Paul Pogba is on course to make his Manchester United comeback after the international break.
Pogba has been sidelined for two months with a hamstring problem and missed the last 12 games.
His absence has been a huge blow for Jose Mourinho, with United falling eight points behind local rivals Manchester City in the title race.
Pogba, who cost United £90m from Juventus in 2016, completed most of his rehabilitation in the United States.
But he has spent the last few weeks stepping up his work at United’s Carrington training complex.
Mourinho is hopeful Pogba can be included in his squad for the visit of Newcastle to Old Trafford on November 18 when Premier League football resumes.
United, endured a torrid Sunday, with a defeat to Chelsea followed by a severe train delay.
The United boss will involve him in first team training next week with a view to naming him on the bench for the visit of the Magpies.
But Mourinho will not rush him back for the sake of it and will be desperate to have him fighting fit for the crunch derby clash with Pep Guardiola’s men on December 10.
His return to the fold will be a massive boost for Mourinho, who knows United can ill-afford to slip further behind their neighbours otherwise their title challenge could be dead and buried before Christmas.
Mourinho has made a point of not using Pogba’s absence as an excuse for his side’s inconsistent form in recent weeks.
But he admitted after last weekend’s defeat at Chelsea that United had missed his influence and dynamism.
Mourinho has also penciled in Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s comeback for the start of December when United face CSKA Moscow at home in their final Champions League group game.
The Swedish ace has been sidelined since rupturing knee ligaments in April.