Pogba available for Monza clash, says Juve’s Allegri
Paul Pogba is available for Juventus’ Serie A fixture with Monza after recovering from a long-term knee injury, coach Massimiliano Allegri said on Saturday.
France midfielder Pogba is yet to play a match for Juventus since returning from Manchester United last summer, injuring the meniscus in his right knee in July and missing out on the World Cup.
He initially elected not to go under the knife in a bid to make the Qatar tournament but despite later changing his mind he didn’t recover in time to play for Les Bleus who lost their crown as world champions in a thrilling final with Argentina.
Pogba will be in the matchday squad alongside Dusan Vlahovic who comes back from a groin injury which has kept the Serbia striker out since early December.
“Tomorrow Vlahovic and Pogba will be available,” Allegri told reporters.
“They’re feeling good… I think Vlahovic is in slightly better condition than Pogba but in the last few days Paul has made some progress.”
Allegri added that Pogba, who returned to team training for the first time since October earlier this month, would only have a maximum of half an hour on the Allianz Stadium pitch if he is brought on during the course of Sunday’s game.
“If they’re in the squad it means that they can play. It’s obvious that they don’t have 60 minutes in their legs, the most they’ll have is 30,” he said.
It has been a difficult season for Pogba as he is also embroiled in an alleged extortion plot involving his own brother.
USA midfielder Weston McKennie will not feature as he is close to signing for Leeds United in England, Allegri admitted.
“It would be pointless having him in the squad tomorrow as I believe the two clubs already have an agreement,” he said.
“I don’t know if the deal will be finalised but he’s been put on the transfer market so we’ve not got him in the squad.”
Allegri will also be without Italy forward Federico Chiesa who is being rested with a slight thigh problem after returning from his serious knee injury.
“Chiesa is not available because he has a problem with the thigh of the leg which underwent surgery, but that’s normal after 10 months this kind of thing can happen,” said Allegri.
“It’s just a matter of a couple of days though as he will be back for Lazio on Thursday.”
Juventus sit 11th in Serie A after being docked 15 points for illicit transfer activity and will be overtaken by promoted Monza should the Turin giants lose to the club owned by Silvio Berlusconi as they did in September.