Lukaku returns to Man Utd training following post-World Cup break

Romelu Lukaku returned to Manchester United training for the first time this season since being given a lengthy break following his World Cup campaign with Belgium.

The striker was pictured driving into Carrington as he linked back up with Jose Mourinho’s squad for a pre-season training session on Monday.

Lukaku was afforded extra time off by United after his country Belgium’s run to third place at the 2018 World Cup this summer in Russia.

Also pulling into United’s training ground on Monday was midfielder Nemanja Matic, albeit in what appeared to be two different cars.

Matic was spotted in both a red and a black vehicle as he offered a thumbs up ahead of the Red Devils’ pre-season training session.

He was joined by the likes of Marcus Rashford, Phil Jones and Sergio Romero as United players began gearing up for the start of the Premier League season.

United take part in the 2018-19 Premier League curtain-raiser on Friday night when they host Leicester at Old Trafford in the first match of the new season.

Last season’s runners-up lost 1-0 to Bundesliga champions Bayern Munich in Germany on Sunday to round off a disappointing pre-season.

Aside from poor results on the pitch, manager Mourinho has caused controversy off it as he appears at loggerheads with chief executive Ed Woodward over a lack of new signings so far this summer.

Fred, Diogo Dalot and goalkeeper Lee Grant are the only new arrivals at Old Trafford so far and Mourinho is desperate for new recruits ahead of Thursday’s deadline.

Speaking after Sunday’s game, Mourinho welcomed the end of pre-season and hailed the performance of his young players in the absence of the more established players away at the World Cup.

‘Finally, it’s over. Finally, such a difficult pre-season is over,’ Mourinho told the club’s website after the match at the Allianz Arena.

‘The players were, once more, brilliant. They could not have done better than what they did. (It was a) fantastic experience for the boys.

‘There was a moment I was looking to the area and there was Axel (Tuanzebe) at centre-back to left, Demetri (Mitchell) at left wing-back, (James) Garner in midfield on the left and (Tahith) Chong.

‘At the same time it was Lewandowski on Axel, Robben on Mitchell, (Leon) Goretzka on Garner and (Niklas) Sule on Chong.

‘It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic. We were playing against their best team, it was their complete squad apart from (Corentin) Tolisso.’

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