Phil Jones optimistic of returning for Manchester United at weekend

Smalling in action against Chelsea

Smalling in action against Chelsea

Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba is closing in on a return to action, although Saturday night's trip to Newcastle may come too soon.

The 25-year-old limped out of England's 0-0 draw with Germany on Friday after injuring his calf.

Jones left the England squad on account of the injury and United have been working with the defender this week in able to get him fit for Saturday's visit of the Magpies.

Jones has established himself as first-choice under José Mourinho, and if the 25-year-old can play it will be a major boost for the manager, with United having lost their last game before the worldwide break, 1-0 at Chelsea.

Jose Mourinho expects his squad to be strengthened following a global period of time after Paul Pogba, Marcos Rojo and Michael Carrick came back to training this week.The trio took part in a time with United's U23s on Thursday and again on Thursday night as they stepped up restoration from their respected injuries.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic is still some way short of match fitness but is showing good signs on the training ground of returning from a serious knee injury.

Their dividends are well-timed after Mourinho arrived under open fire for his tactics at Stamford Bridge previous Weekend as United slipped to defeat at Chelsea and observed the difference between them and competitors Manchester City near the top of the Premier League widen to eight points.