Edinson Cavani decided against a possible Manchester United debut at former club Paris Saint-Germain as he did not feel match-ready.
Cavani, 33, arrived in England on October 4 and United announced his signing on deadline day the following day but, because the Uruguayan had to quarantine for two weeks, Cavani was unable to train with his new teammates until Sunday.
However, Cavani – who has not played since PSG beat Borussia Dortmund on March 11 – did not travel with the United squad on Monday afternoon and it is unclear whether he will make the squad for the visit of Chelsea at Saturday tea-time.
“Of course, when he’s been away from football for so long, he needed a pre-season,” Solskjaer said. “He’s naturally fit, he’s been looking after himself.
“He’s had two weeks in quarantine, isolation here. We provided him with all the facilities; a gym and a treadmill. He posted a few running sessions that he did, so there is your foundation.
“Now when he comes in with us he’s getting more football-like training sessions individualised and he feels more ready to train with the team and then play with the team.
“He’s been very meticulous and methodical in his training and his preparation and he didn’t feel ready for the PSG game because it was too early for him, he hadn’t done enough sharpness work. He’s managed to do that this week.
“Let’s see if that means he’s ready for the Chelsea game. I’m hopeful.”
Solskjaer said on Monday Mason Greenwood missed the PSG game with a ‘niggle’ yet on Friday claimed the 19-year-old had been unwell. Solskjaer is said to have mistakenly interpreted ‘niggle’ as an illness and United sources have confirmed Greenwood has been under the weather.
Greenwood could be recalled to the squad against Chelsea after his manager launched an impassioned defence of him amid reports Greenwood had been disciplined for tardiness.
“I think Mason learned a harsh lesson this summer, of course,” Solskjaer said of Greenwood’s transgression in Iceland. “It’s the reality that when you do well at Man United you’ll be under the spotlight, whether it’s good or bad.
“The more bad decisions, the more likely you are to be followed. When you play well you just keep yourself out of the limelight in that respect. He’s never been an issue here in training, he trains really well. I really enjoy seeing him develop.
“Hopefully he’s shaken off his illness and he’ll be ready for this weekend.”