Raphael Varane could return to the Manchester United team soon. Credit: Getty.
Ralf Rangnick gave a detailed update on the fitness of Edinson Cavani, Raphael Varane and Anthony Martial during Tuesday’s press conference, ahead of Manchester United’s Champions League clash with Young Boys.
Cavani and Varane were pictured training ahead of the game and, while the United interim manager said neither would be fit for the encounter with the Swiss side, he did reveal they could return to full training on Monday.
“They both cannot play tomorrow, but they were part of the training today, Edi even yesterday,” Rangnick said via video link.
“For Rapha, it was the first time that he was on the pitch together with the team. If everything goes well I expect both of them back in full training next week. Hopefully Monday next week they will be participating in the whole training session.
“Obviously, they are both top players, of course we would be happy to have them on board as soon as possible, but especially with Rapha and his injury record, we need to make sure we will have him until the end of the season. It is also about sustainability and not just getting him fit as soon as possible.”
Martial still unavailable
Another Frenchman who won’t feature on Wednesday is Martial, with the striker also missing the weekend win over Crystal Palace. Asked about the No.9’s fitness, Rangnick explained it’s a re-occurrence of an existing problem, but says he could return to training next week.
“Anthony trained with us on Saturday in the final training session before the Crystal Palace game and half an hour after training the medical department informed me he had some pain on his knee,” said the German.
"We had a meeting with the medical department and we agreed he should try to recover from that. It’s not a fresh injury, it’s symptoms he had in the past already.
“So we need to make sure he is reducing the amount of pain in the next couple of days and hopefully have him back training again next week.”
Two confirmed starters
With United already guaranteed top spot in their Champions League group, the game against Young Boys offers Rangnick an opportunity to rotate his squad, something he admitted he will take full advantage of.
The former RB Leipzig manager also revealed fringe players Dean Henderson and Donny van de Beek will also start at Old Trafford on Wednesday.
“Well to start with they will both play tomorrow, they will both play in the first XI,” Rangnick told reporters.
“As you saw, Donny came on as a sub last Sunday, and I know that Dean is a very good and ambitious goalkeeper. We definitely need two good goalkeepers, we even have three with Tom [Heaton], and with [Lee] Grant we have a fourth one.
“I have to get to know the players in the next couple of weeks to finally assess them. Right now I’m more than happy to have them all on board and I will try to give them as much game time as possible.”
Asked about who else could start against Young Boys, Rangnick said: "I haven’t finally decided to be honest, but it definitely makes sense that we will rest a few players due to the crowded fixture list over the next few weeks and months.
“We need to make sure we have as many recovered players as possible, also for the Premier League but also, on the other hand, we need the keep the positive momentum and we want to win games.
“Maybe if we even play with a few new players and fresh players, it is still important that we win the game. By the way, the first game in this group we lost at Young Boys so we need to make up for that. It is clear, no matter which players we will start with tomorrow, we definitely want to win the game."