Juventus are reportedly worried that Paul Pogba could miss the 2022 World Cup after suffering a serious knee injury in pre-season training.
After departing Manchester United for the second time upon the expiration of his contract, Pogba re-signed for Juventus as a free agent on a four-year contract until 2026.
The 29-year-old made his second debut for the Old Lady in a 2-0 win over Guadalajara but was then nowhere to be seen in a 2-2 draw with Barcelona in Dallas.
Before the four-goal stalemate with La Blaugrana, it had emerged that Pogba had suffered a meniscus injury, with a statement from Juventus reading: “Following complaining of pain in his right knee, Paul Pogba underwent radiological examinations that revealed a lesion of the lateral meniscus.
“In the next few hours he will undergo a specialist orthopaedic consultation. Therefore, in order to continue treatment, he is not taking part in the trip to Dallas.”
According to La Gazzetta dello Sport, there are now fears that France may have to cope without Pogba when they defend their World Cup title in Qatar later this year.
The midfielder reportedly flew back to Italy in midweek rather than undergo surgery straight away in the United States and is now weighing up his rehabilitation options.
Undergoing a surgical suture could render Pogba unavailable for at least four months, which would put his World Cup hopes in serious jeopardy.
On the other hand, Pogba could elect to undergo an operation to remove a piece of the meniscus, and he would only spend a maximum of two months on the sidelines if he goes down that route.
However, the report adds that such a procedure is not recommended for older players due to the impact it could have on the mobility of the knee, and Pogba will speak with the French team’s medical staff before selecting his preferred treatment.
The Frenchman’s injury could have a knock-on effect on the futures of Massimiliano Allegri’s other midfielders, but the club have announced that Aaron Ramsey’s contract has been terminated.
Weston McKennie, Arthur and Adrien Rabiot are being linked with moves away, and the latter is still widely expected to leave amid interest from Ligue 1 side Lyon.
Reports claiming that Arsenal had struck a loan-to-buy deal for Arthur are now understood to have been wide of the mark, but the Brazilian is also said to have attracted interest from Valencia.
Meanwhile, Tottenham Hotspur were said to have been monitoring £34m-rated McKennie, but the USA international is unlikely to be allowed to leave following Pogba’s latest physical problem.
Paris Saint-Germain’s Leandro Paredes is being tipped to sign for Juventus to cover for Pogba, and Allegri’s side are also alleged to be ‘very close’ to an agreement for Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino.