Paul Pogba could return to training before the end of February, with the Manchester United midfielder due for medical examinations that will determine whether he can step up his rehabilitation.
Injury has prevented the Frenchman from making more than seven Premier League outings this season – and only 71 minutes of action since September – in what has been an incredibly frustrating campaign at Old Trafford.
The most recent of those, an ankle problem, has been a recurring issue that has required surgery to fix.
However, stepping up his recovery from there, Pogba’s future has instead largely dominated the headlines in his absence, not his eventual return.
If that is the case, then a mouthwatering tie with City could be on the cards in March.
Pogba isn’t the only central midfielder that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been without, with Scott McTominay joining him on the sidelines of late. The Scotsman has been ruled out with a knee injury since December, but is now back in full training ahead of a run of five matches in just 14 days.
United still harbour aspirations of securing a coveted top four – now top five, thanks to City’s Champions League ban – spot in the Premier League, while the Europa League and FA Cup remain two other trophies they are in the running for.
For more from Ross Kennerley, follow him on Twitter!