credit: PA

Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Paul Pogba will return to the Manchester United squad for the match against Newcastle on Saturday.

Striker Ibrahimovic has not played since suffering career-threatening cruciate knee ligament damage in April, since when he has left the club and rejoined. Star midfielder Pogba has been sidelined for two months with a hamstring problem.

On Ibrahimovic's earlier than expected return, Mourinho said: "He was as an injured player the same superb professional he is when he's fit, fantastic. He's a very important player for us.

"We were all saying in 2017 he would be back, but it is one thing on December 31, 2017 and another thing mid-November.

"Of course we welcome him back. He is an incredible personality, to fight such an important injury."

Pogba's return is no less significant given his imposing form at the start of the season and United's lack of a comparable understudy.

"I can say now because he's back, I don't like to speak while he's injured, you can clearly see there is a Manchester United this season before Paul's injury and after Paul's injury," said Mourinho.

"There are qualities in our football, qualities that influence our approach in matches, with Pogba and without Pogba. Simple as that."

Man Utd's Ibrahimovic 'can play for six more years'

Six more years of Zlatan? Credit: PA

Zlatan Ibrahimovic's agent claims the veteran striker could play on for another five or six years.

The 36-year-old scored 28 goals for Manchester United last season but is currently recovering from a serious knee ligament injury.

United boss Jose Mourinho opted to re-sign the Swedish forward despite his injury, a decision which looks like paying off for agent Mino Raiola. Raiola told Expressen: "I think God sent Zlatan to me.

"He has so much in him. I think (he will play on for a) minimum (of) another five or six years. I won't let him stop. He has to work for me now.

"I have been working for him for several years. Now it's my turn. My children are grown up and I need money.

"We have agreed that he is only working for me for five years now. So we're flipping it now. The salary comes to me and he gets the commission."

Ibrahimovic signed a new one-year deal with United over the summer and could be available around Christmas.

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Mourinho not expecting to see Ibrahimovic play before Christmas

Zlatan was United's top goalscorer last season despite suffering a knee injury in April. Credit: PA

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho is unsure when Zlatan Ibrahimovic will be available to make his return to action for the club.

United announced on Thursday that Ibrahimovic had re-signed for them on a one-year deal.

The 35-year-old striker is recovering from a knee ligament injury he sustained in April, which prematurely cut short his impressive 28-goal debut season with the Red Devils.

Speaking on Friday at his press conference to preview Saturday's Premier League home clash with Leicester, Mourinho said he did not think Ibrahimovic would be able to feature in the group stage of the Champions League.

But he also indicated the Swede would be included in the squad list for those matches, before saying he had "no idea at all" about when Ibrahimovic would be ready to play again.

"He will not be ready for the group phase of the Champions League, I don't think there is any chance of that," Mourinho said.

"Do we have space in the Champions League list to have him? Yes, we have. So we don't need to leave any player outside of the list.

"But I'm not thinking Zlatan to play any part in the group phase. Hopefully he can play in the knock-out phase."

When then pushed for what he regarded as a realistic estimate of when Ibrahimovic might be available again, Mourinho said: "I don't want to think about it. I don't even ask.

"I don't speak with him about it or with the medical team about it. I just think he will be an extra man for us in the second part of the season.

"When I say second part, normally we say January, after Christmas.

"But I have no idea at all and I think the right way is not even to think or speak about it and just let him do his work step by step and come back when he's ready."

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