Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo will be part of the squad to face FC Sheriff on Thursday but said Raphael Varane’s injury means he is a doubt for the World Cup.
Ronaldo returned to training with the first-team squad on Tuesday after being dropped for the draw at Chelsea as punishment for refusing to come on as a substitute against Tottenham.
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The 37-year-old is in contention to face FC Sheriff but Varane will miss out after suffering a knee injury at Stamford Bridge.
« Cristiano will be in the squad, » Ten Hag said in a news conference. « I think we said everything and we answered all the questions. He was out for one game and is back in the squad as usual.
« We explained everything and we have to focus on the game tomorrow. We have an important game because we want to be number one in the group. « It’s done, he’s back and the focus is on the game. It’s important that Cristiano is involved in the squad tomorrow. »
Varane will not play for United before the World Cup and Ten Hag said the France defender is a doubt for the tournament in Qatar, due to start next month.
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« He will certainly be out until the World Cup so we will not play in this block for Man United, » Ten Hag added. « We have to wait and see how it develops [ahead of the World Cup]how his rehab develops. »
Varane’s injury represents a chance for Harry Maguire to win back his place after the centre-back returned to training this week.
Maguire hasn’t played since picking up a thigh injury during the international break but is now set to compete with Victor Lindelof for a place in defense next to Lisandro Martinez.
« He always has an important role, » Ten Hag said. « It’s always about performance, about presentation and I think regarding his qualities, when he’s acting like that, no problem.
« He’s a great player with great capabilities to do a job for us. »