Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has confirmed Cristiano Ronaldo will be part of the squad to face FC Sheriff on Thursday but also said Raphael Varane‘s injury means he is in 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.
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 doubtful for the tournament in Qatar due to start next month.
“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.
“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.”