Paul Pogba's Manchester United absence declared 'long-term' by Mourinho

Zlatan Ibrahimovic

GETTYManchester United star Zlatan Ibrahimovic could return to full training by the end of October

The Manchester United's top scorer has played every minute of United's Premier League and European fixtures since signing from Everton for £75million in the summer, scoring 10 goals in nine games.

But, while Mourinho will still not address those claims, he has finally conceded there is no return for his midfield ace in the near future.

"With them, I have the hope to see them training and to have a positive answer [on their availability soon]".

He then added saying he did not want to speak about long-term injuries but was more hopeful on the fitness of defenders Phil Jones and Antonio Valencia.

It is expected Ibrahimovic will return from his knee injury in January, sure to provide high-flying United with another boost.

While Mourinho confirmed on Friday that Pogba's injury is a long-term problem, his side have certainly not missed their £89.5 million midfielder thanks to Fellaini's impact to the side and the revelation that has been Nemanja Matic.

Mourinho, whose team host Crystal Palace on Saturday, said it would be up to the 24-year-old Lukaku to continue delivering until Ibrahimovic was available once more. "Sometimes we like players that others don't like", said Mourinho.

"Now I think, of course, Manchester United is a different level of expectation and he's coping well".

"It's great to have these players, because as managers we do not have an easy life now".

Instead, he spoke about the importance of mental preparation for weekend games such as Saturday's match against struggling Crystal Palace.

However, a recent report from the Telegraph has claimed that the Frenchman may not be ready to return until after the November global break.

"There were suggestions but not from me. I can not, professionally speaking, say, "Do this or do that".

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