Juventus have omitted Paul Pogba from their squad for the International Champions Cup, along with a throng of players who participated at the European Championship. Amid rumours regarding interest from Manchester United, the France international will continue to recover after his summer exploits before returning to the club in time for their return to Italy.
The Manchester Evening News understands that there is no deadline on Pogba's potential return to Old Trafford, with manager Jose Mourinho even exploring the option of signing Paris Saint-Germain midfielder Blaise Matuidi as a back-up. The 23-year-old is yet to officially clarify his future, amid rumours of a £100m move according to Sky Sports, despite the Serie A season starting in less than six weeks.
Pogba is among 11 Juventus players who featured at Euro 2016 that will not travel to Australia to face Melbourne Victory and United's domestic rivals Tottenham Hotspur. Goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon and defenders Giorgio Chiellini, Leonardo Bonucci and Andrea Barzagli have all been rested. Those players are joined by Brazil full-back Dani Alves, who has joined from Barcelona but will have to wait to make his debut.
Though it is no surprise to see Pogba left out of the squad following a gruelling schedule over the last 12 months for club and country, it once again means the midfielder will avoid further questions over the prospect of returning to United four years on from his original acrimonious departure.
There is little doubt, however, over Juventus' feelings regarding the speculation, which also sees Bonucci linked with a move to Manchester City. Manager Massimiliano Allegri says a switch to the Premier League would be a step down in their players' careers.
"I am calm about the English rumours," Allegri told Lo Gazzetta dello Sport when asked about the overtures from City and United. "Anyone who has the opportunity to leave Juventus has to consider things very carefully, because right now Juve are among the top four European clubs.
"This is not a selling club that just lets its players go. Pogba belongs to Juve and at the end of the day he too will want to win another Scudetto and hopefully the Champions League. We have grown in terms of appeal and awareness of our own capabilities. So far our market this summer has been 8/10, bringing in players of international pedigree like Medhi Benatia, Dani Alves and Miralem Pjanic."
United are also in action in the ICC pre-season competition, with matches against Borussia Dortmund and City in China coming up later this month. Mourinho began his tenure at the club with a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic featuring goals from Will Keane and Andreas Pereira.